Learning by Teaching

14 viewed last edited 2 years ago
Sangeetha Pulapaka

Eat pray teach are the three things I love to do the most - not necessarily in the same order. While teaching a class, I noticed on many an occasion that during revision time the students formed groups not on the basis of their same learning capabilities, but on the basis of their peers they were comfortable with. This made me realize that when students get involved in helping their peers, it is the one of the most effective form of teaching since, by doing so, both the peer tutor and the peer tutee learn the most.

When a student hears another student speak, they relate to the teaching better because the fellow student is going through the same process they are. This method of learning encourages students to take what they learn and put it into practice – whereby promoting deeper understanding and moving information from short-term to long-term memory. Practice by doing makes learning more personal and thus more meaningful to students. Practice by doing also leads to more in-depth understanding of material, greater retention and better recall.

Peer teaching is also highly-helpful to the students being taught, since they often learn better when their teacher is someone that they are close to in terms of social and cognitive distance. This has to be monitored by a teacher or a qualified person, by making sure that the student who is teaching is aware of the concepts. Peer tutoring aids interaction among peers not only academically, but also socially. It builds up their communication skills and builds their self-worth. When students help other students it brings the classroom alive with energy and positive attitudes.

Student to student teaching is also believed to increase self-confidence as tutors and tutees discover they’re capable of mastering difficult assignments and abstract concepts even without the help of the teacher. It so happened in my classroom the students who explained concepts to the others managed to get better grades than their peers. Also, many a time because of time restraints many a discussion in my classroom could not get resolved.

Here at Qalaxia we provide a platform for these discussions to continue beyond the classroom. We are looking for opportunities to work with teachers and students and hope to be a permanent fix for a traditional lecture course structure, by promoting discussions and encourage students to help each other. We maintain anonymity in the tutoring relationship and help them learn strategies for finding their own answers.