In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning and Definition of Group or Class 2. Types of Group 3. Group Guidance 4. Group Guidance Programmes 5. Leadership 6. Group Dynamics.
A collection of individuals forms a group whether there is interaction of the members or not. Without interaction the group is nearly an aggregation. Functional groups are characterised by common goals and inter stimulation and response among members, which serve as means for satisfying individual needs, and in which individuals enter into reciprocal relation with other group members, identify themselves with the group are changed through membership in the group.
Meaning and Definition of Group or Class:
The class or group is a collection of individuals. The class may regarded largely as an assemblage of individuals, each of whom be taught. It is also a social group, having a structure and an organization of forces which give it a measure of unity and coherence. The class may a character of its own. The class has its norms of behaviour or performances. The class has a planned and well organized interaction. It has its own former leader i.e., teacher. The class as such may have a marked influence on its members.
The group has been defined as follows:
i. “A group is a social unit consisting of a number of individuals who stand in role and status of relationship to one another, stabilizing in some degree at the time and who process a set of values or norms of their own behaviour, at least, in matters of consequence to the group”. – Sherif and Sherif
An individual joins a group it satisfies his same needs and the membership may be rewarded to the individual.
“A group is an organized system of more individuals who are related to one another so that it performs some functions; it has a standard of role relationship and has a set of norms that regulate the function of the group.” – Mc David
The term ‘group’ has been defined by distinct social psychologists by emphasizing its different aspects.
These definitions emphasize the following characteristics:
1. It is an assemblage of individuals.
2. It has its own structure and organization of forces.
3. It has its own standard and norms of behaviour of performance.
4. It stands in role and status of relationship to one another.
5. It performs as some specific functions.
6. It provides motivation and satisfaction of needs of the members.
7. It provides the awareness of members by the process of interaction.
8. It has its goals and objectives.
9. It has dynamic process of social and emotional development of the member.
10. It has a common fate or future. The members are interdependent.
11. It has own leader, may be formal i.e. teacher or informal.
A teacher always deals with some actual class of students; he has several opportunities to help the students develop skills in working with class. Experience in such group work is inevitable. A teacher can make sure by providing little guidance that the group experience is very useful. The purpose, such as the development of desirable attitude, values or the attainment of social maturity.
Types of Group:
Groups characterised by more or less continued intimate face-to-face association and cooperation are primary group, e.g., family; children’s play groups, adolescent group, neighbourhood group.
1. Secondary Groups:
Secondary groups are special-interest groups, such as national, political religious, fraternal and professional groups. They don’t depend upon face-to-face contact although there may be direct interaction among the members.
2. Socio & Psycho Groups:
In socio groups the purpose is largely impersonal, the members associating together to work on some common objective or problem. Labour union, editorial staff of a school year-book. The psycho group is more personal in nature and the members come together of their own accord primarily for the purpose of inter member association. The girls who meet regularly under the tree in the recess.
3. Organized and Unorganized Groups:
In the organized group the members play differentiated roles in relation to common goals. The degree of organisation may very loose, informal organization to a highly complex, formal one. But, if the group has a leader, it is an organization.
In unorganized group each member functions more or less independently of the others. It is highly flexible, the members being free to develop their roles as they please.
4. In Groups and Out Groups:
The groups to which an individual’s belongs and toward which he feels a loyalty are in-groups.
The ones toward which he feels neither loyalty nor sympathy and for which he may feel dislike, suspicion, opposition, fear, or even hatred are out-groups. A nation, race, religious sect, or neighbourhood group that is seen as inferior to one’s and viewed with prejudice or hostility. SES, home and regional influences play an important part in the origin and propagation of such prejudice.
Guidance, whether or an individual or group basic, includes all those services that contribute to the individual understanding of himself—his attitudes, interests, abilities, his physical, mental and social maturity, and his personal and social needs for optimum development, achievement and life adjustment. It includes services that help each individual not only to gain self-understanding but also to develop skill in self-direction-
(a) in establishing suitable personal, educational and vocational goals,
(b) in planning desirable ways of pursuing these goals, and
(c) in developing standards of value consistent with his life-goals, so that he may be provided with criteria for the choice of experiences.
