PEERS – Powerful Educators
Peers, good or bad, are perhaps the strongest educators we have. I think parents know this instinctively. If not, then why do so many begin to make “play dates” as early as 6 months old? Of course, at that age it is more for the parent then the child! But by the time they are 2-3 years old they are ready to run and play with and learn from others their age. Here are a couple of sites that might lead you to or help you start a play group.
meetup: Find or start a group in your area. I do not believe this is international but I don’t see why it couldn’t be.
I have seen the power of peer teaching and sharing with each other time and time again. I remember the time I was attempting to review a math concept with a learner. I tried every tool and idea I could come up with but remained unsuccessful. A fellow student asked if he might help. “Yes, of course!”, I replied.
The two went into my office. Five minutes later, the student having trouble came bounding out, gave me a hug and said, “If you had told that way I wouldn’t have been so frustrated!”
“What did you do?”, I asked the helping student.
“I did the same thing you did,” he replied. “He just understood it from me better than he did from you.”
“Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually. “
August of this year, Bodo Hoenen stated in this Ted Talk, “…children crave learning and when given the opportunity, will seek out knowledge and skills.”
Sugata Mitra showed us “Thirteen years of experiments in children’s education takes us through a series of startling results – children can self organize their own learning, they can achieve educational objectives on their own, can read by themselves. Finally, the most startling of them all: Groups of children with access to the Internet can learn anything by themselves.”