Peer education: individual learning or service delivery?

Annette Coburn, Brian McGinley, Craig Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the importance and values of a peer education approach and argues that the theoretical underpinning, rationale and practice require a change in focus. Community based youth work can benefit from developments in Higher Education where peer education has become routine rather than exceptional practice. It is proposed that the value of this methodology lies in the enhancement of teaching and learning across formal and informal learning environments. In searching for definition and rationale, the article examines contemporary peer education approaches noting the persistent focus on delivery of credible, mainly health related, information. Workers spend time trying to measure recipient impact rather than focusing on the benefits of this approach
as a teaching and learning strategy. In response, the authors have created a new peer education template that can be used by peer educators and learners to help track and plan their learning across various learning settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalYouth & Policy
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Peer education
  • youth work
  • young people
  • higher education
  • constructive alignment
  • learning enhancement


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