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Topic - 5

"Because learning is not a solitary activity but one that requires collaboration among people, students of all ages will benefit academically if they work frequently in groups."

Solution - 5

Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge such that our brain and our senses retain it. A child starts learning from the time of his birth. He starts assimilating information and reacting accordingly. The first school of a child is said to be his family. The next stage in learning is when he interacts with society. Further, formal education plays a crucial role in education by giving him the knowledge and experience that his environment cannot provide. Learning, thus, cannot be achieved in isolation. I agree with the author when he says that working frequently in groups shall benefit students of all ages.

If two people undergo the same experiences, the probability of their learning the same lessons from the experiences is very low. Their individual differences are sure to come into play and influence their reactions to situations. In an academic environment as well, the situation is the same. What two students interpret of a lesson depends on their previous knowledge, experiences, intelligence, attitudes, alertness, backgrounds etc. At the same time, the speed with which they grasp information also differs. Hence, academic learning is also directly related to individual personalities.

When a student attends school, he does not gain mere academic knowledge. Education is meant to make people adjust in a society, to enable them to earn a living, to support others, to make wise decisions, to handle the problems of day-to-day life, to live in harmony in a society etc. When students from different backgrounds and having different intelligence levels interact with each other, they learn qualities like sharing, sacrifice, competition, cooperation etc. At the same time, they learn how to deal with the society and world at large.

When students participate in group activities, their chances of learning faster increase. We all must have observed how students learn better from their own classmates than they do from their teachers. When a student is not able to cope up, teachers often tell his intelligent classmates to help him. The main reason for this is that learning improves when a student learns from others of his age group.

By encouraging learning in groups, we encourage children to share their experiences. Take the case of a college student attending internship in an organization. He is placed in a real-world work environment and made to learn how to do his job and exploit the knowledge he has gained academically and put it to practical use. In such an environment, he learns how to deal with colleagues, subordinates, seniors, administrators, clients etc. He learns more this way than through simulation

When people from different age groups interact with each other, the younger ones are likely to learn more from the experiences and knowledge of the older ones. The older ones can, in turn, learn social skills. They learn how to cooperate with different people, how to task others according to their skills, how to teach new things to younger ones etc. Such interactions, thus, benefit everyone involved.

There are some situations in which such an interaction can lead to a waste of time and energy if there is a lot of disproportion among the group members in terms of knowledge, age and background. Nonetheless, the pros weigh over the cons. There are more benefits of such interactions, than there are losses. People should be taught in groups but judiciously so. Such interactions should continue only until they are beneficial and limited to some situations only. Definite aims should be kept in mind for fulfillment through group interactions and measures should be taken to see that the same are achieved.