peer education about lgbt issues in the netherlands (1995)

The organisation of voluntary gay/lesbian groups offering education on homosexuality in The Netherlands

Peter Dankmeijer (1995)

This paper gives a summary of a research in 1994 on the organization of 34 volunteer groups who offer education about homosexuality to Dutch secondary schools. From other representative research, its is known these volunteer groups reach about 13% of all Dutch schools. The Netherlands have a quite elaborate infrastructure for peer education on homosexuality.

== positive or destructive cycles
The organisation of the peer-education groups can be characterized as a four-phase cycle, which may turn to being a positive, self stimulating cycle or to a negative self destructive cycle.

  1. In a positive cycle the first phase is to formulate what the group wants. Thinking this through and involving the volunteers are the keys to passing through this phase.
  2. The second phase is preparation of the product: making the mailing lists, programmes and materials. The key features here are securing funds and guarding the process.
  3. The third phase is implementation: conducting the acquisition and the sessions. Availability, strong coordination and good feedback are key aspects of this phase.
  4. The last phase is evaluation. An adequate archive and willingness to change the product in the light of effects are crucial here. In positive cycles, groups strive to increase the quality by keeping an eye on the long term objectives and by holding on to the mentioned keys as crucial instruments to maintain that quality. In negative cycles, the keys are lost or are not used and the group gradually deteriorates or sometimes collapses overnight.

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