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Teaching Skills Module

Childbirth International’s certification programs (Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Lactation Counselor) include four modules: Communication Skills; Physiology; Professional Skills; and Business of Birth. Each module has a number of units or topics relevant to your work as a birth and lactation professional. Within a lesson, you’ll read the course materials, complete self-guided reflective and critical thinking activities, and view external readings and videos. There may also be additional discussion forums, assignments, quick quizzes, and tests, which are required if you choose to complete the certification requirements.

The Teaching Skills module is the third and final module required for students intending to become a Certified Childbirth Educator.

Topics in Teaching Skills

In this module, you will learn about the skills essential to teaching adult education classes that enable you to provide engaging and informative classes. The topics covered in the teaching skills module include:

An explanation for each unit within the Teaching Skills module can be found below, together with a table outlining the competencies you will build in each unit.

Getting Started as a Childbirth Educator

In this unit, you’ll explore the concept of childbirth education, and the role of the childbirth educator. You’ll review the history of childbirth education and its benefits, and consider the different formats and styles suitable for prenatal classes. You’ll also look at the concept of learning styles and how they might affect the delivery of childbirth education.

Certification activities in this unit

  • Research the childbirth education options available in the local community
Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of a childbirth educator
  • Identify the childbirth education options available to clients in the local community
  • Identify the legal and professional requirements for client confidentiality
  • Describe four learning style theories
  • Describe the benefits of childbirth education and the limitations of the research that has been carried out
  • Discuss and debate the contemporary theories on adult learning and learning styles
  • Evaluate personal learning style
  • Describe the elements of the CBI Code of Ethics and Professionalism and how that affects personal work as a childbirth educator
  • Analyze the local, regional, and ethical requirements for client confidentiality
  • Establish personal boundaries concerning role and responsibilities
  • Maintain client confidentiality

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Teaching Adults

Much of our experience of teaching comes from being taught ourselves. During this unit, you’ll consider the differences in the needs of pregnant clients and their partners in childbirth classes and techniques to help groups work together effectively in your role as a facilitator of learning. You’ll identify clients who can be challenging in a childbirth education course – the shy client, the talkative one, the class joker, and the medical client whose presence can lead the childbirth educator to feel a lack of confidence.

Certification activities in this unit

  • Observe four hours of childbirth education classes (in-person or virtually)
  • Reflect on the teaching style of an observed childbirth educator
Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • List four factors that affect group learning and group relationships
  • List five barriers to adult learning
  • Describe three theories of group dynamics
  • List six motivators that drive adults in their learning
  • Describe two learning models
  • Reflect on own experiences in education, identifying the skills used by effective educators
  • Evaluate the environmental factors that affect group dynamics
  • Develop strategies for managing challenges in groups
  • Review teaching style to determine how it optimizes adult learning
  • Evaluate teaching techniques that are appropriate for different styles of adult learning
  • Reflect on environmental factors that enhance adult learning
  • Adjust the environment to optimize group learning
  • Adapt teaching materials to accommodate different group dynamics
  • Apply the principles of group facilitation when teaching
  • Plan for future learning in developing teaching skills

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Goals & Client Needs in Childbirth Education

During this unit, you’ll be considering your client’s needs and your own teaching goals, exploring ways to ensure they are in alignment with each other. You’ll consider the different styles of childbirth education classes that are possible, such as classes for first-time parents, teen classes, adoption or surrogacy classes, or lactation education, and determine where you want to find your niche. You’ll look at the role of creating agendas, the benefits and disadvantages of using them, and different ways of creating them. You’ll identify the differences between traditional teaching methods and more active styles of teaching, determine the expectations of your clients and how to ensure these are realistic, and explore the importance of teaching skills and providing opportunities for clients to explore their feelings about the upcoming birth of their baby and becoming a parent.

Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • Describe five teaching techniques
  • Describe five different audiences of childbirth classes
  • Reflect on personal goals in becoming a childbirth educator
  • Consider different ways to assess client learning needs
  • Compare and contrast traditional and active teaching methods
  • Plan for teaching to one or more specific audiencesIdentify prior knowledge and learning needs of the group and individual participantsDevelop a teaching style that accommodates learner needsUse teaching techniques that optimize adult learningAdopt a facilitation approach to teaching and learning

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Planning & Structuring a Course

During this unit, you’ll be focusing on designing and writing a teaching plan for your classes. A teaching plan provides you with the necessary documentation to offer classes that focus on the needs of your clients and provides you with the tools necessary to evaluate whether you are meeting those needs. While we provide you with a teaching plan that you can use and adapt for your classes, this unit will walk you through the process of developing a teaching plan, understanding the importance of having structure in your classes, and using evaluation techniques throughout a course to measure whether you’re achieving your goals. At the end of this unit, you’ll be able to produce a teaching plan that can be used in future teaching and forms part of the requirements for students planning to become certified.

