Attend and observe a group meeting in your surrounding community.  Examples of types of groups are found on pages 407-411 and may include community groups, self-help groups, task groups, educational groups, etc.  You will need to get the group you plan to attend approved, in advance, by the instructor.  In order to do so timely, please email the instructor no later than week 3 of the course with details regarding your group for approval.

For this project, you are to objectively analyze the group you observe.  In order to do this, it is recommended for you to refrain from using a group of which you are currently a member for this assignment.

This assignment is formatted as a discussion forum.  You will create an initial post answering three specific questions about the group session you observed.  Then, to supplement your learning about different types of groups, you will respond to the post of three peers.

When creating your post, you will need to maintain the confidentiality of group members, so when writing you can refer to group members as one group member/participant.  When referring to the group leader, you can mention credentials and refer to the leader(s) as facilitator(s) or leader(s).

Please answer the following questions for Project I in your initial post:
Explain the purpose of the group: why does the group meet?  What need in the community does the group fulfill?  What type of group is this?  How long has the group existed?  (1 paragraph)

Describe the persons constituting the group membership: How many people attended the session you observed?  What diversity did you observe among members?  Be especially sensitive to any of the following dimensions of diversity: age, disability and ability, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, religion/spirituality. Refer to the Spotlight on Diversity 8.1, page 386, when discussing group membership and racial issues.  Using knowledge of groups that you have gained from readings or outside scholarly sources, discuss the importance of diversity in groups.  Even if little diversity is present within your observed group, you must still reflect knowledge of diversity in your post.  (1-2 paragraphs)

What leadership approach did the leader apply to the group session?  What behaviors or communication patterns of the leader did you observe that led you to choose the leadership approach?  Did this approach seem effective for this type of group?  Explain your reasoning.  (1-2 paragraphs)
Incorporate 1 scholarly source to support your observations.  This could include scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles, a reliable website or from the group leader you observed, sharing practice wisdom.  (To find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles it is recommended to use the university library database social work journals, PSYCinfo, Medline or other databases with the option to limit search results to scholarly, peer reviewed, full text material only.  Websites should contain .org, .edu, or .gov only)  Apply APA formatting standards to borrowed material.  Be sure to include in-text citations in the body of your post to credit all sources in addition to the References list.  Some suggestions of topics to research: the effectiveness of the type of group you observed, the effectiveness of the leadership style applied in groups, or diversity in group social work.
When responding to peers, please communicate insights you gained from their post.  Some suggestions include:

Explain how you see or do not see the group they observed as being valuable to community/community members.
Share something new you learned from their observation experience.

Explain similarities and differences between the peers observation and your observation experiences.


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