ERIC Number: ED327755
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Case for Peers.
"Peer resource" refers to any program that uses children and youth to work with or help other children and youth; programs such as youth service, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, cross-age tutoring, peer helping, peer mediation, peer leadership, and youth involvement. This paper advocates the adoption of a peer resource model of education in which schools and classrooms are restructured so that youth--from early childhood through late adolescence--have ongoing, continuous opportunities to be resources to each other. The first part provides the following rationales for peer resource programming: (1) the importance of peer relationships in social development; (2) the importance of social support to positive outcomes; (3) the failure of adult society to provide social capital for youth; (4) the value of giving every youth the opportunity to help; (5) the satisfaction of basic human psychological needs; (6) the opportunities to develop collaboration/conflict resolution skills; (7) the way such programs foster acceptance and respect for diversity; (8) improved academic achievement; and (9) reduction in alcohol and drug use. The second part lists critical ingredients of peer programs, while the conclusion calls for a paradigm shift to demystify professional expertise and empower people to help themselves and one other. Successfully implementing peer resource programs necessitate a change in role for teachers from "bosses" to group facilitators, and this is best achieved through the schoolwide adoption--among administrators, teachers, and students alike--of a peer cooperation/collaboration model. Eighty references are included. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Western Center for Drug-Free Schools and Communities.