That’s because, according to research published this week in the journal Child Development, children as young as three and a half years old understand and value the obligations that accompany joint commitments. The researchers found that children who abandon a cooperative activity for an apparently selfish reason tend to prompt more resentment from their peers than those who quit the task for another reason.
Fascinating article, especially the discussion about what children as young as 14 months do. Since an obligation to others appears to be innate, how can we use this knowledge in school? I’ve seen the resentment to students who slack off their obligations in group work. And that’s one of the main reasons why students dislike group work.