We all know that a fairly comprehensive body of educational theory exists that challenges the idea that children require instruction in order to become educated.
It is also widely recognized that a particular style of instruction can be inappropriate for a particular child at a particular stage in his / her development. Maria Montessori recognized that educational material, if framed appropriately, can be ‘self-correcting’ and that children can learn at their own pace through exploration and the weighing-up of options.
The following activities were designed to take place in a ‘peer-to-peer’ context. Peer education is an effective strategy for behavioural change. Superimposed on the basic idea expressed above are other theories about learning that aren’t that difficult to understand –
Social learning – “No man is an island”. We know this expression. Significant others provide behavioural models for us to emulate.
Theory of Reasoned Action – Humans are hard-wired for compliance to what they perceive as social norms. We act on the basis of our beliefs about what significant people might do or think about our behaviour.
Participatory Education – The horizontal process of communication among peers (or equals) leads to empowerment in the form of consensus or collective strategy.