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AIDS Educ Prev. 2002 Oct;14(5):391-400.

Teaching and learning by example: empowerment principles applied to development, delivery, and evaluation of community-based training for HIV service providers and supervisors.

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  • 1Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, New York, NY 10023-7479, USA.


This article describes and recommends a participatory method of developing, implementing, and evaluating a learner-driven community-based continuing education effort for HIV workers and supervisors. The Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) created and delivered a training program in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Bureau (the Bureau). Because teaching empowerment-based practice was an overarching goal, every step of the process modeled collaboration and self-determination. The program was unusual in several ways: the workshops focused on basic helping skills rather than the medical aspects of HIV; community stakeholders shaped the workshops in consultation with staff from the Bureau and BUSSW; a formative evaluation led to adaptations of the curriculum in the first few months of the project; objectives were set in part by learners, who evaluated themselves on goal attainment; and follow-up interviews explored the effects of the workshops on practice. Most supervisors and direct care workers reported that the workshops were highly relevant to their work and that they were able to incorporate their learning into practice, suggesting that the empowerment approach has utility. The report includes the genesis and necessity of the project; the principles underpinning it; the use of empowerment at each stage; and implications for administrators, service providers, and educators in the HIV field. We propose that resources dedicated to collaborative or participatory curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation are well spent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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