Although all cases were of interest, I found the second case to be the most interesting deconstructed case. The second case was a transformation-oriented case which is always of interest to me. The title also happened to catch my eye.

Case 2: The emergence of students as teachers

Details, Theory, & Principles

A Spanish-language class focused on teaching grammar concepts had students teaching each other the language skills in collaborative groups. According to the details of the case, the students understood teaching concepts such as modeling, guiding, and independent practice. The reason that students were so knowledgeable was that the teacher was using the school schema to teach students about teaching. So essentially, the students were using the teaching schema used by other teachers at the school. According to the teacher, using the schema contributed to better cooperative learning and peer-tutoring (Bain, 2007, pp.68-69). I have used groups in many, many classes and love the process. However, I have not explicitly taught students how to teach. The schema used in this case study could be applied to my classes as I teach English. I’d be interested in knowing: Have you ever used this or something similar to enhance the learning experience for your students?

The simple rules and schema apply to this case and can be identified in the way students were interacting and the simple rules already being in existences being applied to the student group situation (p.69). The embedded design “…became a transforming event…” (p. 70) in the classroom. As students learned the schema, their roles became more evident, and they became more collaborative and beneficial. Emergent feedback mimicked the way that teachers provided feedback as students were applying the schema that teachers use. The input helped students to problem-solve and understand more (p. 70). The similarity at scale involves one class and one teacher. Because of the schema application based on simple rules, the embedded design, and emergent feedback creates the potential for scaling up. Dispersed control is evident in this case study as the dispersed control was given to students and used during collaborative and tutoring interactions. Students gain potential for self-organization in the classroom and school (p. 73).

A fascinating aspect of this case to me is that the students became change agents using the school schema and using reflection and feedback effectively. The theoretical framework that is at work here falls into the self-organizing realm and includes schema, simple rules, embedded design, emergent feedback, similarity at scale, and dispersed control (pp. 44-57). These were all part of chapter three.

This particular case made me question how I’m handling my group activities. I think it might be time to implement similar changes. How might this be modified to use or used as is in your classroom (s)?

Bain, A. (2007). The self-organizing school. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Education.