What is Peer Education?
Peer Education is a term widely used to describe a range of initiatives where people from a similar age group, background, culture and/or social status educate each other about a variety of issues.
The rationale behind Peer Education is that peers are a more trusted and credible source of information, as they share similar experiences and social norms and are therefore better placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information. When defining Peer Education a number of elements and values need to be considered so that peers fully inform the process and do not just spout a set adult agenda. The following definition takes the key elements of Peer education into account:
Peer education is an approach which empowers young people to work with other young people, and which draws on the positive strength of the peer group. By means of appropriate training and support, the young people become active players in the educational process rather than passive recipients of a set message. Central to this work is the collaboration between young people and adults.
Peer education projects are effective in increasing knowledge, awareness and healthy choices amongst young people. The benefits for peer educators are also widely recognised. These include positive changes in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, self esteem and confidence.
'To develop and implement a supportive infrastructure to enable the strategic development of peer education projects across Scotland.'
The Scottish Peer Education Network supports and promotes peer education and the work of peer educators, practitioners and policy makers involved in this sector across Scotland. We work in partnership with organisations, young people, professionals, the NHS and schools to encourage and enable youth participation in peer education. The network currently has over 180 members from throughout Scotland. SPEN connects, promotes and supports a diverse range of projects that cover a variety of topics and skills from tobacco to renewable energy.
The Scottish Peer Education Network provides services surrounding Peer Education in the following areas:
- Free Training
- Networking Opportunities