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