Applying Reciprocal Teaching & Learning

Chris Burke
Chris Burke
Director of Community Relations

How would you define this Big Idea? 

Teaching and learning are the cornerstone of education and when optimized the lines between teacher and student become seamless. To incorporate this idea into practice students are challenged to reflect on their journey to current day recognizing the relevance their culture, family, community, religion, and experiences had in them attending Georgia Tech. Inadvertently, students identify particular people – parents, coaches, teachers, etc. – as key reason for them being here.  In-turn students are challenged to be that influential person for a disenfranchised high school student.  The learning they receive in the classroom is then reciprocated to the high-school student with them acting as the teacher.

How is this Big Idea included in your work? 

HTS 2813 - Near Peer Mentoring - Through studying case studies, data analysis, work shops, and class discussions, students synthesize their own high school experience with that of their mentees (high-school students). The in class content provides them a context to better understand their personal high school experiences, which are likely vastly different from their mentees. As the understanding of their personal journey increases, they develop content and exercises for their mentee that they believe will influence them to plan for college and post-secondary success.  This relates to the social and economic aspect of sustainable communities.  By intentionally working to better prepare these students, both observation and research suggests they are better socially and emotionally prepared to enter college or the workforce.  Low-income students require additional interventions, and near peer mentoring has proven impactful at reshaping outcomes for this demographic, which has an array of long term benefits.

Learn more:

The Georgetown Center for Education and Workforce is an excellent resource for research and best practices
The University of Chicago Urban Education Initiative provides research on urban education
strategies as well as data
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset IdEAS Worksheet - a useful tool for students to identify a failure and analyze which can yield positive growth