What is peer learning?

Three values underlie P2PU’s concept of peer learning:

  • Everybody is an expert in something
  • Sharing is how we learn best
  • Feedback is necessary in order to improve

By convening a group of learners who are interested in a similar topic, you have the
basis for an open, collaborative learning environment that has the potential to be the support system many learners need.

Peer learning can create a rich learning environment in which everyone simultaneously teaches and learns, acts and observes, speaks, and listens. This exposes learners of all stripes and sizes to new perspectives, provides an opportunity to develop useful social skills, and allows individuals to achieve something greater than they could have on their own. One useful saying that captures this idea is, “we are all teachers, and we are all learners.”

It’s worth noting that for most people, learning has been a passive experience of “receiving” instruction. They may be unaccustomed to taking responsibility for their own and the group’s learning. This is not what learning circles are about, and it is important to be clear about this, especially in the first few weeks of a learning circle. As a learning circle facilitator, you should role model peer learning for the group by engaging learners in problem-solving and actively reaching out to help when possible. Another related saying is, “don’t plan activities for others unless you plan to take part as a fully engaged participant.” (Peeragogy)

Here is some additional guidance from learning circle facilitators about peer learning and setting up a peer-learning environment:

1 Like

I love this :slight_smile:

Is this by any chance on the P2PU website somewhere? (somewhere a bit more permanent that I can link to in a citation?) :slight_smile: - I looked under “About” (https://www.p2pu.org/en/about/) but I didn’t see this philosophical positioning there. I think it’s a great thing to post because it really shines a light on the underlying philosophy. :smiley:

Thanks AK :slight_smile:

Interestingly enough, it was more apparent in earlier iterations of learning circles, with most of this copy coming from our 2016 handbook. P2PU’s earlier work highlights peer learning more prominently too as you can see from the wikipedia entry on peer learning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_learning

I think you’re totally right that it should be featured more clearly, especially as a call to people who are new to this language and concept.

How do you think it could look like on the landing page? What language or images come to mind?