Ian Fisher

The Power of Peers: Recognizing the Good in Each Other
When a student praises his classmate for a positive character moment, both boys benefit. This is what Lower School faculty member Ian Fisher found from his research study on the impact of peer recognition on his students’ thinking about Crescent’s Character Ribbon Program.

Fisher had his Grade 5 students acknowledge positive character moments by awarding their peers with a character ribbon. Previously, only teachers recognized students in this way. “The boys awarding the ribbon said it made them feel good to recognize good character,” says Fisher. “The students receiving the ribbon expressed feelings of pride and happiness when being recognized by their peers, particularly for behaviour that a teacher might otherwise not be aware of.”

Peer-to-peer feedback also eliminated the impact of reactivity, which is a behaviour change that occurs because a student knows a teacher is present. Fisher hopes that all Lower School teachers will find opportunities to engage their students in the character recognition process.

“Not only does it make our Character Ribbon Program better,” says Fisher, “more importantly, students value the intrinsic reward that comes from giving and receiving quality feedback from their classmates.”

Read Ian Fisher’s full report here.