What is Peer Education?
Peer Education is any initiative where people from a similar age group, background, culture and/or social status educate each other about an issue.
Most commonly in Scotland, a youth worker or teacher will train a young person up with the skills and knowledge they need in order to 'teach' a group of their peers about alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual health, or any number of other issues. Peer education delivery is often different from teaching, however, as it is almost entirely activity based, and involves no coursebooks, notebooks, or tests.
What's the point?
The thinking behind Peer Education is that peers are a more trusted and credible source of information, as they share similar experiences and understandings of the world, and so are better placed to provide relevant, meaningful, and honest information.
Helpful information often also flows back from the peer educatees to the peer educators and on to the youth workers, trainers, or policy makers, so that they can do their jobs better. When working with young people, it is also important that they are involved in the planning of any peer education project, to ensure they have real input and are not just enforcing an adult agenda.
How can SPEN help?
SPEN is a project run by the youth charity Fast Forward, which connects, promotes and supports peer education projects in Scotland.
Our dedicated Peer Education Network Officer helps in the following areas:
- Free Training for Peer Educators
- Training for Practitioners and Youth Workers
- Free Advice and Support
- Free Resources
- Networking Opportunities at Quarterly SPEN Events