Working in Groups
The class is divided into groups of 2–6 students, and each group selects its own issue or problem to work on.
- Some teachers have the class come up with a list of issues or problems, and students select one or two that interest them. The teacher then eliminates any issues that just get one vote. Students are grouped according to like-mindedness. This way, each student is working with at least one other student on an issue of interest.
- Other teachers put students in groups (or have students self-select partners) and let the groups come to an agreement on their issue.
In this model, the teacher helps students reach consensus on a single problem or issue. Focusing on this one issue, students form separate groups that each address the problem in a different way.
- In a whole-class model, some teachers impose a structure by having all groups share the actions they are considering with the other groups in order to coordinate activities and use each other as resources. Each group can benefit from the feedback of other groups. A group may decide to change actions to avoid duplicate efforts, or after discussion, it may decide that duplicate efforts might actually strengthen the impact.
- Some teachers use the whole-group model to have their students apply concepts of self-governance. Students decide what needs to be done regarding the civic action forms and divide responsibilities accordingly.
Individual students may be passionate about a particular issue not selected by any of their peers and could work independently on their own CAP. Teachers might choose to assign CAP in lieu of a typical research paper, wanting each student to do CAP individually.
- You can choose to have regular deadlines when civic action forms from every student are due.
- Or you can maintain a bulletin board or inbox for students to post or turn in their forms as they complete them.
- If CAP will be serving the role of a research paper, you might ask each student to provide evidence of particular types of resources or actions that you would like specifically to assess.
How do groups get evaluated?
Same grade? Separate grade? Collective hard copy?
Many CAP teachers use the Assessment rubrics designed help assess student efforts. In some cases, teachers ask each student working in a group to complete individual CAP Proposal, Thinking It Through, Civic Action, and Project Report planners (or essays). The students then received independent grades. Other teachers give students a group grade, asking students to evaluate their own and their fellow group members’ efforts, which is factored into the overall group grade. Several teachers have groups hand in “collective” copies, with the individual students “signing off” on what was handed in. Please visit Teacher Created Resources for additional ideas on how to evaluate student work.