We all want our children to have good teachers but we give far less thought to who their friends sitting next to them in class are. But you should know, your child’s classmates have more influence on his success than who his teachers are. Wer’e not even talking about influencing his behavior; we’re talking about learning itself. Even a sweet child sitting next to yours can prevent him from reaching his learning potential.
How does it happen? According to a new study from Michigan State University; students who were convinced of the merits of a certain course by their peers always did better in those courses than students who were convinced by a teacher of the merits of that course instead of a student.
Anyone who sat with a child to do homework with him has heard the question: “Why do I need to know this?” Children and teens need to know why we demand from them to study boring subjects. Parents and teachers do their best to give them answers but the quality of the answer is not as important as who answers. A child whose friend told him why he should invest in study of something will be more prepared to accept it without argument.
“These findings show that perhaps the teachers explained the dry material in a better way but when friends explained it they created a process of identification” according to researcher Professor Carey Rosette. “In other words, as a student I can more readily identify with my classmates and imagine myself using the material learned in class as they would use it. This identification gives a sense of purpose to learning the material. When I hear my friend’s story it relates to my story and who I want to be in the future.”
Don’t be surprised if in the future top students will be paid secretly by the staff to convince his friends of the importance of learning…