Group Dynamics

Group dynamics is a powerful thing, people. We are watching the same movie (Nine Queens, and if you haven’t watched it, you are wasting your life) in two sections of my Spanish Beginners II course. The course is the same, the material is the same, the classes meet on the same days and in the same building.

Yet, the group dynamics is very different. The two groups of students laugh in different places of the movie. They have a completely different collective reaction to it.

This is something that I observe all the time. I prepare an original activity, bring it to class, and the students love it. The activity works brilliantly, the students are very enthusiastic, and we achieve great progress in class. Two hours later, I bring the same activity to another section of this course. Students are bored and indifferent and the activity bombs.

A group is so much more than the individuals making it. It has a life of its own.

4 thoughts on “Group Dynamics”

  1. I grew tired of teaching Nine Queens. I grew tired of movies with Ricardo Darin. I know… I know…

    But the reason why I grew tired of teaching Nine Queens is that I never have enough time to prepare my students to discuss the issues depicted in the movie in depth.

    About group dynamics. I am teaching two sections of Intermediate Spanish II this semester. I think that one section rocks and teaching to the other section is excruciating. Now, I have a student who asked me to switch from the good section to the not-so-good section because it fits better hir schedule. I did not mind as the evaluations are the same. I asked this student if s/he likes the new ‘not-so-good’ section. Hir answer was that the ‘not-so-good’ section is better than the other section, that students participate more, and that the energy is better.

    I am confused. My reactions to one class is completely different than my student’s. After all, s/he is the only one besides me who experimented both class dynamics.

    The lesson for now is that even if you teach two sections you must adapt yourself to different group dynamics. And that my impression perhapd misled me.

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    1. “I grew tired of teaching Nine Queens. I grew tired of movies with Ricardo Darin. I know… I know…

      But the reason why I grew tired of teaching Nine Queens is that I never have enough time to prepare my students to discuss the issues depicted in the movie in depth.”

      – Its a 102 course, so I just want them to practice the past tense at this point. For my Advanced language course I will be showing Viva Cuba. It is the most sexually innocent yet somewhat ideologically charged movie I could find.

      Like

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