Cultivating Change Through Peer Teaching
Keywords:peer teaching, instructional techniques, learner centered instruction, active learning
The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe the impact of peer teaching on both the students and the classroom environment. Students, enrolled in two Introduction to Teaching courses in agricultural and extension education, were asked to engage in peer teaching activities. The researchers utilized discourse analysis, textual analysis, individual interviews, and focus group interviews to gather data addressing the research objectives. Overall, participants enjoyed both peer teaching and being taught by peers. The peer teaching environment facilitated student interaction which allowed students to assume the role of active participants. Students laughed, talked, and interacted throughout the lessons, creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere. Specifically, students that engaged in peer teaching displayed elements of metacognition, self-reflection, and career formation, coupled with a classroom environment free from the typical instructional and relational constraints associated with instructor/learner interaction.