Group Guidance refers to any phase of guidance personal programme carried on with groups of individual rather than between counselor and counselee or clinician and client in the face-to-face interview. It may include instruction in the classroom where the content is related to problems of self-appraisal, educational or vocational guidance, personal adjustment and interpersonal relationships. It includes many types of informal play or discussion groups, which often derive the double purpose of studying individuals in their interaction with other as well as helping them to work through certain difficulties and achieve new levels of adjustment.
Group Guidance Programmes have been aimed at assistance in adjusting new school or college situations; improving study and learning methods; making new friends; improving social skills; learning to get along better with other; solving problems interest and abilities and to make suitable educational and vocational plans meeting frustration wholesomely; and developing a workable philosophy of life-values to furnish criteria for the choice of life experiences.
1. To provide opportunities for learning essentials for self-direction with respect educational, vocational, and personal-social aspects of life through:
(a) Assistance in orientation in new school situations and in the best use of school opportunities.
(b) Group study of problems of interpersonal relationships and assistance in choice of group experience in the school life that may modify both individual and group behaviour in socially acceptable ways.
(c) Group study of problems of growing up, establishing adult adjustment and applying mental hygiene in living.
(d) Group study and application of sound methods of self-appraisal of attitudes, interests, abilities, personality and character trends and traits and personal-social adjustment.
(e) Group study and application of efficiency methods in learning.
(f) Group study about occasional life and problems of occasional adjustment and progress.
(g) Assistance through groups in learning how to project suitable, long-range vocational plans.
(h) Assistance through groups in learning how to project suitable, long-range educational plans.
(i) Assistance in the development of discerning standards of value for making choices of experiences in various areas of living and the developing of growing philosophy of life.
2. To provide opportunity for the therapeutic effects of group procedures through:
(a) The perspectives gained from the study of common human problem.
(b) The release of emotional tensions, increased insight into personality dynamics, and creative redirection of energy through group study of these common human problems in a permissive atmosphere.
3. To achieve some of the objectives of guidance more economically and some of more effectively-than would be possible in a completely individualized approach.
4. To implement individual counselling to render it more effective through background study of common aspects of problems and the reduction or elimination of many emotional barriers to the discussion of unique aspects of common human problems.
Guidance is a learning process for both the guidance worker and the individual, and this learning for both parties occurs through both counselling and group procedures.
Effective leadership depends not so much upon specific qualities of personality as upon the working relationship of an individual within a group structure in which he acquires status though active participation and through demonstrating his capacity for helping the group to carry out cooperative tasks. Significant personal aspects of this capacity are intelligence, alertness to needs and motives of others, and insight into situations, further reinforced by such qualities as responsibility, initiative, persistence, and self-confidence.
The newer definition of leadership carries the implication that it may not be so much an attribute of individual as an aspect of organization, like authority, leadership appears to be determined by a system of inter-relationships and involves varying degrees of influence and responsibility. So, except in a completely authoritarian group, there would be varying degrees of influence and responsibility among members and therefore, varying degrees and kinds of leadership within the group.
One of the responsibilities of a guide is to work for the utilization by the group of its leadership potentials and to help all individuals to belong really to the group and to grow through contributing their best services to the group each member of a group can be helped to pay both roles that is, of a leader and a followers, effectively.
Of course, some individuals will exert more influence on a group than others. Any member of a group exerts leadership to the extent that the syntality of the group is modified by his presence. According to his viewpoint all member actions which help the group achieve its objectives are leadership functions in varying degrees, and it would be inconsistent to speak of the leader of a group. Sympathetic person and able to help members in a practical way who is intelligent relative to other group members; and who is consistent in performing his leadership functions.
Possession of particular traits is not enough to make a person a leader. He must be in a situation that permits him to make a contribution needed and perceived by the group as needed, and he must perceived as being able to make such a contribution.
