Group work relies on collaboration, participation, and cooperation of every member of the group—in general, working towards solving a problem while maintaining cohesiveness in the group. While group work (teamwork) has many advantages it also has some drawbacks. Scholars, such as, the psychologist Irving Janis who coined the term groupthink, and the psychologist Solomon Asch known for the Asch Experiment argued that working in a group forces us to conformity and alters how and what decisions we make. Basically, we tend to make our decision based on peer pressure rather than from our own logical approach. More recently, Susan Cain, in her book, Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking echoes the sentiment in what she describes as the New Groupthink—a phenomena that “elevates teamwork above all else.” (Cain, 2012, p. 75). She further implies that to succeed in this team one must exhibit “Extrovert Ideal” traits such as—friendly, unabashed, assertive, and great public speaker. She notes that the New Groupthink “insists that creativity and intellectual achievement come from a gregarious place.” (Cain, 2012, p. 75), and raises her concern over its increased popularity both in the workplace and in our schools. While she acknowledges the benefits of teamwork and collaboration, she also argues that such working and learning environments impede on the individual’s creativity. She argues that solitude/working independently matters and is key to creativity and innovation, and that it is equally, if not more, important as group work.
Here is Cain’s TED Talk presentation
Take time to reflect on her presentation, read the links to Janis and Asch, then (in 2 to 3 paragraphs) discuss your thoughts on the influence of group work on individual creativity—making comparison between group work in the online environment, and group work in a face-to-face environment, to what extent do you feel group work influences an individual’s creativity?
Follow this rubric to guide your response.
(Rubric source: Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository)
Cain, S. (2012). Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Crown Publishing. NY: Random House, Inc.