Certification activities in this unit

  • Document aims and learning outcomes for a childbirth education topic
Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • Analyze the differences between competency-based learning and knowledge-based learning
  • Differentiate between knowledge, understanding, and skills
  • Differentiate between an aim and a learning outcome
  • Describe the domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Consider the barriers to using a structured approach in planning adult learning classes
  • Analyze the balance of activities within a teaching plan
  • Recognize the value of a framework in delivering and evaluating classes
  • Recognize the value of planning classes using aims, learning outcomes, and evaluation methods
  • Recognize how skill development enables clients to make informed decisions
  • Document clear aims for each activity being taught
  • Document learning outcomes that are consistent with aims and identify knowledge, understanding, and skills

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Using Visual Aids Effectively

During this unit, you’ll explore the benefits and disadvantages of visual aids and consider ways that you can use them for maximum impact and effectiveness. You’ll consider how you can use real people, for example, parents of a young baby or other health professionals, to add an extra dimension to your classes and help create a more realistic picture for clients. Finally, you’ll explore ways that you can use visual aids cheaply without necessarily having to purchase a large number of expensive items.

Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • Name situations where visual aids are appropriate and effective
  • List physiological processes that can be illustrated with visual aids
  • Consider the benefits and challenges of having visitors attend learning sessions
  • Evaluate ways in which visual aids can be used to reinforce learning
  • Consider ways that visual aids can be made available at low or no cost
  • Explore ways to ensure that visual aids are culturally appropriate
  • Select appropriate videos for demonstrating different types of births
  • Use props to demonstrate a physiological process(e.g., pelvis and baby, model breast)
  • Recognize concerns clients may have when watching videos
  • Develop strategies for managing a class with visitors or guests

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Teaching Knowledge-Based Topics

During this unit, you’ll be exploring different activities that provide information on knowledge-based topics such as lactation, labor, pain in childbirth, interventions, and lactation. Learning about games and activities that have worked for many teachers assists you in building up a repertoire of teaching ideas. By combining the knowledge you built in the physiology module with your understanding of adult teaching and facilitating a class, you’ll identify techniques to communicate knowledge-based topics that are evidence-informed and develop activities that reinforce learning.

Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • List the factors that optimize opportunities for using knowledge and skills in practice
  • Consider the circumstances that inhibit a client from integrating knowledge in a class to implement it in practice
  • Facilitate knowledge-based education using active teaching skills that engage clientsProvide relevant information to clients in classes that are supported by the evidence and promote wellness

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Teaching Communication & Informed Decision-Making

During this unit, you’ll be exploring different activities that develop skills in communication and informed decision-making. By combining your understanding of language, active listening, and reflective practice, with your understanding of adult teaching and facilitating a class, you’ll identify techniques to facilitate activities that promote informed choice, decision-making, and effective communication.

Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • List four ways that an educator can reinforce informed choice
  • Evaluate language used in classes that affect the ability of an individual to make informed choices
  • Use teaching activities that support informed choiceAdapt activities to provide information to the level desired by the clientProvide opportunities for clients to explore fears and concernsCreate a teaching environment that is safe, comfortable, respectful, and allows privacyPrioritize informed decision-making in class topics

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Teaching About Parenting

During this unit, you’ll be exploring different activities that provide information on the postpartum period such as parenting, relationships, and unexpected outcomes. You’ll identify ways to make parenting real to expectant parents through the activities chosen in your classes. You’ll discuss activities that can be used to explore relationships during the postpartum period and how to address difficult topics such as unexpected outcomes, grief, and loss.

Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • List five topics that are relevant to parenting in childbirth education classes
  • Examine ways that different approaches to parenting can be presented in a balanced and unbiased way
  • Provide opportunities for clients to identify conflicts in parenting approaches

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Evaluating Your Teaching

In order to determine whether or not your classes are meeting the needs of your clients, the most effective way is to ask the clients. In this unit, you’ll explore different methods for evaluating the effectiveness of your classes and the ways that classes can be enhanced if they are not. You’ll look at variations in evaluation form design and determine the most appropriate time and method for getting evaluations from clients. Finally, you’ll consider how to manage the situation when a client is disappointed with classes.

Certification activities in this unit

  • Teach a six-hour childbirth course (in-person or virtually)
  • Reflection on skills taught in childbirth classes and their effectiveness
  • Reflection on group dynamics within a childbirth course
Essential KnowledgeContextual UnderstandingAttitudes and Behaviors
  • List five ways to receive feedback from clients
  • Differentiate between formative and summative assessment
  • Compare and contrast immediate feedback with end-of-course feedback
  • Reflect on personal feelings when receiving negative feedback
  • Analyze several different evaluation methods to measure whether learning outcomes are achieved
  • Plan evaluation methods to determine class effectivenessUse a blend of open and closed questions when seeking feedbackMake clients aware of expected learning outcomes and the reasons why these are relevantIncorporate stop, reflect, and check-in activitiesSeek, and reflect on, feedback from learners to develop teaching skillsBe willing to take risks with teaching

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