Collaborative learning and the peer to peer jungle

Over the past 12 months the Share to Know partners have been working together to develop a deeper understanding of what peer to peer learning is, how it can be applied in different contexts (relating to both cultural differences and the variations in educational setting), and what kind of positive outcomes can be expected from peer to peer learning compared to other learning methodologies.

In addition to prototyping each other’s approaches towards key aspects of peer to peer learning (such as the educational methods that can be used, engaging with young people and engaging with employers and formal education providers) we have been developing an understanding of ‘peer to peer’ learning which is clearly defined yet also flexible enough to accommodate the many different contexts that it can operate in.

Tanja Ries (of Share to Know partner organisation Street College, Berlin) has written a research paper that explores the ways that peer to peer and other collaborative learning processes are an appropriate response to 21st Century needs. This paper begins with an overview of different models of peer to peer learning, before moving on to explore how ‘collaborative learning’ can encompass the core principles of peer to peer learning without demanding restrictive criteria for participation, before finally assessing the ways in which collaborative learning provides opportunities to meet needs presented by the 21st Century.

This paper (building on discussion during transnational meetings) provides the basis for the Share to Know partnership’s definition and understanding of peer to peer learning and can be downloaded here in English and German (soon to be uploaded) ​