Title: Higher education residential life peer-education programs: facilitating more inclusive perspectives

Authors: Jessica E. Gordon; Anna L. Ball

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Education and Leadership, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA ' Department of Agricultural Education and Leadership, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Abstract: The focus of sustainability in residential living areas at many US institutions of higher education is to reduce energy and water consumption and increase gross recyclables. Peer-education programs have emerged as a viable tool to prompt student behaviour changes to meet campus sustainability goals. This qualitative case study addresses outcomes in a sustainability-focused peer-education program, Sustainable Peers Reaching OUT, that engages students in discourse, critical reflection and outreach. Analysis of interviews and discussion observation indicates higher education co-curricular programs may realise increased peer educator impact by incorporating opportunities for discourse and critical reflection into program design.

Keywords: discourse; critical reflection; transformative; peer education; eco-rep programmes; sustainability; higher education; outreach; residential living areas; inclusivity; behaviour change; co-curricular; interdisciplinary; inclusiveness; USA; United States; sustainable development; energy savings; water consumption; recycling; student behaviour changes.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2015.071023

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2015 Vol.16 No.2/3/4, pp.312 - 327

Received: 14 Oct 2014
Accepted: 25 Apr 2015

Published online: 05 Aug 2015 *

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