In the field of group dynamics the term ‘syntality’ is used to describe for the group what is called personality for the individual. Syntality refers to all the interrelated attributes or independent variables by which a group may be defined. The terms used to describe this syntality of group are ‘general ability’, ‘attitudes’, ‘performance’ and ‘morale’. Under morale we find such terms as ‘synergy’ referring to the sum total of the energy any group can command; ‘doggedness’ in meeting different situations and ‘morality’ and ‘honesty’.
Synergy has two aspects- ‘maintenance synergy’ or the energy needed to keep the group intact; and ‘effective synergy’ or the energy available to move toward the achievement within the group goals. ‘Group structure’ refers to all the behaviour relationships within the group such as status gradients depending upon the varying roles of individual members * clique relationship.
According to Raymond Cattell “a group is a collection of organisms in which the existence of all (in their given relationship) is necessary to the satisfaction of certain individual needs in each”. The term ‘dynamics’ as applied to groups refers to all the interacting forces within groups as they are organizing and operating to achieve their objectives which involve the whole field of sociometry and the nature of leadership.
The problem of first importance for the guidance leader is to study the group with a view to understanding its syntality and structure. This will involve studying the manners of the group both individually and collectively. Long range personal records of individual members of the group can be sought to answer many questions and also careful observation and study of the individual in action within the group and, of the total group in action.
To secure such information the teacher or guide must plan time for the study of personnel records and for the individual interviews. To study the individual and the groups in action, the leader must plan and initiate suitable activities at the start or be alert for suitable group initiative. These initial activities serve the double purpose of studying the individuals collectively and of helping to bring a real group with common interests and goals and an effective structure of inter-relationship into existence.
In many school programmes, the curriculum may provide for part areas of study in the guidance field at designated grade levels or in specific subject for example, educational or vocational planning, self-appraisal, understanding human behaviour, improving learning skills, getting along with others, or school citizenship.
Motion picture presentation of case studies, story-telling, individual or committee study, and reports on specific problems, dramatizations, lectures, informal discussion, and buzz sessions are among the multitude of possibilities at the command of a group leader. Such orienting activities, skillfully planned and executed, will create opportunities for the interaction of individuals in a way that will enable them to become acquainted with each other and will stimulate the development of a group structure of inter-relationship that can pave the way for real group organization and leadership.
Beyond these initial stages the guide should strive to be an integral part of a cohesive group with common interests in which each member senses that he has a respected place and a unique role to play in helping the group to reach its own group determined goals.
The behaviour of students in a class or in groups is the area of social psychology. This field of psychology deals the behaviour of an individual in groups. The concept of personality exists in the context of a group of social norms. The interpretation of behaviour of an individual in based on the norms. The norms are the average performance of the group. The standardization of psychological and educational tests is done by developing the norms of the concerned group.
The social psychology may be defined as:
i. “The social psychology is a scientific field that seeks to investigate the manner in which the behaviour, feelings or thoughts of an individual are influenced or determined by comparing with the group behaviours or the characteristics.” -Baron and Byrne
ii. “Educations psychology confines to the reactions of the learners or the student’s classroom behaviours as a result of interaction with the teacher and among the students”.
The social psychology is concerned with both type of group behaviours-positive or desirable behaviour and negative or undesirable behaviour of the individual. Educational psychology is concerned with the interaction of teacher and students mainly positive or desirable behaviour not the undesirable behaviour. The undesirable behaviours of the students are discouraged and desirable behaviours are reinforced or encouraged. The purpose is development if individual personality.
The standard or norms are development for the desirable behaviour of the group. A teacher has to deal usually a class or group of students. Therefore, it is very essential for a teacher to understand the group psychology rather than individual psychology. In planning and organizing his teaching he has to consider the norm of the group with regard to his level of teaching. The level of teaching is determined with help of class performance or level of students rather than individual level. The teacher must understand the dynamic of social behaviours of students to deal effectively.