When I am working on group projects with higher level skills than the Pythagorean theorem, it's important that I know enough myself to contribute to the group. But, as someone pointed out earlier, some people are experts at not contributing. As the person that was always leeched upon, it's helpful when there is something of a supervisor/teacher you can report your delinquent partners to. Without someone keeping the collaborators in line, you're just asking for trouble.
Collaboration is an important skill set, but implementing it in a school setting where you can only lower a grade, not fire a worker, is hardly conducive to an ideal collaborative effort.
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