Last Friday I spent my first few hours volunteering at Amidon-Bowen High Tech Elementary School. The 4th graders there have spend the last few weeks working on large community/autumn related project that will be posted in the school's hallways.
The class is working in groups of 8 or 9 students. Each group is working on a unique project (a tree, a human figure, or a building). The project idea, including the concept of working groups/'communities,' come from our group of MAT's. None of the developers have taken this Collaborative Studio class. But, the idea of collaborative project came naturally to them.
The Amidon group projects make me wonder about teaching and collaboration. I am realizing that several teachers make their students do group projects. I have usually assumed that the group projects occurred because school don't have enough tables, glue sticks, etc to give to individuals. However, I am wondering now if teachers also innately realize the creative value of collaboration, even without an explicit explanation of how collaboration yields different results than individual work.