Sex education refers to education that touches on elements of sexuality. It covers topics such as sex organs, reproduction, sexual intercourse, and reproductive health among other things. This paper seeks to discuss the introduction and assessment of learning needs in relation to the sex education teaching project. The paper will look into an educational philosophy and theory as applied to the learning setup. It will also describe an assessment mechanism for the learners.
Introduction and assessment of learning needs: brain-based learning
Brain-based learning is a theory that puts the basis of learning on the capacity of the brain. Learning is with this respect identified with the “structure and function of the brain” (Crescentok 1). According to the theory, learning takes place in any given condition provided that no obstacle or hindrance is subjective to the brain. Learning is therefore established on a general ground for the brain to function under natural circumstances (Crescentok 1).
According to Lucas Bob, brain-based learning is an active process that involves the participation of individual learners throughout the process. In the learning process, “challenges and ambiguity as used and encouraged through the use of accelerated learning strategies” (Bob 1) are employed among the learner for the purpose of making the learning process more efficient. The application of brain-based learning through the engagement of the learner motivates and compels the learners into diversifying their thought during the learning process. The basis of brain-based learning is itself broad and covers a wide number of elements. Some of the elements or activities that form part of this learning approach include: “problem-solving, role play, questioning, brainstorming, visualization, games and simulations, and mind mapping” (Bob 1) among others. Problem-solving, for instance, involves finding a way out of a difficult situation. The learners are subjected to issues and circumstances that require thinking into solutions. Active participation thus makes learners involved in the learning process to learn fast. This increases the chances of an individual conceptualizing the learning process better than if no active participation is used. Some of the applicable approaches to problem-solving include obtaining a piece of information that defines a problem and then processing the information for an insight into the problem, conducting an in-depth analysis of identified problems, and taking action towards getting a solution to a problem (Robertson 27).
Visualization on the other hand refers to a self-driven imaginative process that is aimed at deriving “satisfaction or prosperity” over an issue (Gawain 4). A learner will therefore be expected to apply a level of basic imagination in the learning process in order to facilitate the processes as well as complement the problem-solving technique. Imagination helps in understanding the existing nature and using its elements in the learning process (Gawain 4). All the elements of brain-based learning are however identified to be dependent on the level of “knowledge and skills” that an individual learner already poses (Bob 1). Questioning or even brainstorming will, for example, be based on a person’s idea about the subject matter being considered. In general terms, the elements of brain-based learning employ the learner’s existing knowledge that in combination with techniques such as “analogies, simulations, metaphors, jokes, activities, stories and personal examples” (Bob 1) gains insight into the subject matter of the learning. As much as the brain-based learning theory is widely identified with the learners, the trainer is also an important factor in the learning process and determines the level of success of the process. With this respect, a trainer is supposed to ensure that the learning environment is at least conducive to the learning exercise. Aspects of training such as methodologies and resources employed in training should be centered on the trainees to ensure that they are accepted and even appreciated by the employees. This will help the learners to focus more on the learning process. A trainer should also be able to make his or her training sessions to be “fun, meaningful and personally enriching” (Bob 1) to ensure that the trainees are captured in the sessions for a better and more inclusive process (Bob 1). A trainer should also strive to avail time and chances to trainees for their personalized participation in the learning process (Bob 2).
The theory of brain-based learning works on several principles as guidelines to for operation. It has, for example, been established that “the brain is a parallel processor” (Crescentok 1) thereby able to process a number of activities simultaneously (Crescentok 1). As a result, a number of learning concepts can be induced to the learners at the same time for the sake of reinforcement. This means that the trainer can, for example, apply oral and experimental training concepts at the same time without losing the learner’s attention. A learning session can therefore be enriched with a number of supportive concepts on the brain-based theory that learners will be able to adequately process the different concepts or approaches that can be applied in the learning process. Learning is also believed to “engage the whole physiology” (Crescentok 1) of the learners. The trainer is therefore supposed to be all-round in his or her approaches to the training (Crescentok 1). Involvement of the trainers in elements such as demonstrations is, for instance, a step to achieving the training objectives. Elements like the “search for meaning in a learning process” in which a learner is supposed to be mentally engaged in the learning process through problem-solving and thinking in order to, in the end, come up with an understanding or a solution to problems and challenges faced by the learning process prepares the learner into dealing with issues and circumstances in the field (Crescentok 1). The search for meaning through patterning which incorporates some level of emotional engagement of learners is also a key to a successful learning process. This is because emotional attachments are long-lasting and also induce a personalization approach to dealing with people. Nurses who are, for example, expected to exhibit a personalized approach when dealing with their patients or clients are thus be exposed to such elements that engage their emotions so as to prepare them for the task ahead of them (Crescentok 1).
Brain-based learning is applicable in three major techniques. The first technique involves an “orchestrated immersion” in which the learner is fully supplied with the learning information. The “Relaxed alertness” technique on the other hand establishes an assurance to the trainees that even challenging subjects in relation to the training can as well be tackled successfully. The other technique applicable under brain-based learning is the provision of some time to the learners to allow for the active conceptualization of the learning and gain a deeper understanding of the subject of the learning. The theory of education is then based on a three-step approach that involves the development of the training outline with goals and strategies, followed by the learning process that includes plans for the attainment of objectives and a final assessment of the learning process (Crescentok 1).
The brain-based learning theory is backed up with the progressivism philosophy of education which stipulates concepts of learning such as focusing on the learners contrary to the trainer, involving trainees’ active participation in the learning through experimentations and thinking among others (Erkilic 3). Application of the philosophy and the theory into a learning process is then complemented with proper scheduling of the whole training process with the learners being the main focus. A training schedule should incorporate the learners’ capacities and adaptability guided by established principles of education. Consideration must, for instance, be given to the trainees’ level of “existing skills and knowledge” (New 4) and the extent of coverage by the training (New 4). Finally, an assessment of the success of the training program will be established. There are a number of ways through which effective assessment can be conducted. These include the used of questionnaires that are filled by the trainees, administering interviews and tests on the trainees to establish the level of achievement of the training (Annex 2).
A teaching project requires critical planning and understanding of approaches and techniques that will yield desired results. Educational philosophies and theories together with planning and scheduled assessments therefore form the basis of a teaching project.
Annex, Alan. Training needs assessment for peer educators: a simple model. UNODC, n.d. Web. 2011.
Bob, Lucas. Engage Your Brain for Learning. Casselberry, FL: American Society for Training and Development. New York: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Crescentok. Educational theories. Crescentok, n.d. Web. 2011.
Erkilic, Turan. Importance of educational philosophy in teacher training for educational sustainable development. IDOSI, 2008. Web.
Gawain, Shakti. Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life. New York: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
New. Training for community broadcasters. Google Documents, n.d. Web. 2011.
Robertson, Ian. Problem solving. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press, 2009. Print.