People learn things better from those at their own level – such as fellow students or co-workers – than from those at a higher level, such as teachers or supervisors.
Personally, I believe that people learn things from those who have a higher level better than persons who have the same level with them. There are two reasons below. Let me take the second language study as an example to explain my opinion.
Firstly, people who are at the same level as the learner could be a good cooperator but never be a good teacher. Nowadays, with the rapid formation of the globalism, a mount of people involved themselves to study different languages. A big part of them began to find the exchange language partners in order to save money. For instance, there are millions users in the italki.com website, which is one of the biggest exchange language study websites in China. However, the fact was that even though they could make a lot of friends from different countries, their language level did not improve a lot due to lack of a systemic language study. So it proved that there were only limited effects if the same level persons helped each other learn something.
Secondly, people who have a higher level than the learner, such as teachers, definitely are knowledgeable, erudite and methodological. As we all knew that the meaning of language is never only useful, but also a way of cultural expression. As long as we learn a foreign language, we essentially need to study the culture of that language. Moreover, the methods of teaching are also very important. Therefore, a professional teacher who has a higher level than the learner is necessary. For example, almost students have the vocabulary’s problem when they study a second language. Only professional teachers can teach them the roots of words, and more and more evidences exhibited that it was the best way to increase our vocabularies. Additionally, we may know the reason why an aquatic animal which has eight legs named “octopus” was “octo-” means “eight”. But why “October” is the tenth month of a year? None of English language major students could answer this question. The reason I learned it from a famous professor who are interested in both English language and classic language is that actually “October” was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar.
Consequently, if you want to find a person who just can company and encourage you when you study, you can find one at your own level. However, if you want to learn something new and deeper knowledge, the person who has a higher level than you is your best choice.