Home > Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Why I No Longer Use Groups in the Classroom

Why I No Longer Use Groups in the Classroom

By Greg Graham

A recent New Yorker article entitled “Groupthink” takes a fascinating look at the concept of brainstorming. According to author Jonah Lehrer, brainstorming was introduced in the late 1940s as a creativity-inducing practice by advertising guru Alex Osborn in his book Your Creative Power. The book was a surprise bestseller, and Osborn’s ideas about brainstorming, according to Lehrer, became “the most widely used creativity technique in the world.” Whether in business, politics, entertainment, or education, group-thinking was and still is regarded as the ultimate path to ingenuity and productivity.

One small problem: Numerous studies over the years have demonstrated that brainstorming doesn’t work, at least not as Osborn defined it. Lehrer quotes Washington University psychologist Keith Sawyer: “Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas.”

Continued at: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/04/11/fp_graham.html?tkn=WLPFdTuga2reCM2G5KEtyYE80mq6o8PCPcxo&cmp=ENL-TU-NEWS1

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