Peer Learning Partnerships

Inquiry 19 (3):5-19 (2000)
Peer learning partnerships are voluntary, reciprocal helping relationships between individuals of comparable status, who share a common or closely related learning / development objective. These dyadic or small group partnerships often occur incidentally or are confused with mentoring; hence they are easily overlooked and / or misunderstood. Yet they warrant the attention of professional developers,classroom teachers, and others as an intentionallearning strategy because of their potential to foster bi-directional learning through joint reflection.Using her qualitative case study of peer learning partnerships in an innovative statewide community college faculty development initiative - the “Teaching Partners Program” - the author draws on participants’ first-hand perceptions of this alternative modality to demonstrate how it fosters reflective practice, leading to enhanced discovery and professional development. The study’s findings highlight the benefits of using peer learning partnerships to promote reflective practice, as well as barriers to utilization. Recommendations for applying this approach and for future research are provided
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