Looking for ways to engage your students during class time in a flipped classroom? Something that addresses the wide diversity of preparation among students in your class and works to improve student achievement and problem solving ability?
Backed by 20 years of research, Peer Instruction is my favorite way to engage students in class when using a flipped approach. Developed by physics Professor Eric Mazur at Harvard University in the 1990s, Peer Instruction is now used by teachers across the disciplines and in classrooms all over the world. Many such teachers are registered as members of the Peer Instruction Network, a global community of innovative educators.
A frequently posed comment about Peer Instruction (PI) is: “Well, my students are very different than Harvard students. I am not sure PI will work in my school and in my classroom.”
Recently, Akshay Saxena of the Avanti Learning Centre in Kanpur India set out to test this theory for himself. Avanti provides after school services to low income, high school students in India to better prepare them to excel in college.
“These are students with an average annual household income of less than $4,000,” says Saxena. ” Half the class doesn’t speak even conversational English.”
In this incredible two minute video, Avanti demonstrates the power of Peer Instruction, implemented successfully with no technology, in Kanpur. Saxena reports, “You’ll see [the students] like it, are super engaged and better still, their answers converge!”
To learn more about Peer Instruction, see the Quick Start Guide to Flipping your Class with Peer Instruction (available in nine languages) or watch this 2 minute video.