Students teaching students.
Students assisting fellow students.
How does this sound to you? Does it ring a bell? What is peer teaching and why is it important?
Teachers accommodate diverse learners in the classroom. It should be done to give them equal opportunities to learn. And their needs, no matter how diverse, need to be met. Gladly, teachers make use of peer teaching to help them meet students’ needs, especially the struggling ones.
And I am one of these teachers who takes advantage of peer teaching. I find this strategy really helpful not only to make sure that the learning needs of each of my individual learners are addressed properly but also to promote the social skills of my students.
As advanced learners help the underperforming ones, a strong relationship grows. It boosts their confidence. Moreover, it’s quite lovely to see our students helping one another.
In fact, some conducted a case study about how peer teaching motivates students to perform at their best by raising their commitment to learning.
Therefore, we should not let peer pressure thrive in our classroom but instead, encourage peer teaching through our classroom management strategies. Let’s give responsibility to our students, especially those who are slightly ahead of the others.
<<Want to make sure everyone in your classroom learns best? Check these meaningful ways of helping underperforming students achieve better.
What Is Peer Teaching And Why Is It Important? 5 Delightful and Accurate Answers
What is peer teaching?
Peer teaching is part of cooperative learning where advanced learners tutor or provide instructional help to other learners who experience difficulty in mastering learning competencies. Students who have greater mastery of the subject are assigned certain roles to help others in the classroom.
TeachThoughtStaff shared that “peer teaching is a teaching and learning strategy where students, by design, teach other students.” It is a way of enhancing student learning through cooperative learning.
It has been used by most teachers including me. I find it extremely helpful in helping underperforming students to catch up and learn essential learning competencies.
Through this teaching method, students will be given more individualized activities that specifically address their difficulties and needs. Of course, this has to be done under the supervision and close monitoring of the teacher.
Delightful Reasons Why Peer Teaching is Important
1. Peer teaching improves student learning
When advanced students assist other students in learning complex lessons, they are given mutual ways of enhancing their learning. Not only will the exceptional students achieve mastery of the lesson initially introduced by the teacher but also the struggling ones. As students interact and discuss the concept, they learn from each other in the learning process. They can do this formally and informally.
In the classroom, before I proceed to another lesson, I make sure that all my students are given equal opportunities to show mastery of the learning objectives. The low-performing students are given appropriate remediation through the assistance of fast learners. If you have tried this teaching method you might as well enjoy its amazing results.
Certainly, peer teaching helps me meet the individual needs of the students. As the peer tutors give immediate feedback, I can tell if the learner needs more remediation and activities or is doing better. Thus, the positive performance feedback can serve as a strong motivation for these students so they will perform at their best.
2. Peer teaching encourages strong relationships among students
When students are working together and helping one another, more likely will develop a strong bond between them. This illustrates that peer teaching doesn’t only encompass the cognitive aspect of the child but also the affective and psychomotor.
According to David Boud of Stanford University, in his comparison between peer teaching and peer learning, peer teaching signifies the process of student learning in which includes the emotional support learners give to one another.
He further emphasized that in peer teaching students may exchange roles during the course of the process. The shift of roles will help students enhance their partnership in learning.
Peer teachers encourage their classmates to do more by being supportive. Hence, underperforming ones take advantage of their passionate and knowledgeable classmates.
3. Peer teaching builds student’s confidence
Peer teaching is one of the teaching strategies I use in the classroom which builds students’ confidence. In the same way, this helps students who lack self-esteem to share their ideas and participate. This creative teaching strategy will help underperforming students to feel secure and certain that they are capable of learning new materials. Likewise, this strategy also makes advanced learners develop their leadership skills. It’s a win-win teaching strategy, so it’s worth trying in your classroom.
As students form a dyad or groups to enhance their learning and to make meaning of their learning experiences, they boost their self-belief. The designated tutor who is an advanced learner serves as an inspiration to others.
When advanced learners help their fellow classmates, they are actually inspiring them to excel and to do more. This teaching strategy works wonders in increasing student performance and in magnifying their self-confidence. In no way will this strategy belittle students who are struggling in the class.
Through the great assistance of the advanced learners, the slow learners in the classroom gain confidence and are inspired to do better in class. They just love the way they interact with their student-buddy in the classroom which helps them get encouraged to learn and makes them more comfortable in the learning environment. Eventually, these students amplify their self-worth.
4. Peer teaching makes learning goals attainable
By giving the students, especially those who need assistance, opportunities to learn and to master certain learning competencies, they are making learning goals attainable as we are making it easier for them to achieve mastery. Thus, it increases their performance. Peer teaching really helps. And you just have to try it.
The meaningful interaction of students which is result-oriented and fun makes the learning process interesting and encourages the slow learners to make the most of their learning experiences.
By simplifying the steps in learning the content of a particular subject area, the advanced learners are more willing to teach other students in the classroom. As we assign them responsibilities in the classroom it will also boost their confidence aside from the obvious result that we will be able to meet the individual learning needs of the students. Therefore, the learning goals are attained by everyone and not only by a few.
5. Peer teaching helps struggling learners master the skills
Through our efforts and guidance, advanced learners can help struggling learners master skills through peer teaching. As we organize the class and assign the more experienced learners to different groups, students collaboratively work and teach each other.
Of course, we have to provide guidance in the whole setup. When our advanced students in the classroom extend help to their fellow classmates, they are helping the latter increase competence in learning. What we need to do is assist in giving the creative assessment to see if there’s progress.
Watch this wonderful talk and get more insights into peer teaching and learning.
Peer teaching has been showing crucial benefits to improve student learning and to create a more engaging learning experience for our students. My students, for example, have mentioned their enjoyable learning experiences in their journals which include their positive impression of the peer learning activities.
To some, peer teaching can be overwhelming, but for me, if the classroom is managed very well, peer teaching can become a very successful teaching strategy. No wonder, peer teaching has become a very common teaching pedagogy that most teachers adopt. Learners and teachers alike take benefits from peer teaching.
Let me know your thoughts on how peer teaching can benefit us and our students. How does peer teaching work in your respective classrooms? Write your ideas in the comment section below and let’s help our students enjoy a supportive learning environment.