Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What I learned in School Today

The other day in my Program Evaluation class we were talking about the success rates of various learning programs in schools. It turns out that research demonstrates that the most cost effective and efficacious program to promote learning and achievement is peer tutoring. Peer tutoring takes many forms. Sometimes high school students tutor middle school or elementary school students and other times, gifted students work with peers within their same school.

The rub is that these programs are rarely utilized anymore. The problem? Parents, teachers, administrators, politicians or other nervous Nellies fear what might happen if you leave a young student unsupervised with another, sometimes-older student. In other words, unsubstantiated fears have once again led to the demise of a promising tool that actually encourages scholarship.

The only lessons that students can take away from this scenario are: (1) Your fellow students are NOT sources of learning which can be sought out when necessary, and (2) The world is a dangerous and scary place.

My take is that sometimes you need to look under the bed to see if the bogey monster you fear is actually there, rather than pulling the covers over your head and assuming the worst.


Anonymous mom said...

From the perspective of a parent and educator, it's sad that these peer tutoring programs aren't used more. Where they are used, they work most of the time. In many learning environments(my school is one) I would be concerned about what they would learn. Collaborative learning is more commonly used here.

5/17/2006 2:26 PM  

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