Students excel when they teach

The classroom is not only a place for children to learn, but also to teach! A study from Stanford and Vanderbilt Universities uncovered the “protegé effect,” finding children who are teach material learn better than students who are only taught the material. The brand new program used to carry out the protegé effect requires students to teach a virtual character the material that they have learned.

The fantastic element to these programs is that the virtual character will actually learn what the students are teaching it. So, if the child does not understand the concepts then it will be shown through the virtual character’s misunderstanding. The character can also ask questions to students if a concept is not relayed clearly.

What makes this program even more credible is that the student is able to see their virtual character’s thought process as a web diagram. If there is a disconnection between two thoughts, students can go into that thought process and actually change how it is guided. This also demonstrates students how thoughts can connect, and perhaps help them change their own thought process where it they are not connecting material correctly.

The kids have a great time teaching because they are able to play pretend, allowing their imagination to come into the process. Vanderbilt and Stanford are wanting to bring this virtual world to life in a program where pupils teach pupils. The program has not begun yet, but they are hoping that it will soon become part of the classroom.

From the research found students are learning much better, although there is a small sample to review. This could be a great new element that has been missing in the learning process for students.

What do you think about students taking on virtual teaching?

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