Original Research Paper
Children as Teachers: Creating Opportunities for Children to Share Expertise with their Peers
By Penny Smith
Smith, P. (2012). Children as teachers: Creating opportunities for children to share expertise with their peers. NZ Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 15, 84 -101.
In early childhood centres young children have the opportunity to interact with their peers in a play based environment. Play takes a central role and is a way by which children may challenge and extend each other’s thinking. Current accounts of how children learn and develop recognise the importance of peer interactions in this process. The study presented here explores how children worked together collaboratively and as peer tutors in two early childhood centres. The study investigated the strategies children adopted when teaching their peers and examined the role of the teacher and the learning environment in supporting collaborative endeavour. The key factors which impacted on the types of experiences children had with their peers are identified in this paper along with suggestions for how teachers can support collaborative endeavour and provide meaningful opportunities for children to teach their peers.
Key words: Peer tutoring, peer collabouration, learning, tuakana teina.
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