To start, let’s know what peer is : Peer means equal: meaning we all learn together and that all our contributions are of equal worth. Whatever age you are,you have a peer group, for example: your fellow students in a school or college, your friends , people in a learning group, people at you work etc. (Salto-Youth Cultural Diversity Resource Center – ” Peering in Peering out: Peer Education in Cultural Diversity Projects”)
The term “peer education” is an effective issue for learning that must be kept in mind by educators.
Before making a kick off for the topic, It would be great to describe what peer education is. There are various definitions for the term but to make a brief from them , ” peer education is a form of cooperative learning that enhances the value of student-student interactionand results in various advantageous learning outcomes. ( Alice Christudason)
The main good point of peer edıcation is that learners are not only learn about the given task but also improve their other learning and personal skills. That’s why the potential of peer education is gradually getting prevalent.
However, the educator should take into consideration of some keypoints.
- peer education is not only for young people , i is for everyone.
- there should be positive interdependence . It means the importance and uniqueness of each group member’s efforts while mportant cognitive activitiesand interpersonal dynamics are quietly at work.
- peer learning should be mutually beneficial and involve the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience between the participants.
- teacher must consciously orchestrate the learning exercise and choose the appropriate vehicle for it
- Monitoring and facilitation by the educator are necessary, students shouldn’t be left alone after giving the task.
Benefits of Peer Education
- They can freely commmunicate
- They improve conflict-managing skills
- They use cognitive activities
- Peer Education lets students build up a team spirit and more supportive relationships
- It increases social competences ,communication skiils and self-esteem
- It provides much more productivity and creativity for students
- They can understand some confusing topics by asking their peers, because they have approximately the same point of view and the same background experience; so they can explain more close to the they understand
- They take responsibility and initiatives
- They can strategize their learning
- They can learn how to learn
- They can improve their organization and plannig skills
- They work collaboratively
- They can feel free to give and receive feedback
- They can evaluate their own learning
- They can learn about various cultures and different point of views
So here, as a peer educator , the educator should aslo improve his/her skills of facilitation , monitoring , moderating and inspring, because a good educator does not teach people but helps them to find the best solution to a given situation. He/she opens the way , presents the probabilities and inspires .In addition to these , a peer educator should create a warm learning environment between learners with borken-ices.
****Read:David Boud ” what is peer learning and why it it important? / Alice Christudason-” Peer learning” / Salto-Youth Cultural Diversity Resource Center – ” Peering in Peering out: Peer Education in Cultural Diversity Projects”