Pupils as Assistant Teachers, Tutors and Mentors
Formal education tends to lack formal structures that promote socialization, social learning and community building. The following text offers some ideas that may describe such formal structures. A central idea, inspired by the Saber sectoral currency, peer tutoring at universities and the Learning by teaching method, is to allow pupils to assume responsible roles as pedagogues and to verify the pupils' success to live up to the demands of their roles as a part of their formal education. The role of a pedagogue is expected to be beneficial for pupils to develop an extensive theory of mind and adequate social goals towards their protégés. With the proliferation of all-day schools, which is a current issue in Germany, guided socialization in schools may become even more important than it has previously been.
Putting about thirty pupils in a class room with a single teacher is considered an excessive amount of poor role models and a single role model that is too different to be easily accessible and doesn't have to be understood because pupils are not expected to immitate relevant parts of the behavior of teachers.
Variable entry phases from grade eight to grade eleven can create a continual challenge for pupils to rise to the next level at their own pace. The pupils can receive additional motivation from wanting to follow the role model of their own assistant teachers, tutors and mentors; they can receive motivation from wanting to follow their own peers, who have already made a step to the next level, and they are motivated to adopt an adult attitude because their own pupils are significantly younger at first and are usually not perceived as adequate peers, which aids in making the class teacher the most relevant role model. The status of a pupil as assistant teacher, tutor or mentor can also determine a social rank among pupils and, to a degree, replace less desirable ranking schemes the pupils may adopt consciously or unconsciously; the perceived social rank can further influence the selection of desirable goals within the school community over goals derived from arbitrary role models.
According to a German study [wikinews] pupils' enthusiasm for school may decrease towards the eighth grade. A responsible role can aid to complement enjoyment with a purpose, which is a further argument for motivating pupils to become assistant teachers in the eighth grade. (more)
- Assistant teacher course (Wikiversity)
- A formal approach to school-based cross-age youth mentoring
- Mentoring Handbook (Wikibooks)