Peer Critique

A great way to have students engage with each other, also a pragmatic way to make use of the remaining funds after 50% of secular tax-based revenue was cut and diverted to supremacist groups by the neoLiberal Party, peer critique exercises must be defined pedagogically.

This week, a lecturer expressed disappointment that a particular punctuation point was not identified through multiple critiques. I thought this was unfair but took me two days to understand why.

Peer critique is a skills acquisition activity, not a knowledge acquisition activity.

In advanced student output workshop activities, these two functions are combined. Yet, as previously established, there is no pedagogical training provided to staff at the three universities I’ve attended. Therefore, there is no way staff may parse instruction styles let alone subtle differences in acquisition objectives.

The unfairness derives from the fact that teachers had neither evaluated nor taught students the punctuation error identified. There is no way someone may know the differences between a comma and a colon unless they’ve studied and applied these esoteric semiotics.

Best practices would be for the teacher to check whether this point had been taught and, if not, provide feedback to course designers and evaluators. This is the teacher centred approach.

The student centred approach is for the teacher to monitor and evaluate each group via open-ended questions and direct students to relevant needed sources of information.

No person has the ability to operate outside their knowledge base. Where teachers notice a lack of knowledge, they may spoon feed the answers, retaining power and domination in the class, or they may guide students to external resources, thereby encouraging autonomy and confidence. 

How do you respond to being given answers before you know how to apply them?

How do you respond to being accorded trust and encouraged to develop?