In the 21st century, all learners must be able to communicate and collaborate effectively within a community of learners. This is easier for some than others, but remains a goal for all learners. The distribution of mentoring through peers can greatly increase the opportunities for one-on-one support. When carefully structured, such peer cooperation can significantly increase the available support for sustained engagement. Flexible rather than fixed grouping allows better differentiation and multiple roles, as well as providing opportunities to learn how to work most effectively with others. Options should be provided in how learners build and utilize these important skills.
- Create cooperative learning groups with clear goals, roles, and responsibilities
- Create school-wide programs of positive behavior support with differentiated objectives and supports
- Provide prompts that guide learners in when and how to ask peers and/or teachers for help
- Encourage and support opportunities for peer interactions and supports (e.g., peer-tutors)
- Construct communities of learners engaged in common interests or activities
- Create expectations for group work (e.g., rubrics, norms, etc.)