Learning by Teaching and Increased Exposure in the Classroom
The idea of inclusion or mainstreaming has been around the education community for a long time. Both of these ideas involve including students with learning disabilities in regular classrooms to be taught by regular teachers rather than special education teachers. The difference between the two is that inclusion allows for a learning disabled student to be in a classroom for the majority of their day and mainstreaming allows or a learning disabled student to be in a regular classroom for a set amount of time if they have shown that they (the special needs student) can keep the same pace as the students in the regular classroom. Both inclusion and mainstreaming that include special needs students in regular classrooms could easily be modified to help students without learning disabilities to excel at their education. Including students from a lower class level in a higher-class level could benefit both the higher level students as well as the visiting students.
By including a group of students from a lower level class (preferably 1 grade level lower), in an upper level class, both students would benefit. The upper level students would benefit by working with a lower level student and mentoring/tutoring them in their (the upper level) subject. The lower level students would gain extra knowledge, which they would normally learn in their next year of school. Along with getting a leg up on the next year of school, the lower level students would be exposed to different teaching techniques when the teacher of the upper level class was teaching his or her lesson.
This theory is very similar to mainstreaming with the exclusion of learning disabled students. The Latin phrase “Homines dum docent discunt,” which means people, learn while they teach (James Miltner, Graduate Instructor at University of Michigan, March 24, 2005). This phrase demonstrates how an older student mentor would benefit greatly from tutoring a younger student. A great example of this would be in math courses. Generally a student will take Algebra then progress to Geometry the next school year. If the students from the Algebra (A-students) course were to meet with the Geometry class (G-students) once a week and be taught a lesson by the Geometry teacher and be paired up with a student from the geometry class, they would have a head start on what they were to learn their following year. This would allow the A-students to do better when they reach the Geometry class the next school year. The G-students would then, as Miltner put it, “learn while they teach” the visiting A-students. The G-students would have to apply the knowledge that their teacher just presented to them in an effort to explain or assist in doing an assignment with the A-students. Both the Algebra teacher and the Geometry teacher would be in the classroom to assist the...