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In professional education, learning by teaching (German: , short LdL) designates currently the method by Jean-Pol Martin that allows pupils and students to prepare and to teach lessons, or parts of lessons. Learning by teaching should not be confused with presentations or lectures by students, as students not only convey a certain content, but also choose their own methods and didactic approaches in teaching classmates that subject. Neither should it be confused with tutoring, because the teacher has intensive control of, and gives support for, the learning process in learning by teaching as against other methods. 2016 Weng/Pfeiffer emphazises Martin as "a precursor of the frequently mentioned 'shift from teaching to learning'"
Seneca the Younger told in his letters to Lucilius that we are learning if we teach (epistulae morales I, 7, 8): docendo discimus (lat.: "by teaching we are learning"). At all times in the history of schooling there have been phases where students were mobilized to teach their peers. Frequently, this was to reduce the number of teachers needed, so one teacher could instruct 200 students. However, since the end of the 19th century, a number of didactic-pedagogic reasons for student teaching have been put forward.
In 1795 the Scotsman Andrew Bell wrote a book about the mutual teaching method that he observed and used himself in Madras. The Londoner Joseph Lancaster picked up this idea and implemented it in his schools. This method was introduced 1815 in France in the "", because of the increasing number of students who had to be trained and the lack of teachers. After the French revolution of 1830, 2,000 "écoles mutuelles" were registered in France. Due to a political change in the French administration, the number of écoles mutuelles shrank rapidly and these schools were marginalized. It is important to stress that the learning level in the Bell-Lancaster-schools was very low. In hindsight, the low level can probably be attributed to the fact that the teaching-process was delegated entirely to the tutors and that the teachers did not supervise and support the teaching process.
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