Cultivating student agency and responsibility through peer-to-peer teaching
Keywords:student agency, responsibility, peer education, anthropology
This case study explores an eight-semester Peer Educator Program in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Louisville (Kentucky, USA) that trains undergraduates in teaching practices, crafts spaces of partnership, and expands learning within large general education courses. Peer educators self-select from any major and gain knowledge on lesson planning and facilitation, working in small groups to decide content, plan, and teach bonus sessions for introductory courses. We argue that peer-to-peer teaching reworks lines of responsibility within and around classrooms such that student agency is cultivated both for students engaged in partnership activities and those taught by student partners. Peer education thus becomes a hinge around which authority is shifted and the educational agency enacted in Students-as-Partners programs extended to wider student populations. The authors are two undergraduate peer educators and the faculty coordinator.
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