RAP Project – (Respect and Protect)
For Young People not in Mainstream Secondary Education.
material for this project again draws on the experiences
of young people. This time the peer educators have themselves
experienced seriously disrupted education and life in
institutions outside mainstream education. The researcher
team on this project includes Fiona Macbeth, Sandy Akerman
of Headbangers Theatre Co. and David Evans, with expert
advice and guidance from Dr Alice Welbourne and Dr Sue
themes in the areas of sexual and relational health
which threaten to keep at risk young people in a state
of permanent social exclusion are explored by the team
of peer educators. Drama based techniques alongside
Participatory Learning Approaches are used to develop
a series of scripted scenes, exercises and interactive
theatre experiences. As the material is developed, so
are the social and performance skills of the peer educators.
a series of pilots in such institutions as Pupil Referral
Units, School Inclusion Units and Young Mums Units the
team has successfully compiled a series of six sessions
run by peer educators each lasting around an hour and
obvious challenge is one of keeping disaffected young
people sufficiently engaged in a learning experience
to begin to have a chance of influencing their attitudes,
knowledge, beliefs and behaviour. The use of peer educators
who, although slightly older than the young people in
the units, have themselves experienced varying degrees
of social exclusion appears to be a key component of
success. Dramatic scenes, to which the learners can
relate, hold their attention sufficiently to begin to
establish real engagement. This in turn encourages creative
discourses. A series of five or six visits would appear
to be the minimum requirement for establishing worthwhile
relationships and trust.
project has proved extremely popular with students in
the units and with staff from the institutions with
all participating units requesting return visits and
asking for more material.
we are negotiating the commissioning of a further twelve
sessions in addition to the initial six.
long term aim of this project is to make materials and
processes widely available so that appropriately trained
workers in the field can establish their own peer-led
programme both drawing from and contributing to the
growing body of good practice established by RAP.