Changing the Language of Collaboration from Group to Team, to Foster Collaborative Skills in High School Boys — Diliana Popova, Crescent School, Canada

  • Collaboration and Team Learning (2016-17)

This action research project investigated the semantic shift from “group” to “team” and it’s effect on collaborative skills in high school boys. The goal of the study was to determine the link, if any, between the language used in collaborative contexts and its effect on building collaborative skills.

The change I implemented in my practice was of a relatively subtle, semantic nature. I shifted the language I used to refer to the project, the team members, and also the language I used to refer to inter-team interactions, feedback and conflict. The focus changed from completing a task to solving a problem. I also integrated consultations from relevant stakeholders throughout the process in order to elevate the task itself in the eyes of the participants and allow them to benefit from different perspectives. As a result of the shift from task to goal, I also experienced a natural shift from product to process.