Peeragogy – a recent example in Medical Education

While doing some rather solitary reading and scribbles for my DEd earlier, my attention was caught by this particular tweet:

I had a quick look at @twitfrg profile and the blog post explaining how this “Twitter-mediated revision” is going to work and I was positively surprised by the explanation of this initiative. As @nlafferty noted, this is not a first…

…but still, I was impressed by the pedagogical reasoning involved in the organisation of this activity. The inclusion of a revision document coupled with some MCQs to be answered before the discussion is excellent, in particular I liked the fact that students will be discussing the answers and “how they arrived at them”. I think this is an excellent way to reveal, break apart in a way, the clinical reasoning involved in the process of finding the answers to these MCQs.

I recently came across another, however different, peer-learning initiative: the “Peeragogy Handbook, a Resource for Self-organizing Self-learners”. This site contains resources and information on peer-learning  and provides a theoretical background which the authors call “paragogy”, a set of principles to understand the process of learning together.

“A healthy process for learning in paragogy consists in a direct evolution of the four principles of parliamentary democracy: (1) The right to speak; (2) The right to be heard; (3) The right to listen; (4) The right to cooperate in the proliferation of options, that is, the right to “co-lead” in the decision-making system.” – Fabrizio Terzi

                 From Peer Learning to “Peeragogy”

I wonder if students embarking in an activity like #twitfrg would be interested in reading about the theoretical background underpinning peer-learning, to plan it better and with a sound pedagogical setting; or they would rather learn-by-doing, organise in a way that answers their learning needs and just go with the flow. In this case I do not think the educational value of the activity would be lost. Of course careful planning, taking into consideration the learning needs and having clear in mind the aims of the activity would be the ingredients of a successful learning experience.

However, I immediately found this initiative quite interesting also for its connection with my doctorate subject, and, after a prompt re-tweet, I started observing the reactions. Not surprisingly the tweet called a lot of interest from many students and professionals, some offering help, others liking the initiative and starting to spread the world.

This could become a good example of multidisciplinary working other than a community of sharing, collaboration, co-construction of knowledge and I hope this initiative gets the participation and interest it deserves.

I am looking forward of seeing how this develops and I wish the best of luck to the organisers!