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Usually our student is so diverse, often times 50% of our student has experience and 50% is a novice learners. I often talk to the student that have experience to the subject on the sides, prior from discussing it to the rest of the student. This way I can set up the discussion in more interesting face, by using the student talk about their experienced on the focal subject, the negative and positives are discuss in more dramatic ways, by allowing them to hear it based on a real experience. Then we can add all the positives points to remember as well the negatives that we can avoid in a long run.

This way the experience student learn it twice and retained the information even further better that before. After giving key point to remember, negative and positives.

Hi Abundio,
This is an excellent way to use the resource knowledge found within the class. By having the experienced students share with the less experienced ones both groups benefit. Also, it helps both groups to develop respect for what each person brings to the class.

Then we can add all the positives points to remember as well the negatives that we can avoid in a long run.

The advantage is simply the experienced student elaborates the topic and help the novice student understand the topic in bigger picture. Result both student learned.

Hi TJ,
A method I use to find balance in the class is to create learning groups. I mix the different types of students I have in each group so they can help each other with the case studies and problems.

Great Comment Abundio,
i also can relate to the mixture of experienced students and novices and actually it is a great idea for an instructor to capitalize on that by allowing the experienced students to share their related experience to the rest of the class thus adding a element of confirmation to certain extent.

That is wonderful. I hate the old way of thinking that says students can ONLY learn from the instructor. I tell my students that if we don't learn from each other, the educational experience is diminished. And the experienced student can gain confidence and even skill too. The best way to really learn something inside and out is to teach it.

I also found this works for attitude and classroom behavior as well. I believe the social psychologists call it social proof, which is most effective with peers. If students identify classroom behavior that is inappropriate or distracting, it has a greater impact on them then if it is coming only from the teacher.

Hi Sherie,
This is a good point. Students can be very effective instructors if we provide them with the needed support and offer them a venue that enables them to share information in a way that helps them learn along with the students they are instructing.

Yes! Not only have I found that there is a high degree of information exchange by such mixing of students, there is also an increased in class comfort and far less clique formation and tension (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) between and among various groups of students. Breaking down a few such social/cultural barriers facilitates real education.

I feel this will make the students more at ease and their interest in the subject will improve.

when I am teaching a bread recipe that is of a certain culture and i have that student, from that culture, i always ask them to assist me in the demo and have them explain how they use that bread

I like to have the experienced students share with the less experienced students there outlook, opions, feeling and overal experience with the topic at hand.....It gives the less experienced students a point of view that is other then mine, which is a great way to ring in a lesson or idea.

Another advantage to having students working in groups is that the type of learning is more experiential, which means it is more likely to be remembered, instead of oral or visual as might come from a teacher lecturing. Each student has a better chance to chime in within the group setting and get some immediate feedback from others.

Hi Cara,
Great way to bring in student involvement plus you are helping to show the diversity of the element you are teaching about, in this case bread making. This shows both application and relevancy to students.

having the experienced students share with the less experienced students their knowledge is a great way to involve all the students in the class.

Hi Loren,
Can you expand on your comment? What are some of the successes you have seen using this method?

Having different students help, seems to bring on a more comfortable atmosphere, hence, creating less resistance in classroom participation and a whole lot more laugher!

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