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Team learning is the collaborative effort to achieve a common goal within the group. The aim of team learning is to attain the objective through dialogue and discussion, conflicts and defensive routines, and practice within the group. In the same way, indigenous communities of the Americas exhibit a process of collaborative learning.
Teams need to discover their own formula for success regularly. Team learning is the collective learning process that helps effective teams in doing so.
Teamwork is the process of working collectively to achieve a common objective in a group. In the learning organization context, team members tend to share knowledge and complement each other's skills. If there is no commitment and effort from team members, then working and learning from team work may fail. For more information on team learning in organizations see the integrative review recently published by Decuyper, Dochy and Van den Bossche. Diversity increases the potency of team learning, but requires strong team identification.
Team learning is also associated with a team leader which can be defined as the following:
A team leader is someone who provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership to a group of other individuals (the team) for the purpose of achieving a key result or group of aligned results. The team leader reports to a project manager (overseeing several teams). The team leader monitors the quantitative and qualitative result that is to be achieved. The leader often works within the team, as a member, carrying out the same roles but with the additional 'leader' responsibilities (as opposed to higher level management who often have a separate job role altogether). In order for a team to function successfully, the team leader must also motivate the team to "use their knowledge and skills to achieve the shared goals." When a team leader motivates a team, group members can function in a successful and goal-oriented manner.
Scouller (2011) defined the purpose of a leader (including a team leader) as follows: "The purpose of a leader is to make sure there is leadership ... to ensure that all four dimensions of leadership are [being addressed]." The four dimensions being: (1) a shared, motivating team purpose or vision or goal (2) action, progress and results (3) collective unity or team spirit (4) attention to individuals.
The team membership may not directly report or answer to the team leader (who is very often a senior member of the organization but may or may not be a manager), but would be expected to provide support to the team leader and other team members in achieving the team's goals.
A good team leader listens constructively to the membership and to the customer(s) of the results that the team is charged with delivering.
Aligned with listening skills, team leaders are responsible for developing intervention techniques to improve overall team production. Shuffler (2011) claims that specific teams teams have interventions distinctly particular to their own team. Also, team building is most effective for solving specific team breakdowns, whereas team training is most effective for providing the knowledge and skills needed for teamwork.
- Dialogue and Discussion
- Conflicts and Defensive Routines
Indigenous American ways of learning
An informal type of learning style that has been observed in Indigenous communities of the Americas is learning by observing and pitching in (LOPI). In Indigenous ways of learning, children are viewed as regular participants of the community, and are often expected to meaningfully contribute to community and family goals. Children are able to work collectively with adults because they learn by observing their parents or other adults, and participating in family and community activities. As seen in Central American children, home chores are considered opportunities to develop solidarity within the family, and the children express pride in working along with their parents.
Indigenous children and indigenous heritage children often exhibit an eagerness to contribute and belong as valued members of their community and family. The children's intent collaboration is due to the reciprocity in Indigenous social relationships, and the cultural value system of being helpful (acomedido/a). In the Mexican Indigenous community of Mazahua, school children show responsibility, initiative, and autonomy by contributing in their classroom by completing classroom activities as a whole class, assisting, and correcting their teacher during lectures. The collaborative effort of the Mazahua students was necessary in order to achieve the goals of the class.
The social organization observed in Indigenous communities of the Americas is collaborative, characterized by fluid coordination and flexible leadership roles. For example, U.S. Indigenous Mexican heritage students, worked nonverbally, anticipating their partner's contributions, and building upon each other's contributions and directions with specific proposals. Nocutzepo families integrate children and youth in family and community practices, such as managing store businesses, preparing food for food stands, and taking care of younger children.
- Decuyper, S., Dochy, F., & Van Den Bossche, P. (2010). "Grasping the dynamic complexity of team learning: An integrative model for effective team learning in organizations". Educational Research Review. 5 (2): 111–133. doi:10.1016/j.edurev.2010.02.002. .
- Van Der Vegt, Gerben; Bunderson, J. Stuart (2005). "Learning and Performance in Multidisciplinary Teams: The Importance of Collective Team Identification" (PDF). Academy of Management Journal. 48 (3). doi:10.5465/AMJ.2005.17407918. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- Glăveanu, Vlad (2011). "On culture and human development: Interview with Barbara Rogoff". Europe's Journal of Psychology. 7 (3): 408–418. doi:10.5964/ejop.v7i3.141.
- learning by observing and pitching in (LOPI)
- Rogoff, Barbara (2014). "Learning by observing and pitching in to family and community endeavors: An orientation". Human Development. 57 (2-3): 69–81. doi:10.1159/000356757.
- Coppens, Andrew D; Alcala, Lucia; Mejia-Arauz, Rebeca; Rogoff, Barbara (2014). "Children's Initiative in Family Household Work in Mexico". Human Development. 57: 116–130. doi:10.1159/000356768.
- Coppens, Andrew D.; Silva, Katie G.; Ruvalcaba, Omar; Alcala, Lucia; Lopez, Angelica; Rogoff, Barbara (June 2014). "Learning by Observing and Pitching In: Benefits and Processes of Expanding Repertoires". Human Development. 57 (2-3): 150–161. doi:10.1159/000356770.
- Paradise, Ruth; De Haan, Mariette (2009). "Responsibility and Reciprocity: Social Organization of Mazahua Learning Practices". Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 40 (2): 187–204. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1492.2009.01035.x.
- Alcala, Lucia; Rogoff, Barbara; Mejia-Arauz, Rebeca; Coppens, Andrew D.; Dexter, Amy L. (2014). "Children's Initiative in Contributions to Family Work in Indigenous-Heritage and Cosmopolitan Communities in Mexico". Human Development. 57: 96–115. doi:10.1159/000356763.
- Paradise, Ruth (1994). ""The autonomous behavior of indigenous students in classroom activities." Education as cultural construction: Explorations in socio-cultural studies". 4: 89–95. ISBN 84-88926-00-6.
- Ruvalcaba, Omar (2015). "Cultural Differences in Children's Pair Collaboration: Engaging Fluidly Versus Managing Individual Agendas in a Computer Programming Activity": 1–53.
- Urrieta, Luis (September 2013). "Familia and Comunidad-Based Saberes: Learning in an Indigenous Heritage Community". Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 44 (3): 320–335. doi:10.1111/aeq.12028.