Unesco 2016-2017: Peer-to-Peer Teaching aka ‘Kids Teach Kids’
There is no doubt that mobile technology has the potential to bridge gaps and provide a lifeline to education; building resilience and offering opportunities to more promising futures. However, as it stands, there is a major global crisis where 51 percent of the world’s refugees are children and UNHCR estimates that refugee children are 5 times more likely to be out of school and falling behind. Only 50 percent of refugee children have access to primary school with even more limited higher education opportunities.
This paper therefore questions whether ‘peer-to-peer teaching’ has the potential to educate disadvantaged children with digitally rich educational material online which is available to every child, anywhere in the world, at any time, for any subject and for free.
Peer teaching is not a new concept. It has been traced back to Aristotle’s student leaders and redesigned by Harvard professor Eric Mazur in the early 1990s. It is a method in which one student leads another through a concept, in which the first student is an expert in the matter and the second one is a novice. Now bring in technology and there is widespread opinion that the children of today are learning rapidly and effectively through videos, YouTube resources and digital type presentations, which have been created by their own peers. The basic concept is simple: “kids teach kids”. It is ultimately the universal children open-sourced digital learning portal that has the potential to change the way children are educated, and which can be freely translated into any and all languages for use around the world.
This paper therefore considers and ultimately determines whether peer-to-peer teaching can engage students in dispersed and emergency crisis communities, in which they are motivated to learn from one another, and help narrow the education gap worldwide.