School & District Management Report Roundup

Science Learning

By Ross Brenneman — March 29, 2016 1 min read

Focusing the responsibility for learning on students can be more effective than traditional lectures in improving student achievement in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—courses, especially for underrepresented minority students, says a study of college students published in the journal PLOS Biology.

Syracuse University researchers studied the use of peer-led team learning, an active-learning method that emphasizes small-group interactions among students, in a university introductory-biology course. Students to work in groups of six to eight that are led by a student “peer leader” who passed the course the previous year.

Students performed significantly better if they engaged in the peer-led intervention. Reductions in failure rates were dramatic for underrepresented minority students.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 30, 2016 edition of Education Week as Science Learning

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