Peer-Assisted Learning

Peer-Assisted Learning

Peer-Assisted Learning

Peer-Assisted Learning

Synopsis

This book is about children in school consciously assisting others to learn, and in so doing learning more effectively themselves. Blends descriptions of good practice with reserach findings.

Excerpt

Herbert J. Walberg University of Illinois at Chicago

The editors of this book, Keith Topping and Stewart Ehly, have brought together much of the best educational research on peer-assisted learning--fellow students helping and supporting one another's efforts. The research is not only rigorous but relevant to educational practice. It provides strong, robust findings, and it shows how new methods can be put into practice.

This book, moreover, is timely: Educators are deluged by a huge amount of opinion and advocacy. Much of it is poorly conceived, ill-written, and biased. Little is based on the findings of rigorous inquiry. For this reason, education has not made the fact-based productivity strides enjoyed by other professions and industries. This book, because it is authoritative, well written, and practical, can be a great help in enhancing educational effectiveness and efficiency. We live in an age that demands more from schools and other educative institutions. Far less important for our lives are agriculture, mining, and even manufacturing. Ours is the Age of Information--in which knowledge, skills, and technology have become larger determinants of individual and national prosperity and the quality of life. Productive methods can enable schools to make larger contributions to human welfare.

EVIDENCE

A particularly strong point of this book is its explicit basis in published scientific evidence. Earlier reviews of research (Bloom, 1984; Walberg, 1984) highlighted the substantial effects of predecessors of peer-assisted learning (PAL). Bloom held that effective means of instruction might raise the typical student's achievement to that of highly accomplished learners. Estimates suggested that the best instructional methods of the early 1980s . . .

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