Experiences of peer to peer learning – Florian

Florian teaches music production at Street College

How do you define p2p education? P2p learning is all about the teachers meeting their students eye-height, or at the same level. This means that the teachers do not see their students as devoid of knowledge but instead willing to learn from the way the students approach a new subject and brings their existing knowledge into the process. A p2p learning situation can also happen between students. Where one student has deficits or questions in one area, another one can help out and vice versa like a “fair trade information exchange”.

What would you see as the difference between p2p learning and p2p education? If there is one, how would you describe it? I do not see much of a difference there. The borders are rather flexible. The only minor difference is maybe that p2p education does require the teachers to be ready to meet the students as equals, which can be challenging. For the students this should not be such a big challenge.

What are your experiences with p2p learning? I have experienced how students can get each other into the “flow” by sharing their knowledge, experience and information. In this way they learned in just a couple of hours what they had not been able to learn or retain over days. I myself learn most effectively, when I explain to others what I just learned or when I have to tell someone else, who does not about the topic yet, what it is all about. Only after such an experience, do you retain the information for the long-term.

As a teacher I try to see with my students eye-to-eye and I experience that I get treated differently than teachers to “preach from above”. I learn more about the students and can adapt my learning sessions accordingly. I know how they process information and which pedagogical methods are effective with them, helps me make my work better.

What is the biggest benefit from p2p education? Effective use of the resources of both teachers and students in a positive atmosphere.

What are the limits of p2p education? Ignorance, egoism, narcicism, arrogance. You can learn anything via p2p learning that is being offered in universities.

What do you think is necessary for successful p2p education to happen? A relaxed atmosphere, free from fixed structures regarding seating arrangement or curriculum. Teachers and lecturers who are open for this method and students who know what they want to learn.