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Teamwork in the Classroom Summary Teamwork, according to The Webster's New World Dictionary is: "a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group." In other words, teamwork goes much further than only individual accomplishments. In fact, it is successful when all the members involved make contributions to working towards a common goal. Although some teachers are reluctant to teamwork because it´s hard to make students work cooperatively, teachers must be interested in teamwork as part of a teaching goal and tool for life. Students learn best from doing things which involve tasks and social interaction. Furthermore, in the professional field, many companies are employing people with teamwork skills. It is essential to establish the difference between working as part of a group and working as part of a team. When working as part of a group, members work independently, focusing mostly on themselves. They are often told what to do and are not usually involved in the planning of their group's objectives, therefore do not often work for a common goal. On the other hand, when working in teams, members work interdependently towards a personal and a common goal. Different skills such as making decisions, problem solving, evaluating, among others are developed as well as feelings of ownership, honesty, tolerance and respect. In order to achieve all the advantages of teamwork there are some characteristics of effective teams which were identified by Larson and La Fasto in their book titled Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (Sage Publications 1989). The team must have clear and common goal so that everyone works toward it and knows when the objective has been reached. The team should be structured and operate in a way that it produces

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