ERIC Number: EJ788121
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Environments, Processes, and Mechanisms in Peer Learning
Parr, Judy M.; Townsend, Michael A. R.
International Journal of Educational Research, v37 n5 p403-423 2002
This chapter explores the dynamics and processes of peer group influences in learning settings from a social constructivist perspective. A two-tiered model of peer influences is presented, in which environments for learning are linked with mechanisms and processes most likely to underpin student learning. A distinction is drawn between more structured "tutorially configured" environments for learning, and more informal "ambient" environments through which peers influence the learning of others. Examples from classroom instruction are used to show that configured environments may be seen along a continuum of interactive structure based on the extent to which knowledge is socially constructed through reciprocal interaction, and to indicate the learning processes and mechanisms most likely to be operating. Similarly, research on peer influences in the ambient environment, and the likely associated processes and mechanisms, are also discussed. It is argued that the effects from both environments are interactive and that their influences are exerted both directly on learning and indirectly through proximal indicators of achievement.
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Peer Groups, Learning Processes, Peer Influence, Cooperative Learning, Educational Environment, Teaching Methods, Interaction, Peer Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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