Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peer Pedagogy: Student Collaboration and Reflection in a Learning-Through-Design Project.

Ching, C. C., Kafai, Y.B. (2008). Peer pedagogy: student collaboration and reflection in a learning-through-design project. Teachers College Record Volume 110, 2601-2632.

Typically teachers have found it difficult to scaffold students into technology-supported and open-ended activities. This study aims to prove that students can in fact teach and assist other students effectively. The research takes place between two fourth grade and one fifth grade class, the fifth graders had prior experience with the intended project before starting the study. The students were split into three classroom settings and their reactions and responses to each other were recorded. The study goes on to show how students were collaborating, teaching, socializing, and executing their help to the others that didn’t have experience in the subject matter.

I thought the article showed some interesting perspectives about how students interact with each other when it comes to peer teaching in the classroom. Also it was very interesting how the groups responded in assisting one another, how they reacted socially, and why they reacted the way they did in each of the different settings.Not much research has been done in this area Although I wonder is it natural for others to help when they see someone struggling?

Existing studies have demonstrated that students engaged in learning-through-design can make significant learning gains compared with matched cohorts of students learning via traditional classroom methods. (2604)

Largely students in traditional collaborative learning tasks give and receive help with obtaining right answers or correct procedures rather than with mastering learning practices for process engagement. (2605)

Teachers and scientists are always placed in the role of experts, and students are always beginners. At no time are students configured as experienced collaborators in the learning contexts and cultures they inhabit. (2605)

We identified three main ways that a socializing or instructional interaction began: periodic monitoring, responding to questions, and immediate intervention. (2612)

From a socialization perspective, the various helping strategies employed by the fifth-graders in all these examples clearly lighten the pedagogical load for the teacher in terms of programming. (2621)

….in these examples would have resulted raised hands and long delays in a more homogenous classroom. Countless times we have seen many students wait to have their questions answered by the limited resource expertise of teachers. (2621)

Our goal was to describe and understand the nature of everyday collaborations between experienced and inexperienced students in a project-based environment in order to illustrate how students can learn and perform among themselves some of the socializing and pedagogical functions typically assumed by the teacher. (2625)

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