Role-reversal education for math and science students (pilot project)

by EvelynM1 min read1st Jan 20122 comments

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Education
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tldr; Role-reversal education: by explaining to others, we learn, and improve in confidence.

 

http://solutionfocusedchange.blogspot.com/2011/12/betacoach-promising-project-to-improve.html

"The project Bètacoach seems to me to be a well thought-out and promising way to give improve math and science education in secondary education. Here is a pointwise explanation of the project:

  • What is Bètacoach? In September 2010 a pilot started in which third-graders with low self-confidence in math and science were asked to become coaches of four to five first-graders during math class. Once a week the bètacoaches joined the lesson which was prepared by the teacher, to help their group of first-graders. 
  • Role-reversal education: an important principle which is used in the project is that of role-reversal education. Research has shown that by explaning things, people construct knowledge again which helps anchor this knowlegde better and which makes it easier to connect it to information. 
  • Choosing bètacoaches: the following steps help to choose the bètacoaches: 1) choose students for whom there is room for improvement with respect to their grades and/or their self-confidence, 2) discuss their suitability for the bètacoach role with your colleagues, 3) aks the students for the role and make clear that the role is an important one, 4) express that you expect that the student will be able to fulfill the role well, 5) be demanding: make it clear that the role requires commitment and effort. 
  • Preliminary findings: both the first-graders and the third-graders turn out to be enthusiast about the project. First-graders said the could concentrate better, felt more comfortable to ask questions and understood the material better. The bètacoaches themselves, the third-graders, said they learned from the experience and that they had become more active. "

http://moniquepijls.com/2011/08/16/betacoach-leren-in-een-nieuwe-rol/ (Dutch)

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First-graders said the could concentrate better, felt more comfortable to ask questions and understood the material better. The bètacoaches themselves, the third-graders, said they learned from the experience and that they had become more active. "

I don't give much weight to self-reported progress on this subject. The link says the results are "preliminary". Does that mean that there are going to be tests of actual improvement in math skills? I'm looking forward to seeing those.

Note that these children were selected partly on the basis of having low confidence in math. Simply repairing children's attitudes towards math sounds fantastic.