Tool "What is peer education? Is peer education for me?"

Language: English
  • To come to a common understanding of peer education
  • To explore the added value of peer education
  • To give people the space to decide if they want to be peer educators
Time 90 minutes
Approximate number of participants 10
Age 15+
Date published 3 Feb 2011, 16:23


  • Post it notes
  • Pens
  • Definitions of the terms ‘peer’
  • Flip chart or other paper

Step-by-step instructions

1)Ask the participants to close their eyes and think back to three important learning experiences they had in their lives. They can write them down if they feel more comfortable doing so. Ask them the following questions: (10 minutes)

  • What did you learn?
  • How did the learning take place? What was the context? Where were you?
  • Who was involved in this learning experience? Who did you learn from?

2)Ask a few people to share their learning experiences briefly with the group (5 minutes) 3)Ask the participants to write the names/ roles of people they learned from on post-it notes. Collect the post-its on the wall, grouping them. (10 minutes) 4)Discuss in a large group: Which of these people are your peers and which are not? Divide the post-it notes into two groups on the wall. (5 minutes) 5)Give a couple of definitions of the word ‘peer’, stick them on the wall and allow time for questions/ short explanations. (5 minutes) 6)Form groups of four or five. Ask them to brainstorm the added value of peer education: Does it make sense to be educated by a peer? Why? Report back. (10 minutes) 7)In the same groups, the participants draw a person on a flipchart poster. On one side of the person they write qualities of a good peer educator, on the other side things to avoid as a peer educator. (15 minutes) 8)The groups should present back. They should only say new things, not repeat what groups before them have already said. Add qualities from the list below that are missing. Ask the whole group which of these things are only valid for peer education and which are valid for all kinds of education. (15 minutes) 9)Draw a simple mountain slope on a piece of flip chart paper on the wall. Take each quality, asking individuals to say how far they are up the mountain with that quality. Ask individuals to share with the group. (10 minutes) 10)Point out that qualities, although part of our personality, can be developed. Also highlight that ‘skills’ such as speaking to groups or leading discussions are not included – they can be learned. Draw together other points made. (5 minutes)


Some qualities of a peer educator

Interested – genuinely interested in the issues Concerned – want other people to learn about the topic/ issues Committed – able to give of your time and energy In touch – aware of interests and attitudes of young people today Accepting – tolerant of people and their opinions, regardless of race, culture, sex, ability Respectful – respect peoples’ rights to their own choices, ideas, opinions Confident – but not arrogant Good at relationships – forming friendships and maintaining them Approachable – others talk to you openly and trust you Self aware – know your own strengths and needs Open – ask for help and learn from mistakes Trustworthy – can be relied upon to keep an agreement Good team member – can work with others towards a goal

Attached files