Abstract

The use of student teams to complete coursework and enhance learning has become common in college classrooms across disciplines, despite limited levels of enthusiasm for group work from the student body. The importance of student teams in the classroom is evidenced by the increasing amount of research on sundry topics related to student teamwork. The purpose of this study was to understand how student teams define roles and distribute work among team members. Two conceptual frameworks provide the foundation for this qualitative research: social role theory and social identity theory. A descriptive case study methodology including student journal reflections and in-depth interviews served as the data collection methods for this study. The findings of the study indicate that traditional gender roles regarding manual labor and classroom work activities are evident among student teams in agricultural sciences and natural resources. These gender roles are often determined by the male group members through allocation of work and accepted by the female group members out of necessity. Taking an active role in stretching the ideas and comfort levels of students can be important in helping raise student and faculty awareness about implicit gender bias.

Keywords: Gender, Student Teams, Leadership, Student Groups, Male, Female, Workload

 

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