The Advantages Of Peer To Peer Education Education Essay

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Peer-to-peer education was adopted in many countries around the world. Precisely, if we pay our attention to look around in the school campuses or the libraries, we shall see many groups of students discussing the various topics. Even though we do not know what they are talking about, we can assume that they are sharing the ideas, stories or information to each other. This is so-called Peer-to-Peer education. In fact, Peer-to-Peer education's definition is equivalent to Peer education's. Based on the definitions derived from Peer Education Training of Trainers Manual (2003) and the online dictionary from, we found the followings:

Peer education is the process whereby well-trained and motivated young people undertake informal or organized educational activities with their peers (those similar to themselves in age, background or interests) over a period of time, aimed at developing their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and skills and enabling them to be responsible for and protect their own health. Peer education can take place in small groups or through individual contact and in a variety of settings: in schools and universities, clubs, churches, workplaces, on the street or in a shelter, or wherever young people gather. (10)

Peer-to-Peer education is a form of learning in which one person learns from another person, without one having to be a "teacher", and the other one being a "student". The word is related to peer-to-peer technologies in internet, like downloading music p2p, from one computer to another.

Additionally, Susie Green also gave the similar definition of peer-to-peer education, which is similar to previous definition; however, she added more that it should be for all people regardless of their ages, races or position. There are many questions which have been asked that why peer-to-peer education is so popular and why many countries try to adopt Peer-to-Peer education. Perhaps it has many advantages. Therefore it is the right time to figure out the answers.

Based on building a positive learning environment in school campus, peer-to-peer education attempts to promote students' "academic, social, and job-related skills" (Lipsky, 2010). Actually, positive learning environment refers to the group study which is initiated by the students. Peer-to-peer educators, who are known as students or tutors, are enable to share as well as exchange their ideas and sources about the subject matters with each other. Ideally, the students, sitting in the class and observing every part of the lesson, are believed to understand the lesson well. In reality, some students may not be able to catch up every single point that has been taught by their teachers. Therefore, peer-to-peer education is a good solution which is normally used to fill the gaps that the students have in terms of storing and delivering the understandings of the subject matter which are willingly donated by other participants, who gained the better understanding inside class. Within the peer-to-peer learning group, weak students can absorb the points that they did not catch up in the class previously, and also they can join the discussion; that is to say, The participants "have right to express their own value, ethics moral and opinion" (Aidnet, 2003, p. 25). Moreover, they can share responsibilities among their peers to figure out more detailed information related to topic of their group study which requires them to do more searching and then present it to the group members. Sooner or later, the students will improve their academic skills, which are receptive skills and productive skills. Most importantly, peer-to-peer educators are supposed to gain some extra skills such as effective presentation and management, which helps improve their knowledge, confidence and job-related skills.

Literally, peer-to-peer education is process of uniting people who have different cultures and attitudes within the peer-to-peer educational space. Precisely, mentioned by John N, Gardner (2010, p. 41-42), cultural diversity may lead to the confusions among people, and it may cause the conflicts in society. Therefore, in some occasions in school, students are stimulated to show their own culture by performing their traditional dance or wearing their traditional clothes. The purpose of doing this is to give the students the opportunity to share their culture, which represents their countries, with the other students. More than that, Lynne Tammi and Susie Green pointed out peer-to-peer education is an important element for Cultural Diversity project because their aim is the same; that is to say, they tend to make reconciliation and promote people's respecting the value of each other. Precisely, peer-to-peer education encourages people to learn the other cultures from their peers. As a reference to a study by John N, Gardner (2010, chapter 3), we have learned that while the "discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes" are handled and eliminated, peer-to-peer educators are able to gain the awareness of other cultures, which enable them to build a good rapport and live with each other under the same roof.

Peer-to-peer education is the catalyst for facilitate the students' acquisition of the knowledge about health issue such as HIV/AID or diabetes in the communities. Actually, the mass media plays a major role in wide spreading the knowledge about health issue, especially for adult. However, it may not be able to cover all the parts without peer-to-peer education. In this case, peer-to-peer education helps spreading and specifying the information related to sexual health, which might happen to adults, such HIV/AID. In Peer education training of trainer manual (2003, p. 12-15), there is a good example stating the problem of condom usage. In illustration, condom has been introduced on TV; however, the specific detail about how to use it is still not specified for some adults. In one another case, a young man is aware of the advantages of using condom and the instruction to use it; however, he does not know where he can find or buy it by himself. Therefore, the adults can talk with their friends who are well-informed or have enough experience about it secretly. In addition, Mr. Chean Men, who is biologist, accomplished his work with "MoPoTsyo" to help villagers handle diabetes. He expressed his opinion about using peer-to-peer education in Cambodia. He stated that during his work on investigating the diabetes in the Cambodia especially in the rural communities, his colleagues and he gained a huge awareness that peer-to-peer education is the best method to disseminate the information about diabetes and easily approach the people who need help. First of all, they went to the local school and shared what they have learned about the symptom of diabetes and the basis of preventing it to the teachers and the volunteers in purpose to encourage them to spread the information to students and the villagers, which gave a good grade eventually. Nowadays the health issue is no longer the problem for people including men and women because they are encouraged to talk and to consider that health problem is not a personal problem; in fact, it is everyone's problem.

In conclusion, Peer-to-Peer education helps many people such as adults and students to succeed in acquiring skills such job-related skills and academic skills. It also helps students to understanding about the culture relativism and unity, and most importantly, it stimulates adult to discuss health issues with their friends and experts in order to maintain their physical and emotional health. Therefore, Peer-to-Peer education is an important method that has been used and should be used in many countries, especially in developing countries even if the mass media has accomplished its work well.