By Greg Graham
Article in Education Week Teacher
Summary by ASCD SmartBrief
"The effectiveness of group work in the classroom may depend largely on the dynamic of the individual groups, and may be more effective when students first work alone then come together to share ideas, writes former high-school writing teacher Greg Graham, a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project. Graham writes that teachers should dedicate classroom time to solitary writing, during which students develop personal awareness, critical thinking and intellectual curiosity."
I don't know that I entirely agree with Graham, but I think his piece is well-articulated and raises some important question.
I have found that having students write their ideas initially and then discuss them in groups is a good way to get them to rehearse their ideas alone. Then they articulate and share them in a protected public environment (small group) before proceeding to polish their work. -JL