Peer education

I have some old writing to upload before the new stuff hopefully comes! Here’s the first, it was first published here on the Arts Professional blog, July 2011.

What the hell is Peer Education? Read on.

We care what our peers, ‘people like us’, think. Amusingly, for all our noisy, 21st century, digital celebrations of individuality, our understanding of peer groups and desire for social capital has; if not grown, become more apparent. ‘People like us’ can be categorised not just by age, gender, location, income and ethnicity, but by any number of preferences and behaviours too. We can measure how habits spread through groups. If a smoker quits, by setting an example, they help friends quit too, though some are known to be more irritating about this than others. It’s not a magic wand obviously; social influence is a mysterious thing. Peer education (PE) is a way of developing peer networks for knowledge sharing or behavioural change, in comparison to a formal top-down hierarchy.

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