14) Roles

Dave and Roger Johnson found that the functionality of a role allows the members to view teammates as instruments of productivity because their efforts are required for the group to succeed. That is central to the success of cooperative efforts because participants on teams, whether in sports, business, or the classroom, thrive on the emerging collegiality and recognition from teammates as valued contributors.

Robert Sylwester, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, feels that role playing benefits individuals in several ways:
1. They learn to "accept themselves for who they are and widen their temperamental bias"; (p.41)
2. The temperamental diversity profits the group's productivity;
3. Stress is reduced because there is a diminishment of exclusionary, 'power elite', status in this democratic setting, offering enablement to socially disenfranchised children that are in desperate search for respect and success. (p. 74)

Johnson, R., Johnson, D., (2009). An Educational Psychology Success Story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning, Educational Researcher 38 (5): 366–367.

Sylwester, R., (2003). A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom, Corwin Press.

photo: flickr