Phillip Schmidt, in the Great Peer Learning Pyramid Scheme, suggests that peer learning can work almost because there are no experts in the room:
In order to learn, you need access to a few people around you. Some who are just above your position will know a little bit more than you, but because they are not that different from you, they can empathize with your questions or problems…Having access to the person at the top of the pyramid can be useful occasionally, but the problems and questions they care about will typically be pretty different from ours.
(The great teachers, Schmidt notes, are experts but will also “impersonate” people closer to our level of understanding.)
I think this practice might fit into the field work stage of the field school model and help shape the curation of data.
Schmidt’s argument at least reinforces my belief that we need to teach children how to peer learn, or collaboratively curate. I’m certain there is a toolset, a box of questions and/or dispositions that help us make sense out of the world even when we are walking into completely foreign and unfamiliar situations.
Schmidt’s post also recognizes that learning is social.