What is the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)?
The UK Government is so convinced about the importance of private tutoring in education that it has spent over a billion pounds ensuring that all UK children have access to targeted academic support provided by tutors and mentors. Unfortunately none of this is available to pupils at international schools.
Can Tutoring Really Help?
Do pupils need to learn workplace skills?
The Theory Behind Peer-to-Peer Learning
The term ‘Peer Learning’ refers to many different strategies that can be incorporated in education system to help learners. It isn’t a new concept. It dates back to Aristotle’s use of archons, or student leaders, and to the letters of Seneca the Younger. It was first organized as a theory by Scotsman Andrew Bell in 1795, and later implemented into French and English schools in the 19th century. But, in recent past, Peeragogy lost its importance by implementation of other strategies or may say, due to less focus on student’s need in the academia. It was replaced by ‘Bullet Theory’ where receivers were inactive, and had to accept all the information delivered by the educators, blindly. Students were accustomed to grasp all the information without objecting or exploring it to a farther extent.
But, gone are the days of such practices. Students now, are more engaged in their studies. All thanks to various learning strategies and educational technologies that came into being. Peer to peer learning is one such innovation which has gained a momentum back and is widely in use.
Peer learning is a process of “students learning from students in formal or informal way”. According to professor and author David Boud, peer learning is “a way of moving beyond independent to interdependent or mutual learning.” This learning embroils individuals exchanging knowledge and experience with each other, and diffusing this learning back to their organizations to ensure an impact—at scale—on reform initiatives. It entails complex organizational logistics, avoids the risk of focusing on process rather than product. Further, it recognises that ultimately learning that takes place between individuals and it facilitates interpersonal interchanges that are well-matched and based on trust and commitment. It is part of an active learning strategy, which is being increasingly used in schools around the world. Here, students interact with their peers and learn from each other without any supervisor.
Why Peer to Peer learning?
This process enhances deep learning, wherein the information is retained in long-term memory, rather than surface learning, where information can dissipate very fast from memory retained in the class.
Furthermore, some more benefits of Peer pedagogy that exemplify the importance of peer teaching comprises of the following:
Increase Literacy Scores
Several studies, alike Ohio University pilot study have demonstrated that the cognitive process of doing exercises together, raising questions and arriving at conclusions greatly help assimilate knowledge, which automatically enhances a student’s understanding of the lesson. So students who study together grasp more which help them bettering their performance and grades.
Develop Reasoning and Critical Thinking Skills
Students who work in either a big or small group typically perform better in tests that involve reasoning and critical thinking. This helps them think differently and deeply , they become active learners, discusses and rationalizes lesson concepts in their own words before coming to a conclusion and this in turn develop their reasoning and critical thinking skills. In addition to acquiring knowledge, a collaborative peer learning group develops self-directed learning skills, laying the foundation for lifelong self-education.
Increase Comfort and Openness
It is observed that students generally grasp more of information when they interact with their peers rather than being taught by a teacher. In fact, few students do not participate in class due to the fear of answering teacher incorrectly and this hinders the learning process. Herein, they don’t have such fears. So, they learn and identify more easily with their peer helpers in a self-made comfortable environment.
Peer learning provides a holistic and qualitatively enhanced education that prepares students for the needs of the workforce, they will join in future. This peer to peer learning help them come up with a variety of ideas and solutions for one subject matter which help them explore differently.
Becomes a source of encouragement
This learning process encourage students to take up challenges, build an active and cooperative learning environment, to give and receive feedback and evaluate each other’s’ learning, promote positive interdependence and accountability, improve communication skills, achieve set goals and promote ownership of learning and most importantly develop deeper understanding of new concepts.