Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time to give up the learning style spiel!

We at Passion for Birth have been beating this drum for awhile and it's nice to hear NPR coverage supporting what we've been saying!  There is no evidence about learning styles!

"....This has spawned a learning style industry. ..... which is why Doug Rohrer, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, decided to investigate. When he reviewed studies on learning styles he found no scientific evidence backing up the idea" 

People have ways they like to learn but there is no evidence that people learn easier one way or another based on their learning style.  I have gotten so frustrated when I hear people say they have power point slides for the visual learners.  I try not to sputter or demand to see their evidence... but I want to! 

What is evidence based is that ....  "all students benefit from variety.....Mixing things up is something that we know is scientifically supported as something that boosts attention. And we all sort of can feel this intuitively if you've been doing one thing for a long time and then something changes.
.....In fact scientists have found that variety boosts both attention and retention."

Most childbirth educators love to share the evidence around various medical interventions.  It's time to review the evidence around how we practice! 

Listen to the whole NPR interview:

Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reading about how to play basketball

 I saw an interesting educational blog... describing how up in arms we would be if our children came home from school and we asked them that mandatory question - "what did you learn today?"  And when they responded "basketball" and when asked if they practiced passing or dribbling or shooting, they responded "oh no, we talked/read about it...."  Do you think there would be a little outrage?

I challenge you the same way - how much of what you teach in your cb classes by having them read or talk would be better off taught by practicing hands on or with active involvement in role plays?

It's frequently said that birth is not a cognitive activity...if an impartial observer watched our classes, what percentage of time would they say we spent preparing them through mental processes? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How do you handle your visual aids?

I found this picture on a hospital website advertising their childbirth classes.  What is your reaction? 

We spend a little time in our workshops talking about handling props, especially babies in a respectful way.  I understand wanting to make classes look "fun" but not sure if this makes that statement. 

What pic would you use instead?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A classic

This clip was always a favorite of mine and I remember showing it a lot when I first started teaching... a fun way to introduce the "breathing" and dispel myths.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Can playing a game be educational?

Passion for Birth is venturing into on-line learning and I am trying to learn everything possible about the best, interactive options out there.  Today I was on a webinar about using Gadgets and Games and they encouraged us to check out the on-line game at Get The Glass
I have to tell you the first few minutes I spent there had my head reeling - what if the objective was to have a healthy birth instead of getting the glass?  My imagination went wild!  Go check it out and come back and comment your reactions!  Don't focus on the theme - dream of what birth oriented theme we could develop! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tribute to a true inspiration

I normally try to focus on all things related to childbirth education but I want to take a moment and honor my friend who was such an inspirational person, Candy Lakin. 

I first met Candy when we were teenagers and worked as camp counselors the summer of 74 in Cadillac, MI.  For some reason we decided we wanted an adventure at the end of the summer, recruited a third friend and the day after camp ended, loaded up our clunky ten speeds and headed off on a cross country bike ride!  And what an adventure it was - always heading into the wind, sleeping under picnic tables and fixing so many flat tires!  This was before bike helmets, cell phones and lightweight bikes with many gears.  Before we left I don't think any of us had biked more than 20 miles.  We planned our route day to day (2400 miles and 42 days later we made it to WA, Candy had left by train a little earlier to start school at Chico in CA.)   We often looked back and thought how did our parents ever let us go?  I really think they didn't "let us go", they just couldn't stop us!  What kept us going?  I think it was because so many didn't think it could be done. We loved sending one particular non-supporter a postcard from each state we crossed into.  Being three females, we were a rare site on the road and were often invited to stay in people's homes/yards. (better than the outhouse we slept in when a bear chased us)  Long distance biking was pretty unique then. 

Three years ago Candy developed ovarian cancer and fought an active battle against the invasion of those cancer cells into her body.  She didn't let it stop her from her passions - canoeing, sailing, biking and doing so many projects to make it a better world.  Her husband and three sons gave her support and companionship to do whatever needed to be done...

I saw Candy last month when I was back in Cadillac - at that point she was no longer able to eat/digest  and she was taking every day as a gift.  But I swear she was more active than 99% of others in the world.  One of her sons had asked if there was anything that she hadn't gotten done that she would like help on in the final weeks.  It was during that time that the dream of an "every woman" sculpture was born.  Pictured is a first draft.  I look forward to seeing how it changes and comes to life. 

Candy died yesterday surrounded by family and friends.  Every single one of us will carry the Candy spirit - making the world a better place.  I know my friendship with her made me a better person!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Failure to progress

Oh, how that term is discouraging!  This clip produced by the Future of Birth  makes a great point!  Enjoy.  Future of Birth says it is the first of a series and I am anxious to see what else they produce. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Breastfeeding week

Dawn Kersula forwarded this clip that was created in her community!  Thanks, Dawn for sharing!