Peer Teaching and Partner Learning Methods in Teaching

Peer tutoring/Peer teaching

It is said that “the best way to learn something is to teach it.” Make students teach each other in a “Pair, Think, Share!” manner. After we have taught, we ask each student to get a partner. One student will be A and another B. A shares what she learned with B. and B, in turn, will share what she learned with A. Teacher listens for formative assessment of learning.

Peer tutoring is commonly employed when the teacher requests the older, brighter and more cooperative member of the class to tutor (coach, teach, instruct) other classmates. This is based on the rationale that the former is better equipped than the others. This is due to their closeness in age, skills, study habits and even learning styles. Tutoring arrangements may be in any of the following:

  1. Instructional tutoring. Older students help younger ones on a one-to-one or one-to-a group basis. They choose the way the lessons are presented. This is practiced when there is a big difference between tutor and tutee.
  2. Same age tutoring. This arrangement works well with children who can act as interactive pairs, i.e., more able ones to assist the less able. They can read to each other and discuss.
  3. Monitorial tutoring. The class may be divided into groups and monitors are assigned to lead each group. This frees the teacher from whole class monitoring to attend to others while the assigned tutor monitors and supervises the rest.
  4. Structural tutoring. Here a definite procedure is followed. Highly structured tutoring is administered by trained tutors.
  5. Semi-structured tutoring. This is a combination of unstructured and structured where the tutor guides his/her tutee through a carefully-planned learning guide but is free to modify it according to the tutee’s own interests and skills.

Instructional Characteristics

  1. The tutees receive individualized instruction. The tutees are provided with their own teacher. As such they are checked immediately for errors or misconceptions. Likewise, they are rewarded instantly for correct responses.
  2. The tutees receive more instruction. They are afforded more contact hours by a tutor.
  3. Rapport between tutor and tutee may be readily established considering that they belong more or less to the same age group.
  4. The teacher is free at the same time to do other classroom chores while the members are being handled by the tutors. They have more time to attend to higher concerns such as the curriculum, lesson planning; etc.
  5. This kind of arrangement reduces a large class into smaller working groups.
  6. Discipline problems are lessened because there, are more assistants looking after small groups.
  7. The spirit of cooperation, camaraderie and reciprocity are high-lighted:
  8. The tutors stand to gain more since teaching, is an excellent learning situation.
  9. The tutors can likewise improve their own self-concept.

Rapport between tutor and tutee may be readily established considering that they belong more or less to the same age group.

Guidelines for Its Effective Use

  1. Care in selecting the tutors to assist the rest must be strictly exercised. A domineering, all-knowing tutor might make the members feel very inferior and less able.
  2. The teacher must go around and observe how the members of the groups are interacting with one another. She should provide the necessary feedback that can further assist the tug tors.
  3. Tap students who possess leadership qualities in addition to being knowledgeable and older.
  4. Explain well the benefits of this form of arrangement in order to avoid possible resentment since both tutor and tutees are classmates.
  5. The tutor must confer with the teacher regarding the nature and extent of assistance they are expected to provide.
  6. Prepare both the tutors and the tutees regarding the role each will play in the teaching-learning situation in order to avoid confusion.
  7. Make sure the tutor exhibits teaching competence as to the depth and breadth of the subject. The tutors must employ a variety of techniques in “reaching” the tutees since they”are more alike in tastes, skills, and habits.
  8. Instant evaluation by way of performance and oral responses serve as feedback that can indicate progress in the tutorial situation.

Partner learning

As the name of this method implies, this is learning with a partner. A student chooses a partner from among his/her classmates. It can be employed when you get your students rehearse what they have learned and explore their understanding of content with a partner.

This may also mean assigning a “study buddy”. (The teacher who is after the learning of every student may assign the “study buddy”). Study buddies become responsible for each other’s learning. However, each student is held accountable for his/her own learning.

Guidelines for Its Effective Use

  1. To prevent your students from socializing about unrelated topics, give them specific amount of time (say two minutes) and a specific prompt for discussion.
  2. Give your students less time than you think they actually need. You may. add more seconds if necessary. It is better than to let the minutes drag on with your students getting off task. Example: “Turn to your learning partner, and recap what you have just learned about. Take tursn doing the recap. You have two minutes to do that. Go”