Some people think that a person improves intellectual skills better when doing group activities. To what extent do you agree? Use specific details and examples to explain your view.
In recent decades, many researchers have studied the importance of group-level cognition. Indeed, to my mind, there is now convincing evidence that group activities improve the intelligence of individuals. In this essay, I shall examine how research in team-games and study-groups supports this view.
To begin with, team-games clearly require individuals to perform a diverse range of rapid mental calculations. This is because in a sporting context many predictions and anticipations must be made within tight time constraints. For example, a recent Cambridge study showed that soccer players can – within the span of seconds – calculate over a dozen different permutations that could result from a single soccer related action. Such predictive powers clearly improve their mental abilities and result from doing activities in a group context.
Secondly, study-groups enable individuals to obtain information that they could not acquire in isolation. This is because peer feedback allows individuals to refine their understanding of concepts, and to also learn new information from other members in the study-group. For example, a study by The British Institute for Learning found that if individuals participated in study groups, they had a far more objective and sophisticated understanding of a topic than learners who were not part of study-groups. Therefore, it is certainly the case that learning in a group improves an individual’s mental abilities.
In conclusion, I strongly agree with the notion that group activities improve intellectual abilities. In the future, we will certainly see schools take greater measures to ensure that more group-level cognition occurs in the class room.