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Posts tagged ‘Indiana University’

Do Colleges Teach Individualism More Than Teamwork?

Futurama Fry meme: "Not sure if I hate group projects or just hate people."

Futurama Fry meme courtesy of

A professor at Northwestern’s management school recently published a study critiquing the cultural effects of encouraging independent work and independent values at colleges. The paper argues that middle- and upper-class students thrive in an environment that pushes independent values — like “express yourself” and “do your own thing.” Students that are the first in their family to attend college, however, thrive in environments that push interdependent values — like “work with others” and “do collaborative research.”

Leaving aside the stuff about socioeconomic status, how true is this? Do colleges do a better job at teaching individualistic students how to succeed than collaborative students? Do students even want schools to focus more on collaboration?

Before any hard research, I asked Google its thoughts. When I typed “college group assignments” into Google, this is the headline on the first hit I get:


Well that doesn’t bode well. Let’s try “working in a group college”. The second hit was: (more…)


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