Training Solutions: LdL, or Learning through Teaching
Most teachers and trainers will tell you that there is no better way to learn a subject than to teach it. Can this concept be harnessed to provide effective training solutions?
It turns out this is not a new idea. In fact, it dates from Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC–65 AD), a Roman stoic philosopher and playwright who wrote in a letter to a friend and colleague, “docendo discimus.” That is Latin for “by teaching we are learning.” About 1,800 years later, the idea flowered in a number of schools in England and France as a way of overcoming teacher shortages. But in the late 19th century, it occurred to some educators that it might be a way to improve the teaching process, and that sparked several generations’ worth of research on it, culminating in Jean-Pol Martin’s system Lernen durch Lehren (German for “learning through teaching”), or LdL, which emerged in the 1980s. It’s difficult to find anything in English on this system through web searches, but I located a descriptive paper by Anne Kathrin Barnbeck and Thomas Neumann that could inspire one or more training solutions (Note: the link is a PDF). There is also an informative chart on the “Learning by teaching” page at Wikipedia.
LdL is designed for education. It calls for the instructor to chunk the course content into small, well-defined units or lessons. The class is divided into groups of 2-3 learners, and each group is given responsibility for instructing the rest of the class in its assigned lesson. The instructor is a resource during the preparation phase to help students find approaches that will engage the class and present the material clearly. A good instructor will be closely involved during the preparation phase but a silent observer during the presentation phase. Martin claims the method works effectively in any subject at any grade level. Does it strike you as a way to create training solutions?
If this looks like a path to new training solutions, bear in mind that LdL does not lessen the burden of the instructor. If anything, it increases that burden, because it requires fairly intense monitoring of learning progress. According to Barnbeck and Neumann: “This method creates new relationships inside the classroom and it also forces the teacher to revise his role. He is no longer in complete control of the single lessons.… During the presentation of a group he has to stay in the background. He only intervenes if communication between the tutors and their peers is endangered and if problems, misunderstandings or errors occur.” In addition, the instructor has to collect all homework and worksheets in order to monitor the progress of the entire class.
If you think learning through teaching holds promise for your organization, you can count on Logical Operations as an effective partner in implementing training solutions that incorporate it. We can develop courseware that both meets your needs and realizes the most effective aspects of learning through teaching. We believe in learner-driven instruction. Our CHOICE platform was built from the ground up to take advantage of the principles of motivation and engagement that are part of peer instruction and social learning. The methodology has advanced considerably since the time of Seneca the Younger.
Filed under: Aktionsforschung, Bildung, Erziehung, Erziehungsforschung, flow, Glück, gruppendynamik, Informationsverarbeitung, Jean-Pol Martin, LdL, Lernen durch Lehren, Llearning by teaching, philosophie