School climate, an enabling factor in an effective peer education environment: Lessons from schools in South Africa

Keywords: learning environments; peer education; rapid ethnography; school climate; Western Cape

Abstract

Globally, peer education and school climate are important topics for educators. Peer education has been shown to improve young people’s decision-making and knowledge about healthy and prosocial behaviour, while a positive school climate contributes to positive learning outcomes in general. In this article we explore the role of school climate in enabling the success of peer education outcomes. We do so by considering 8 geographically and socially distinct schools in the Western Cape province of South Africa where the peer education programme, Listen Up, was implemented, and for which measures of peer education quality exist. We then report a qualitative assessment of each school’s climate characteristics (student-interpersonal relations, student-teacher relations, order and discipline, school leadership, and achievement motivation), conducted through a rapid ethnography drawing on work by Bronfenbrenner (1977) and Haynes, Emmons and Ben-Avie (1997). Finally, we conclude that school climate can enhance learning and positive peer education outcomes.

Keywords: learning environments; peer education; rapid ethnography; school climate; Western Cape

Published
2020-04-07
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100