Gallery of art and thoughts

The cartoons and contemplations of a twentysomething copy editor.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Team America

More cartoons coming soon, promise.

BostonWorks has an interesting article that confirms past comments about Generation Y: it is very team-oriented. This is one of several reasons why I dislike the up-and-coming cohort. A friend and fellow Gen-Xer once remarked that our primary-school teachers stressed creativity in the classroom; today's teachers stress unity of purpose.

Creativity, by its nature, requires individual work. Whether the student's goal is to write a poem or draw a picture, he or she must work alone. Teachers these days are incorporating all students toward a shared goal. (I saw harbingers of this as a student.) This happens outside the classroom, too; witness our national preoccupation with team sports, many of which, leech-like, siphon off time from our children's schedules.

What's good about teamwork? It encourages diversity. "When it comes to teams, diverse input leads to more effective outcomes," the Globe's Penelope Trunk writes. "Diversity is important not only in terms of race and culture but in terms of the way people think." You can also include sexuality. Generation Y is much more tolerant of gay people than previous generations.

That said, team-oriented teaching strategies assume that everyone can be included on the same team when some people want to play on different teams, or not even play at all. While de-emphasizing individuality may curb selfish behavior, too much teamwork leads to homogeneity and groupthink.

For a look at what groupthink is doing in some American colleges, read this article from spiked. Even as a reluctant member of what author Norman Levitt calls "the PC Mafia," I cringe.


Post a Comment

<< Home