I think the scariest part about joining a work team or a student team is just as Enid Irwin said: giving up control. It is seemingly placing the fate of your semester in the hands of others and can they be trusted? At my job we have to work as a team because we are such a small shop, the price of dysfunction can be devastating. Respect, cross-training and flexibility is the name of the game and has been the key to our success. The visionaries of K12 education identify the lack of focus on collaboration in lieu of individual performance and competition as producing a workforce unprepared to work in the “real world” where collaboration and teamwork are necessary. In my humble opinion, teamwork skills may take us farther in career and life than just about any other skills we learn. It does feel uncomfortable but if we can work in teams now and find some success, I think it will be well worth our time and it will show very well to future employers. Dr.Haycock very carefully dissected the issue well and I am sure most of us recognized ourselves in the descriptions. I sure did. There was a lot of focus on the negative in terms of what does NOT work. Hopefully all teams will have motivated members and inspirational team leaders!
The attached link is to a video created by RSA Animate (Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts) from a lecture by Sir Ken Robinson about the need for a paradigm shift in education. It is eleven minutes long and discusses how our educational model emerged and why it no longer applies or serves us anymore. The part that convinced me working collaboratively is the best way to being part of a productive and creative society shows up about minute 10:23 (but if you have not seen it, I highly recommend watching the whole thing. It is really fascinating). Given most of us may be products of the old paradigm, it is natural collaboration feels unnatural and out of our comfort zone (it’s out of my comfort zone too!). But given this new paradigm, if it becomes a movement, we would be best served to become comfortable in collaborative situations.
So it’s time to grow up and step up, I think, and live into a collaborative world.