Secondary school students from diverse backgrounds who need to improve their grades will set up a café where they will be able to teach and instruct younger learners as well as receive much needed support from peers. The idea of the experiment is to create a replicable model that will encourage partaking students to become active in education and social environments.
What are the goals you are looking to achieve with the experiment?
The goal of the experiment is to strengthen the motivation of students with poor academic performance and to improve their Finnish language skills through a new kind of learning environment approach. The main objective is to create a circle of positivity where poorly performing students feel supported and they are given opportunities of success. We hope that through these developments, students’ grades will rise and therefore young people will be presented with a better future.
How will the Learning by Teaching experiment be facilitated?
Teachers (e.g. Finnish Language teachers and Finnish as a Second Language [FSL] teachers) will plan lessons and educational material together according to learning objectives. Middle school aged students will then have time to get acquainted with the material created, brainstorm the following lesson and refine teachers’ ideas and tasks. The responsibility of teaching younger students and running the café will primarily be managed by the middle school students.
Is this a new experiment or is this based on an existing one?
The idea of this experiment first came up during the planning process of the “Helsinki from the Immigrant Youth Perspective” project. Earlier it has only been trialed in a small scale.
How will the experiment be scheduled and how will it be put into practice?
We have started with trialing the experiment in March 2016. This model will be piloted and redeveloped at the Pasila Comprehensive School, Alppila Middle School during the course of the 2016–2017 school year.
How will this experiment resolve challenges that students with diverse backgrounds face?
The solutions need to be scalable and measurable and they must bring a genuine, positive change into the lives of the youth who are going through things like a lack of encouragement and support, social isolation, challenges with their own identity and feelings of low self-worth. According to the feedback that we’ve already received, the café for its part already answers these challenges.