Introduction to Internet and print resources for new mothers.
Introduction to social networking and support groups for new mothers in her area.
Teaching Strategies Used and Rationale
The teacher and learner will have a high degree of privacy in the hospital room during the teaching project. Therefore, lessons on breastfeeding will be comfortable and cause little embarrassment for the learner. Having privacy will help the learner feel relaxed and willing to breastfeed in front of the teacher. Also, the private setting will help the learner express her emotions.
Having determined that the learner prefers to observe and then act, the teaching strategies used for the project will include demonstrations and imitation. The learner's positive attitude directly suggests her high level of motivation to learn. Also, her cultural background and tendency to be compliant with hospital standards and procedures imply that the learner is likely to be highly motivated. Motivation is a prerequisite for adult learning (Silborne & Williams 1996). As Lieb (1991) notes, adult learners are autonomous, self-directed, goal-oriented and practical. Postpartum teaching enables the learner to capitalize on her own wealth of knowledge derived from her interactions with friends and family who have children. Also, the learner is excited about reading books and online materials related to postpartum issues and so the teaching project is tailored for a self-directed, motivated adult learner. The teaching project is also goal-oriented and practical, with specific learner objectives that include psychomotor mastery of basic breastfeeding techniques. Beger & Cook (1998) found that mothers prefer teaching methods that focus on physical needs. Those needs are squarely and thoroughly addressed in this project. Breastfeeding properly is the main psychomotor learning objective, and learning how to mitigate postpartum physical discomfort via cognitive understanding is one of the main cognitive objectives of the teaching project.
Other teaching strategies used in the current project include a strong emphasis on observational learning. Although Bandura's theory of observational learning was designed for child learners, observational learning remains one of the major preferred adult learning styles. Kolb, for example, showed how adult learning styles might include a preference for observation and imitation. The learner in this project did express her wishes to watch the breastfeeding model before trying breastfeeding techniques for herself. Lieb (1991) also points out the importance of life experiences to the adult learner. Allowing the learner to incorporate breastfeeding techniques or simple advice given to her by friends and family members will aid her motivation in incorporating the practices introduced in this project.
Materials Used and Rationale
The learner will be offered several online and print resources as suggestions for further reading. The government of British Columbia's guide called "Baby's Best Chance" is a well-written and relatively comprehensive handbook that includes plenty of practical information that is related to what the new mother can expect in terms of physical and psychological symptoms. However, the handbook lacks thorough information on breastfeeding and breast pumping. Therefore, the learner will be given a list of Web sites and books she can read on her own time. During the teaching project, the learner will be introduced to proven breastfeeding and breast milk pumping techniques suggested by reputable sources including the American Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies. Web sites that are sponsored by medical establishments, government-sponsored Web sites, and educational Web sites all provide reliable information that the new mother can trust. Any and all of the Web sites listed in the References section of this report will be offered to the new mother.
Evaluation of Learner
According to the American College of Healthcare Executives (nd), "evaluation should be integrated and consistent, not simply accomplished only at the conclusion of training." In other words, the teacher should continually observe and evaluate the learner before, during, and after the session. The teacher's responsibility to the learner is to make sure that any and all teaching strategies used during the current project are effective. If the learner does not respond to or responds negatively to any strategies employed during the teaching project then it is the teacher's responsibility to change his or her approach. During the teaching project, I observed the learner thoroughly, taking into account her background as well as her interactions with friends, family members, and the newborn. After determining that the learner preferred to learn by doing and observing, the current project was designed to accommodate her needs.
The learner remained enthusiastic during the entire lesson. She smiled readily and seemed appreciative of the information and techniques that the teacher brought to the lesson. Therefore, the learner remained highly motivated. Her high level of motivation in turn ensured concentration and retention of material. She was more than able to meet the learning objectives listed in the project report. In fact, the learner surpassed the teacher's expectations in terms of her ability to name postpartum physiological and psychological symptoms and their remedies. The learner at first seemed hesitant about breastfeeding but after observing various techniques of breastfeeding and breast pumping on the model, she was quickly able to imitate and practice on her own newborn baby.
The learner also surpassed expectations by showing definite interest in participating in local postpartum support groups, in availing herself of intervention resources in case of postpartum depression, and meeting other single parents in an organized setting. The American College of Healthcare Executives (nd) points out the need for learner self-evaluation. Therefore, the learner was requested to share her thoughts and feelings about her progress during the teaching project. She seemed reluctant to admit her progress but finally acknowledged that she did gain cognitive, psychomotor, and affective resources that would be enormously helpful in practical application. As a single mother, the learner also admitted the unique stressors that might place her at risk for postpartum depression. The learner agreed to follow-up sessions and if necessary, to psychiatric evaluations. After the teaching project was completed, the learner also indicated a strong desire to begin a postpartum exercise program that was approved by her primary care physician.
Evaluation of Teacher
The American College of Healthcare Executives (nd) addresses the need for teachers to assess themselves. With a thorough and honest self-evaluation, instructors can gain insight into their personal strengths and weaknesses. A particular teaching style might need to be adapted for future learners who have different learning styles than the current one. Also, the teacher might notice shortcomings in the lesson based on learner retention of knowledge. Because the learner in this case demonstrated sufficient cognitive, psychomotor, and affective progress, no alterations to future teaching techniques will be necessary unless the learner is from a significantly different background or has entirely different learning styles. Otherwise, the instructor seemed comfortable during the entire project session. The instructor's level of comfort with her own teaching style made it easier for the learner to relax. The teacher's attentiveness and ability to listen to the new mother's concerns also helped the learner gain much from the teaching project. Therefore, the teacher did a more than adequate job of helping the learner grasp cognitive concepts related to postpartum health, practice psychomotor activities especially breastfeeding, and understand her feelings toward being a new mother. A teacher evaluation also shows what the teacher learned from the session. The teacher learned how to communicate better and how to be an effective demonstrator for important tasks like breast milk pumping.
Evaluation of Resources
The online resources used for the teaching project are reputable, sponsored by government, educational, or health care institutions. Therefore, the learner can rely on them as valid sources of information about postpartum health. Because the resources are all located online, the learner can easily access them at home. The only books shown to the learner during the teaching project was the government of British Columbia's handbook, which is available in a digital format. The learner has expressed interest in searching for print books and magazines that can further her understanding and awareness of postpartum health and baby care.
This report covered the postpartum teaching objectives for a 30-year-old single mother. The purpose of the project was to assess the learner's background and learning style to create an ideal teaching project. Also, the project was intended to deepen the learner's awareness of postpartum physical and psychological health issues and to learn how to prevent and treat possible issues. Because both teacher and learner performed well during the session, the project can be considered a great success.
American Academy of Family Physicians (2008). Breastfeeding: How to pump and store your breast milk. Retrieved July 14, 2008 at http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregnancy/birth/828.html
American College of Healthcare Executives (nd). Using adult lifelong…