Portland State University. Department of Social Work
Lynn E. Thompson
Date of Publication
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Group relations training, Small groups
The purpose of this research practicum is to present the development, implementation, and evaluation of a model for teaching small group skills. This model was designed for a class in small groups that the authors of this paper taught at Portland State University in the School of Social Work. In designing this class, the authors were concerned with goals somewhat different than the more traditional goal of imparting knowledge about groups to the learner. The main goal of this class was to teach to students skills in working with small groups. This approach required developing a knowledge base about small groups as well as a way for translating this base into teachable skills. Thus, it became imperative that the class would deal with both cognitive awareness and performance abilities. In order to achieve this, the method of laboratory education was employed. Through the laboratory method, students were given a chance to not only develop a knowledge base in small group theory, but also to practice identified group skills in the classroom. An evaluation was conducted via a pre and post-questionnaire which focused on two areas. The students evaluated the laboratory according to their level of satisfaction with the learning experience. Also, they were evaluated according to their levels of small group skills and any changes in these levels during the laboratory sessions. These changes were measured by a self-perception Likert scale and a simulated group response instrument called the Group Situation Questionnaire (GSQ). The results of the Likert scale show that thirteen of fifteen students indicated a positive change in their skill. On the GSQ, only nine students were identified by the instructors as experiencing positive skill change.
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Ferguson, Larry and Reavis, James, "A Model for Teaching Small Group Skills in a Laboratory Setting" (1976). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1901.