Why is peer to peer learning important for the 21st century student?

  • 11 Jan, 2021

As a leading school of global standards, the SAI International Residential School is an institution that promotes an environment of fruitful teaching and learning that helps its students in gaining the necessary knowledge and skills needed for a bright future. All of this is done through a pursuit of holistic education and an effort to ensure the 360-degree development of a child. The holistic education structure of SAI International Residential School includes various modern teaching techniques that are instrumental in teaching the students in a wholesome way. Among the many techniques used in SAI to promote advanced learning, the practice of Peer-to-Peer learning is also prevalent.

Even though formalised Peer-to-Peer learning might be a new practice adopted by modern schools, actual peer learning has always been a part of the learning strategy of students. The whole concept of a school and the core of schools’ foundation is peer learning. Schools were started to build a community of student which will be a melting pot of ideas, concepts and knowledge and create a common environment of learning. This is the whole idea of peer-to-peer learning. From the early times when students had to leave their homes for Gurukuls, peer to peer learning has been present in the society recognising the need of community learning and reciprocal learning.

The need for Peer-to-Peer learning is not difficult to understand when you understand that a person learns very little in a solitary environment and has a faster pace of learning when supported and encouraged by other students like him. Learning is a continuous process and humans learn the most through their interactions with others. Promoting an environment of peer-to-peer learning in a school is just a way of ensuring that the interactions students have with each other are productive and contribute in a greater way to the process of learning.

The practice of Peer-to-Peer learning has been seen in schools since a long time. In its simplest form, Peer to Peer learning can be the sharing of ideas and knowledge between two friends. An example of this is a group study where peers could be discussing the concepts of a lesson and addressing doubts on the topic raised by each other. Studying together in a library or in a classroom can be an example of peer-to-peer learning where one friend is correcting the misconceptions of another. Whether it’s a peer helping the other peer understand the concepts better or a friend helping the other remember important points of a topic, peer to peer learning is abundantly found inside and outside the school.

Peer to peer learning is equally important as compared to classroom teaching as friends can encourage a student to study better and have a constructive role in one’s education by helping him learn through mutually beneficial ways. This is because a school promotes a close-knit community of students who are sure to depend on each other for their learning needs and often when a student faces a roadblock to learning, his friends and peers are the first people he turns to for help. Peer to peer learning is based on strong friendships and partnerships and are is a healthy way of learning. From bouncing the most innovative ideas with their friends to discussing a lesson after class hours, peer to peer learning is integrated into the fabric of our schooling system.

While there are many ways to identify informal peer to peer learning in schools, formalised peer to peer learning is a conscious effort to promote a better learning environment for the students by the top CBSE schools in India. Formalised Peer to Peer learning is done by various study activities like group studies, group projects, seminars and other methods of collaborative learning. Peer tutoring is also a way schools involve peer to peer learning in the education system. While teachers can teach the concepts in class, peers can help academically weaker peers by tutoring them in particular subjects. In formalised peer to peer learning, peer tutors are rewarded and the process can be mutually beneficial for the students. Peer to peer learning encourages the formation of strong partnerships and friendships between the students and creates a helpful environment at school.

Peer to peer learning can be beneficial to the students as it promotes better understanding of crucial concepts by them. This is because peer to peer learning is pursued by the students in a language and lingo that they can understand better. Peer to peer learning is seen in a way as a complementary teaching method where the foundation of the concepts is laid by the teachers but it is refined with the help of helpful peers who might be in a better position to help the student in understanding and assimilating the knowledge behind the lesson.

Through peer to peer learning the SAI International Residential School promotes the development of better communication skills and the building of social skills that can help the student in creating fruitful collaborations in the future. Peer to peer learning teaches the students that everything is easier when done in a team and makes them understand the value of teamwork and cooperation. These values are important to imbibe in the students as they will need to implement them in their future workspaces while working with diverse groups of professionals. Collaborative work is the new way of work in the 21st century and peer to peer learning lays the foundation for the same.

Peer to Peer learning encourages community learning as well as the practice of self-learning as it pricks the curiosity of the student and encourages him to question and learn from the answers he explores. This is important not only in his school career but during his professional career as learning never stops for an individual. Peer to peer learning opens the student up to the possibility of learning from various sources and pushes him to assimilate and create his own convictions from the knowledge he has gained from multiple sources.

The successful implementation of Peer-to-peer learning helps SAI International Residential School in achieving its aim of creating a fruitful environment of learning and makes it the best school in India for your child.