Work Together

Isn’t it easier to go it alone?

At some schools, group projects strike panic into the hearts of the high-achieving student. One student ends up doing all the work, or ends up micromanaging the team because that’s the only model of “leadership” she or he knows.
 
There’s a better way to work together.
 
A hallmark of an MA education is our carefully constructed group collaborations, where the role of the group and its members is just as considered as the work itself. Working in teams teaches students to value different approaches. They then grow in understanding and empathy for each other’s uniqueness.
 
Working in collaboration with others is not only enormously productive, it’s also emblematic of the world into which MA students will graduate. The world needs leaders like this, leaders who have the courage and skills to lead with compassion.
 
At MA, teachers serve as colleagues and coaches. Here, working side-by-side with instructors means having freewheeling discussions about course material, not just taking a quiz to prove you read it. Teachers help shape viewpoints into interests, interests into dreams, and dreams into reality.
 

How do we do it?

Everyone has a role

Group work a lesson in itself: Teachers at MA facilitate positive group experiences by discussing how to identify working and leadership styles, as well as having groups define expectations before beginning a project. Afterward, instructors encourage groups to not only assess the quality of the work product, but also the performance of the group itself. Students grow in self-awareness, and will have a head start on their peers when it comes to college, professional, and community group dynamics.

Staged for success

The art of collaboration: Music, theater, and dance performance groups abound at MA, with a place for artists at every technical and skill level. These ensembles often collaborate across disciplines, and in the process students learn how to negotiate creative visions, how to listen to reach compromise, and the satisfaction of bringing art to life on the stage through shared commitment.

A different kind of finals

Projects further connections: MA brings together entire grades to work on shared projects as a capstone to each academic year. These collaborations require students to work together, drawing from many academic sources and disciplines to understand and propose solutions to a modern challenge. Projects such as a class-wide mock trial on human rights and environmental justice in Ecuador build students’ confidence in their ability to navigate complex issues and find answers.