Authors A-E
Authors F-J
Authors K-O
Authors P-T
Authors U-Z


Innovative Group Learning Developed by Harry Pollard, Director of the Henry George Schools of California.


During InterStudent, students compete for grades. The competition is hard, yet students respond by cooperating with their Group. Students are allowed to cheat, but those who cooperate and work usually win over those who cheat and goof-off. Best grades are earned by those who tough it out. Determination and drive count in InterStudent -- as in real life. A student's grade depends on how well he or she works with others. For the first Cycle, a student's Group is chosen by chance. Some students will not be comfortable with the result, but accept it -- just as you must accept uncomfortable situations throughout life. When students have some experience working within their Group, they often find the group members aren't so bad. However, a Group is sometimes burdened with a real nuisance. The other members of the Group must try to get the uncooperative member to "grow up" and join in the common effort. If that doesn't work and the uncooperative member continues to play around, the Group can vote get rid of him or her. This member is an obvious choice to be 'Cut' at the end of the Cycle.

USING INTERSTUDENT, The focus is on ...


  • How well the student cooperates with others;
  • How well the student accepts victory;
  • How well the student faces defeat;
  • How well the student confronts a tough decision.


  • How well the student can reason;
  • How well the student can talk;
  • How well the student can persuade;
  • How well the student can refute an argument


  • How well the student uses the library;
  • How well the student researches a project;
  • How well the student prepares an advocacy;
  • How well the student learns and recalls information.



Each group must pick a recorder at the start of each cycle. You can change recorders or substitute for an absent recorder. If you do so, inform the Arbiter. The duties of the recorder are as follows:
  • Take roll for the group. Get a rollsheet on the desk. Fill it out within 3 minutes of the start of class and place it on the desk of the Arbiter. -5 if late, incomplete, or not done.
  • Pick-up one copy of each hand-out for each group member present. If a member is absent, pick a copy up for them when they return to class.
  • Hand in all things for the group. Put in the box on the table by the desk of the Arbiter.
  • Bring the group up for page grading and/or page testing.
  • Make any communications, as needed, for the group with the Arbiter.


My introduction to InterStudent was five years ago at the National Social Studies Convention in Phoenix. I sat in on your group session and decided to buy your Inter Student Unit on the spot. I was teaching American Government and Economics at the time. The unit seemed to be my answer to teaching difficult economic concepts to my students.

InterStudent changed my teaching methods. It provided a method for delivery of instruction that placed the student in the position of teaching themselves. The Socratic Method is an incredible method of instruction. The focus of learning becomes the student and not the teacher. The student must produce every day in the classroom. The peer pressure of other students in their groups forces the less achieving students to learn also.

InterStudent provided an interesting change in my classroom. All of a sudden my lower achieving students were participating. They had no choice. All of a sudden my attendance improved because students (groups) didn't want to be penalized. The student became the focus of learning. They had to learn the information provided in the units. It forced them to think (yes!). They were forced to write papers (debates) and they also produced an InterStudent newspaper in some of my classes.

Probably the most interesting part of the InterStudent was the Trivium Debates. Students really got into the questioning process. All students had to participate and most were prepared before the debates. They learned the value of working together and the high achieving students had the opportunity to achieve even when the group didn't. I also adapted the InterStudent for my Government class. It really sets you free from the traditional methods of teaching.


InterStudent can be used with any social studies subject. It provides a framework of understanding useful to any field of study. Of equal importance is the training it provides in basic academic and communication skills. Best of all, InterStudent is fun for both teachers and students, which effectively lubricates the educational process.


The Henry George Schools of California
Box 665
Tujunga, CA 91042

or telephone
(818) 352-4141