Working in a team is not always easy: different personalities, miscommunications and an unclear definition of roles are all aspects that can negatively impact on the efficiency of the group. For this reason, the aim of this course was to learn a variety of skills that can both ensure team efficiency but also promote a positive environment in the workplace. By participating in this course our participants got some inputs on how to become better team leaders and team members, whether it’s inside a classroom or with colleagues.
The new edition of the course “Effective Group Management in education: building Teamwork among students” took place in Bologna from 16/07/2023 to 22/07/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Teodorico, Zélia, Mariana and Sofia from Agrupamento de Escolas Emídio Navarro in Portugal; Zsolt from Kiskunhalasi Református Kollégium Szilády Áron Gimnázium és Kollégium in Hungary; Judit from Budapesti Műszaki SZC Neumann János Informatikai Technikum in Hungary; András from Karinthy Frigyes Gimnázium in Hungary; Renato and Anita from Jobra in Portugal; Ivana, Martina, Zinca and Vedran from Pučko otvoreno učilište Zagreb in Croatia and Anca from Secondary School Mircea Santimbreanu
During the course we got to tackle different aspects of working in groups and leading teams. First of all we focused on what makes a group different from a team. The participants got to learn that not all groups are teams because what drives a team is a common goal so a team leader should keep in mind that the common objective is the priority. Participants also discovered the different stages a team goes through and what are the characteristics of each stage so that they could find the best strategy to overcome tensions or issues.
The second topic the group focused on was the important of team roles. Through a series of group activities the participants experienced firsthand how difficult it is to work together when roles and tasks are not well defined: this can in fact generate confusion, tension and episodes of miscommunication but, most importantly, is a waste of precious time because it leaves team members unsure of what their role inside the team is and what is expected from them.
On the third day of the course it was time to concentrate on how to effectively lead a team. A good leader needs to be able to adapt to the situation and needs to fully aware of the strength and weaknesses of their coworkers as individuals but also of the group dynamics. The participants learnt that there is not only one way to be a good leader but that there are in fact different leadership styles that are all equally valid, with pros and cons, and that can all be adopted according to the team and the specific situation. As team leaders, the participants also learnt the basics of coaching and the importance of using a growth mindset attitude and language to keep the motivation and the good mood in a team.
The last group management skill that we tackled was how to encourage peer feedback and peer assessment in the classroom. Peer learning strategies allow students to take an active role in their own education, shifting the focus from the grading itself to the learning process. The participants tried some peer learning and peer feedback strategies and had the chance to experience learning as their students do.
Overall it was a great week, full of learning, knowledge and best practices exchanges but also fun! The participants left with a new toolbox of activities and strategies that we are sure they’ll be able to apply in their classrooms.
More info on this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.