This two-year, multi-method qualitative study of undergraduate sciences investigated the ways in which small-group peer facilitators in the Gateway Science Workshop understood their own development as learners and as leaders.
The research was conducted over one academic year and comprised two phases. The first focused on facilitators' general reactions to the experience. The second focused on the ways these individuals understood themselves to have developed through the facilitation experience.
Over the 2002–2003 academic year, we collected 168 surveys, conducted 13 focus groups, and conducted in-depth interviews with eight facilitators.
We found that facilitators perceived themselves to have progressed in three general areas, which we have termed cognitive, personal, and instrumental. These areas represent a fuller picture of the benefit to peer leaders than has been described in previous literature.
Micari, M., Streitwieser, B., & Light, G. (2005). Undergraduates leading undergraduates: Peer facilitation in a science workshop program. Innovative Higher Education, 30(4), 269–288. See publisher’s website.
This project is part of more than 10 years of research on the Gateway Science Workshop program at Northwestern.