By Zaidee Stavely
Supporting students emotionally, as well as academically, takes up a large portion of teachers’ time and energy. But some educators are discovering that students can take on this role for one another as well. When students hold each other accountable, many can demonstrate reflection on their learning and take responsibility for shortcomings.
Stanford researchers recently highlighted one school that applies a peer accountability program — Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in Oakland. The school is known for its low dropout rate and high number of graduates who persist through college for at least four years. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is motivating Life Academy students, almost all of whom come from low-income backgrounds, to outperform their peers, but the student-centered school prides itself on health and science internships for every student and personalized academic mentoring and counseling.