Whether as study group leaders, undergraduate TA’s, or tutors, college students working in peer-led academic support programs have a unique role in the learning environment - acting as model students and sharing their productive study behaviors. Along the way, these students gather wisdom and insight into what works and what doesn’t when assisting their fellow undergrads. The Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) Program at the University of Minnesota has compiled a storybook to capture some of that wisdom so that those who follow can benefit from their predecessors' experiences - some positive, some challenging, but all "learning opportunities".
Two (or More) Heads are Better than One: Adventures in leading group learning is a collection of first person narratives, told by peer facilitators and recorded and edited by one of the PAL program’s undergraduates - Lana Walker. What began as her thesis project, the collection turned into a book that has become a staple in the pre-semester training workshops and weekly team meetings. The stories are a springboard for discussions of program policies, the particulars of cooperative learning, and a clearer understanding of roles and boundaries. The format is engaging; peer leaders find some of the stories “funny” and laugh along with the narrators about their experiences. Anyone working with undergrads will see how they can benefit from these honest and thoughtful reflections, carefully grouped by topic, with stimulating, open-ended questions at the end of each chapter.
Walker Ohs, Lana; Lilly, Mary P.
Two (or More) Heads are Better than One: Adventures in leading group learning.
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