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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Community Learning 2: Working with Groups (EDUA08122)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis introductory level course covers working and learning in groups. It will focus mainly on self-directed groupwork in the context of informal educational practice, although core ideas and processes are applicable in a wide range of situations including, for example, school settings, social care and social work.
Course description 1) Academic Description
2) Self-directed groupwork practices remain an integral part of the community education competences ( and a familiarity with groupwork techniques is essential in developing collective responses to community based challenges. According to Mullender, Ward and Fleming (2013) Groupwork has a considerable historical lineage with a resulting range of contested purposes all of which remain relevant to practice. This range of purposes is reflected in the role that is adopted by the practitioner and the implicit implications for power and power sharing in their work with groups. This commitment to empowerment and social justice is reflected in an educational approach which recognises the experience of the participants as an essential starting point. Experiential Learning (Kolb, 1984) and Experience Based Learning (Anderson et al, 1999) outline an educational approach which places the experience of participants at the centre of the educational encounter and accords the participants equal standing in the creation of new knowledge. Developing the skills of dialogue are essential to the groupworker with active listening and the ability to structure conversation central to the ability to develop educational experiences which attempt to democratise the educational relationship. It is a prerequisite of the self-directed groupwork approach that these experiences in the group can be replicated outside the group in the real-world. Both individual and collective forms of social action are seen as an essential outcome of the process.

3) Indicative content

Groupwork and Purpose
Power, Leadership and Facilitation
Experiential Learning and Starting Points
Dialogue: Listening and Communication
Moving into Action.

4) Learning Experience

This is a highly interactive course in which participants will be expected to develop understanding through engaging in various types of structured experiences, such as focused discussions and role plays. Small working groups are formed from the start, and the groups will use the final hour of the weekly teaching sessions to process issues discussed in the class, and to undertake a group presentation at the end of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative task
Short group presentations with peer and tutor feedback.

Summative task
Written task equivalent to 2000 words

Feedback Students will work in case study groups each week to develop their strategies this way they will receive peer and tutor feedback on an on-going basis. The group presentations given in advance of the essay submission will also receive peer and tutor feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Articulate key values underpinning work with individuals and groups.
  2. Account for and demonstrate the basic tenets of effective communication.
  3. Explain basic approaches to working with people in groups and state several key factors affecting group dynamics.
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with underpinning theory such as that developed by Rogers, Kolb, Dewey, Tuckman and Freire.
  5. Explain the significance for learning of the relationship between the individual and their wider social context.
Reading List
Cohen, M.B. & Mullender, A. (2006) The Personal in the Political: Exploring the Group Work Continuum from Individual to Social Change Goals, Social Work with Groups, 28:3-4, 187-204.

Doel, M. (2006) Using Groupwork, London: Routledge / Community Care, 180pp.

Freire, P (1972) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin.

Jaques, D. & Salmon, G. (2007) Learning in Groups: A Handbook for face-to-face and online environments, 4th Ed, London, Routledge, U

Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, F.P. (2013) Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills, 11th edition. London: Pearson.

Kurland, R. & Salmon, R. (2006) Purpose: A Misunderstood and Misused Keystone of Group Work Practice, Social Work with Groups, 29:2-3, 105-120,

Mullender, A. & Ward, D. (2013) Empowerment in Action: Self-Directed Groupwork, London: Whiting and Birch.

Newman, M. (2006) Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Preston-Shoot, M, (2007) Types and Purposes of Groups: in, Preston-Shoot, M, Effective Groupwork pp.45-67, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Rogers, C. R. (1969) Freedom to Learn. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merril Publishing Company.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1) Apply Knowledge Skills and Understanding
Increased awareness of how groups work
Design a groupwork initiative
the ability to build trusting relationships as a foundation for learning
an understanding of their own approaches to learning
Capacity to build practice on an understanding of issues of power, empowerment and the complexity of voluntary relationships

2) Generic Cognitive Skills
Understand the principles and practice of groupwork
Ability to reflect on their own and others' value systems and the ability to explore such values in informal contexts, including ability to constructively challenge the views of others and resolve conflict

3) Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others
Analysis of personal performance in groups
Leadership skills
Ability to work on their own initiative and in cooperation with others
KeywordsGroupwork,Groupwork leadership,Communication in groups,Listening in groupwork
Course organiserDr Sarah Ward
Tel: (0131 6)51 6120
Course secretaryMrs Alta Mene
Tel: (0131 6)51 6381
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