Peer tutoring: promoting wellbeing by encouraging cooperative attitudes within the school community
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Youth distress is growing in Italy: statistics for 2014/2015 show an alarming rise of hospitalizations due to depression among young people, as well as a growth of suicides and an increasing percentage of school dropout (15% among natives and 34.4% among students born abroad). Our hyper-technological society seems to provide "easy" practical solutions but, at the same time, generates a dis-integrated social and values framework. This unease expresses itself through rejection of rules, indifference towards culture, revolt, various types of psychological disorder and aggressiveness (bullying). In order to come to terms with this set of problems, a high school in Merano (province of Bolzano, Italy) implemented a peer tutoring program (mediated teaching-learning strategies among equals) in cooperation with a middle school. Preliminary results suggest that students benefited from the program in all inquired dimensions. Students still remain one of the main resource of our schools. They have the ability to build informal networks of mutual support and to create cooperative groups that enhance comprehension, which is significant to all pupils, not only in didactic terms Keywords: Peer education, life skills, integration, prevention, bullying.