What is Peeragogy?

Toward Peeragogy

As a facilitator and professor at university, I am interesting on reflecting, reading and learning about learning environment and learning experiences, specially the ones that emerged through on line communities. That involves collaborative and cooperative work, sometimes in working groups, with dyads or many other ways.

Before I have reflected about Connectivism pedadogy theory in a MOOC by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. This experience was exciting and I have had learned a lot.

Today I am very grateful to contribute to help use a forum and wiki to start creating a Peeragogy handbook on Peeragogy Virtual Course by Howard Rheingold.  Regarding this,  I have the extraordinary opportunity to reflect and write about Peer-organized pedagogy (P2P). As it is a new term for me, I have looked for it:

Peeragogy (which he refers to as “paragogy”), is a collection of “the best practices of effective peer learning.”

“It is also a theory of peer-to-peer learning and teaching that addresses the challenge of peer-producing a useful and supportive context for self-directed learning”.Charles Jeffrey Danoff 
“Peer to peer (P2PU)” Philipp Schmidt believes that a set of specific factors made space for initiatives like P2PU to come about: an abundance of high quality free content, the ability to connect with millions of learners on the Internet, and a series of challenges in higher education.

In the context to start creating a peeragogy handbook Howard exposed some main issues to think:

      • What does a group of people who want to colearn a subject together need to know about methods, pedagogy, resources, tech to put it together themselves?
      • To find, vet, prioritize resources, construct a syllabus and learning activities, and use online media to co-teach, co-learn- dividing the labor of facilitation?

Regarding the questions below, I consider that learning is a social phenomenon that happens on an personal and interpersonal level. In this regard, educational technologies can facilitate the content and make the learning experience a more meaningful and friendly, but only the student will develop their subject knowledge through practice, reflection and skills to get in game the time to learn.

Increased accessibility to information networks enable the development of collaborative learning. And networked people  group learning, can contribute in building knowledge collectively.

Collaborative work in an online group can help to develop skills and competences needed in a learning community.

With regard to the article:”Toward Peeragogy“, Howard wrote  his experience about an experiment peer-to-peer, in a global learning via the internet and social networks. On this article, Howard shared his insights based on his personal experience. I consider valuable that through collective discussion and argument, Howard explained how the tacit knowledge becomes explicit knowledge that he transmitted in formal language.

On the following I write some concepts from several ideas about Howard´s experience regarding Peeragogy that I found interesting because they reflects a self acknowledgment of this theory:

Sharing power (empowering students): “The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching”.

Sharing Interactivity & Collaboration “We had learned that learning to collaborate ought to be collaborative — the teams should interact with the other students in the class as co-responsible learners during the collaboration process, not just as an audience for the final product”.

Sharing responsibility: “I asked several students to take responsibility each week for conveying the main points of the texts and helping me to engage others in classroom discussions about the readings”.

Shared meanings:Co-learners came into my vocabulary and practice when I started experimenting with my own purely online courses”.

Shared Knowledge: “…when I tell them I’m attuned to learning from them while they are learning from me”.

Clearly, Howard ´s experience revealed great flexibility and reflection in the pace of learning and his planning learning path. This had allowed further customization of the process and  resulted in increased motivation for students and Howard himself.

In Howard´s words: “It is a challenge teaching and workshopping participatory media literacy, to make sure we all know how to read and make the new media that we’re all creating together”.

The commitment of “creating together” assumes that collaboration peer to peer is the center of the educational peeragogy experience. That invites us to reflect out of the box from traditional learning.

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3 Responses to What is Peeragogy?

  1. A wonderful summary, Maria. I am so happy to have your help on this.

  2. Pingback: Communication & Collaboration, Continued … « Greg Clinton's EDIT 2000 Blog

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