Barriers to E-Safety Peer Education: An analysis of teacher concerns
Peer education has been considered as a successful strategy for encouraging changingAtkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
behaviour of young people. However, it is not without its limitations or criticisms. For
example, there is potential conflict between how young people evaluate online risks to
themselves, compared to adults understanding of online risks. This paper examines the
concerns raised by educators captured during dialogue in workshop sessions set up to
explore these issues.
The overarching concern is education to encourage responsibility. Encouraging both pupils
and parents to take responsibility topped the list, alongside getting parents to understand the
issues and to get involved. This was followed by responsibility from other work colleagues
and the senior management teams. The blurring of the boundaries of responsibility between
school and home were also an issue. Keeping up with the changes in technology whilst
delivering suitable, relevant and engaging sessions were followed closely by the desire for
research and understanding into how young people make use of the Internet. A number of
educators expressed the desire that there should be a balance employed between the
issues of restriction and freedom for young people to engage freely with the technologies.
This sample of UK educators had clear concerns about where responsibilities lie for young
people, but also a the desire to engage key stakeholders in the young persons life. The
anxiety surrounding these issues should ideally be resolved prior to encouraging educators
to engage more fully with any e-safety peer education strategies.