The Student News Site of Bethpage High School

The Eagle's Cry

The Student News Site of Bethpage High School

The Eagle's Cry

The Student News Site of Bethpage High School

The Eagle's Cry

BHS Discusses: Assigned Group Projects–Fair or Foul?


Bethpage High School offers many opportunities for students to collaborate with other students on projects or assignments throughout the school year; however, debate rages about whether students should be allowed to pick their partner or group…or if teachers should assign them. The Eagle’s Cry asked students and teachers what their stance is on this question and why–and today, we will share the responses. 

We surveyed a group of students at BHS, and 100% of them claimed that they prefer to work with a partner or group that they are able to choose. Many students and teachers believe that when students are able to choose their partner/group on an assignment the contribution of the work is more evenly distributed and creative because students are working in an environment with people they are more comfortable with.

 For example, this article you’re reading right now is written by two students who chose to work together, therefore producing a piece of writing that is equally collaborative and expresses both students’ thoughts and creativity. 

BHS Junior Joey Infranca said, “I prefer choosing my partners on projects because I would be more comfortable working with people I know.”.

Clearly, students favor the ability to choose our groups because it allows for a more comfortable setting when working in school.

Another reason students prefer working with partners they can choose is because it helps share the workload more evenly between the people in the group. 

When asked about this topic, BHS junior Nora Kerrigan responded, “Usually teachers assign groups, and it ends up that one person does all of the work but receives the same grade, which is frustrating.”

This is definitely true when it comes to working with students in an assigned group. Due to a lack of comfortability and communication with the people in the group, oftentimes one person or maybe two people out of the group end up doing most of the work. This is extremely unfair because everyone in the group will usually receive the same grade, when one person might have done much more work than the other. 

On the other hand, teachers might argue that when the groups are not assigned, students can take advantage of the ability to work with their friends and fool around instead of doing their work, resulting in lower grades on said assignments or projects. 

The infamous “yoga project” in all yoga classes at BHS during the 3rd quarter is an assigned group project where students make a yoga routine to present to the class in which they receive a grade. Since gym classes usually do not have many grades per quarter, this assignment grade makes up a large proportion of a student’s average. 

Many students were enraged when it was learned that we were unable to choose our groups for this project; however, Ms. Bennett, a BHS yoga teacher, explained that she has always done it this way and has been successful in assigning groups for many years. 

It is certain that working in assigned groups has many positive outcomes along with some negatives. Yes, students want to work with their friends on school projects, but it is also important for students to develop strong social and communication skills, especially with people you are not familiar with. In the majority of career paths, communication skills are necessary to be successful and more likely than not you will be put in a situation where you have to work with random people, so it is important for students to practice these skills now in order to prepare for the future.

On top of that, some students might deal with social issues that make it difficult or uncomfortable when teachers give them the ability to choose their own groups. It is true that everyone usually groups up with their friends, which oftentimes leaves people excluded. For students who might not be as familiar with their classmates, it can be stressful for them when the teacher says they can choose their groups, so they might prefer being assigned a partner. 

There are many arguments of why students should be allowed to choose their own groups, but there are many arguments why they shouldn’t be. In our opinion, we think that students should experience both an opportunity to choose as well as being assigned a group during their time at BHS. This way students can have the chance to work in a comfortable environment and ensure the work is equally distributed, but in other situations can learn the importance of communication skills with new people.

Mrs. Oak, a BHS Spanish teacher, expressed this idea: “Both options are possible depending on what the goal is. Students can be more engaged and motivated when they choose their own groups because it gives them a feeling of choice and flexibility. However, sometimes when students pick their own groups they don’t produce the best work necessary. So sometimes it makes more sense to arrange students in groups based on ability so that they can support each other and there’s less socializing and more productive time”.

At the end of the day, it is up to the teacher which method they would like to use when it comes to partner/group assignments, however feel free to express your opinions on this topic in the comment section below!

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About the Contributors
Olivia Greenfield
Olivia Greenfield, Student Life Editor
Olivia is a junior at Bethpage High School. This is her second year working on The Eagle’s Cry. She loves to travel and spend her free time with family and friends. This year she will focus on writing entertainment pieces and student interests at BHS. She also runs The Eagle’s Cry Tik Tok account.
Sophia Lora
Sophia Lora, Student Life Editor
Sophia is currently a Junior at Bethpage High School. This is her second year working on The Eagle’s Cry. She enjoys dancing and spending time with friends and family. This year she plans to concentrate on writing about entertainment and student interests. She also runs The Eagle’s Cry Tik tok account.

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