About Turn to Your Neighbor: The Official Peer Instruction Blog

Modern education is antiquated. The lecture model, in learning spaces inspired by the Greek amphitheater, still dominates schooling at all levels. Indeed, if you open the doors to most classrooms anywhere in the world you are likely to witness a common scene: the all-­knowing teacher towering over groups of students huddled at his feet, waiting for knowledge to scribble in their notebooks. While students can and do learn information through lecture, such learning is limited unless students assimilate that information in ways that facilitate meaning-making and the construction of understanding. Unfortunately the most widespread methods of teaching are also largely ineffective at promoting such understanding.

Education does not need to be this way. Peer Instruction (PI), developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University, offers a demonstrated method for large-scale educational change. “Turn to your neighbor” is the classic catch-phrase of Peer Instruction methodology, whereby teachers encourage students to engage with each other to develop deep subject-matter understanding, rather than sitting passively in lecture.

In Turn to Your Neighbor: The Official Peer Instruction Blog, PI and flipped teaching expert and Peer Instruction Network Co-founder, Julie Schell and innovative educators from Ethiopia to New York City examine all facets of innovative teaching with a special focus on Peer Instruction.

Turn to Your Neighbor is supported with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Turn to Julie Schell at julie at peerinstruction dot net

Comment policy

Turn to Your Neighbor (TTYN) and its authors encourage your comments and look forward to you joining thoughtful discussions and debates about teaching and learning. We cannot respond to every comment, however we do moderate all comments. The following are categories of comments that are usually not approved: off-topic, spam, pingbacks, long rants, profane, and inappropriate or inflammatory comments.  We moderate to ensure a basic level of civility and we encourage thoughtful disagreement and critique. That said, we will never approve comments that directly or indirectly disparage any member of the TTYN community. To ensure respectful debate and thoughtful critique, when TTYN moderators consider a comment to be within a “gray area” of appropriateness, the comment will be reviewed by three separate moderators who will make a final decision as to posting.

 

2 Comments

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  1. Gavin Rochefort

    I need some very creative ideas that will loosen up the atmosphere as my students are very serious. Any word games or writing games are appreciated!.

    • Julie Schell

      Gavin – I am not sure what level your students are, but I recently saw a teacher who wanted to use games doing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with clickers (you could use Learning Catalytics or Flashcards as well) and ConcepTests (see post What Exactly is a ConcepTest). You can find free Millionaire PowerPoint templates on the web.

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