Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Differentiation vs Peer Instruction

ILP is just a ridiculous pressure on a teacher. Within the context of the IB Biology syllabus its pretty difficult to justify or deliver.

I find heterogeneous sub-groups much more useful. Small groups 3-5 students containing a mix of abilities if possible. And employ the communication skills of the student themselves to get ideas over.

The problem with being experienced is that there is too much distance between you and the conceptual difficulties of a learner. (Eric Mazur). This is quite long but excellent story.

Having prepared for the lesson through Flip-Learning and tested on their homeLearning on arrival. After that we go through a series of instruction cycles with the quicker students in each group acting like 'assistant instructors'.

My assistants speak a language called 'teenage-learner' and can translate my 'aged-learner' language to the other students for me. This has two benefits:
  • Better communication of the learning to more students particularly those struggling.
  • Assistant instructors meta-cognition of the problem makes their communication of the concept that much better.
The idea is to shift the focus from teaching to helping students learn.

Go and listen to Eric Mazur's video, that will fill in  a lot of the gaps in this very brief comment.