I am interested in creating a curriculum that helps cultivate students abilities to teach one another. Specifically good one-on-one instruction includes elements like:

Examples, Pictures, Humor, Socratic Questioning, Challenges appropriate to the students abilities. One could even evaluate an instructor (and a potentially a student-instructor) on their ability incorporate these elements into their teaching.

We might ask students to teach one another certain skills like how to add fractions with different denominators and most teachers have a sense of who would be good at teaching and who might be a tad patronizing or dismissive but I haven't ever seen a curriculum which directly addresses and develops instruction abilities in students.

My questions:

1) Does such a curriculum already exist?

2) What research is out there on having students teach one another in one-on-one contexts?

3) How does this community feel about students teaching one another directly?

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    $\begingroup$ Students know very little. Perhaps this makes sense in a subject with less content, but, Mathematics requires skill and being taught something to get correct answers from wrong reasoning is a real danger with student-led teaching. In short, I believe the fact that teachers are educated allows them to be educators. To me, the idea of centering instruction around students teaching one another sounds like a gimmic... $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2018 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ To me, teaching ideally requires two things: knowing your content deeply, knowing your audience. Students might have the latter but they certainly don't have the former. I assume your question is about teaching a math class where focus on content is pretty much required. A fact that too many non-math people radically fail to appreciate. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2018 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ I am just making up contexts now: But presuming that students have the content knowledge does this remain a unsavory idea? Say, we're pulling $n$th graders into a $n-2$th grade classroom. I think $5$th graders can teach how to draw fractions to $3$rd graders and $8$th graders should be able to teach solving linear equations to $6$th graders. $\endgroup$
    – Mason
    Jun 18, 2018 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ Seems similar to: Is Peer Instruction suited to mathematics classroom? $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2018 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ At what level? And peers or non-peers? The answer for one 12-year-old teaching another is probably not the same as for a graduate student teaching an undergraduate student. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2018 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


There are two related concepts which go by similar names:

(1) Peer Teaching: "a method by which one student instructs another student in material on which the first is an expert and the second is a novice." See this opencolleges link.

(2) Peer Instruction: Eric Mazur's flipped classroom technique.

Peer teaching is one model for using students to teach students and circumvent TheChef's problem that "Students know very little."

This source may help:

The Definition Of Peer Teaching: A Sampling Of Existing Research.

  • $\begingroup$ FWIW: Peer Instruction was asked about, in particular, back in MSE 643. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2018 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ @BenjaminDickman. I appreciate it. I am not sure if you're suggesting we should just close my question as a duplicate. That's not the worst result but also I could try and distinguish this question as a call for curriculum resources. $\endgroup$
    – Mason
    Jun 20, 2018 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Mason: I don't think that's what Benjamin meant. After all, Peer Instruction is actually not that close to your model. Peer Teaching is a closer fit. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2018 at 18:50

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