A lot of information and articles have emerged regarding the topic of deeper learning. While this might seem like another buzzword, the concepts of deeper learning aren’t new to education and its goals for all students: a thorough mastery of core academic content and the ability to apply this information in solving complex real world problems. It’s been noted that students can achieve deeper learning by developing critical thinking skills, effective communication skills, and the ability to work collaboratively. The idea of deeper learning is to make a shift from teaching methods that promote memorization and regurgitation of concepts into methods that foster the ability of students to apply knowledge in new and practical ways.
Peer-to-peer tutoring is one method employed by the Internationals Network for Public Schools to foster deeper learning among its students. The students in this network of 18 international high schools are recent immigrants with limited English Language proficiency.
Math teacher, Rosmery Milczewski at Flushing International School, Flushing NY (one of the schools in the network) employs peer tutoring and collaborative learning methods in her Math class as a way to help students develop their English Language skills while gaining a deeper understanding of Math concepts. As you’ll see in the video below, Milczewski explains that she pairs up her ELL students for peer tutoring in a manner that compels them to communicate in English. According to Claire Sylvan, executive director of Internationals Network for Public Schools, this practice also benefits the tutors by helping to improve their communication skills and deepening their understanding of the subject they're teaching.