How doing for others makes us do, learn and understand more.
The protégé effect suggests that when you go ahead and teach someone something, you (who teaches) understand the something (what you teach) better for yourself. Because you do not simply teach it, but experience it through the others’ understanding of it.
The secondary key point of the protégé effect is that you (who teaches), do not necessarily have to be a teacher. You simply need to be a peer of that someone you teach. This way, both the person you teach and you (who teaches) get an experimental and better understanding of what you teach, whether it’s dance, vocals or playing a musical instrument from the Pacific Rim.
Are you starting to understand why initiatives like the ROOTS&ROUTES Peer Coach Academy are so valuable?
They offer a win-win situation, for the participants and their peer-coaches. But it’s not just that.
Since 2008, partner organizations in the international ROOTS & ROUTES network have jointly developed a concept and curriculum for a cultural peer coach training; for young artists from performing arts and media who would like to pass on their competencies to peers and younger people as peer coaches. The programme takes a special interest in urban culture and contemporary art, bringing together the “soil” for many young artists in an urban environment to realise their potential, and to plant their roots.
The methodology of bringing young artists together in diverse, safe-space groups allows room for growth: expanding their horizons, networking and realising their possibilities for actions in transnational and transdisciplinary residencies.
This brings us to the third trait of the ROOTS&ROUTES Peer Coach Academy. It has social impact. It creates the conditions for young people, full of talent, ideas and potential to come together, to interact and realise how many possibilities they have. It is an initiative that makes room for people to come together, who might not have met each other, as the cities’ environments tend to separate, rather than bring together.
The Peer Coach Academy aims at bringing young artists and their peer-coaches to a galvanising environment where they can think together and learn how to respond to social inequality and advocate for diversity-conscious cohesion during and after the Academy is completed.
It’s not only a project for the participants. It’s a project for everyone.
It is a programme that offers a learning experience to youngsters (16-27 years old), interested in music, dancing, movie-making and graffiti for 12 days.

Currently, the ROOTS & ROUTES Peer Coach Academy is not implemented on an international level but a national one. We are curious to see, what an international Peer Coach Academy will look like!
In the meantime, for more information, you can check out the official page:
The ROOTS & ROUTES Peer Coach Academy | RRCGN