13.3  Selecting educational methods

To achieve each of your stated objectives, you need to choose the best educational method, because not all health education methods are appropriate to achieve each of your objectives — some methods are better than others. For example, if one of your learning objectives is to increase knowledge about a particular health subject, you should choose a method which is appropriate for this objective (Figure 13.7). If one of your objectives is to influence attitudes, you need a different way of getting your message across.

A healthcare worker counsels a mother on correct breastfeeding techniques whilst the mother is breastfeeding.
Figure 13.7  Individual counselling may be the best method to use for detailed and delicate health messages such as correct breast feeding. (Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia/Indrias Getachew)

Table 13.2 shows health education methods that are appropriate for each learning objective.

Table 13.2  Level of learning objectives, and appropriate health education methods.

Learning objectiveHealth education method
Raising awareness and passing on knowledgeLecture with discussion, talks at public meetings or social gatherings, and the distribution of materials such as posters and leaflets
Changing attitudesIndividual approaches such as counselling or discussion, using visual and audio-visual materials
Skill developmentTraining and demonstrations involving practice

When you are choosing the educational method that you will use, you should also consider:

  1. The number of people involved.
  2. Learner preferences.
  3. The appropriateness of the method to the local culture.
  4. Availability of your resources.
  5. A method that best fits the characteristics (age, sex, religion, etc.) of the target group.

13.2.1  Categories of objectives

13.4  Developing your plan of work