Teaching school age children

School age children between age 6 and 12 are capable of logical reasoning. They should be included in the patient education process whenever possible, and especially before procedures that affect them. Explain procedures, as well as the reasons for them, in a simple, logical way, and with confidence and optimism. You should also plan to spend considerable time teaching the parents of school age children. In addition to teaching them about the child’s illness and treatment plan, parents may also need information about problems common in this age group, such as behavior disorders, hyperactivity, learning disorders, and enuresis. Any of these problems may produce stress for the child and family and may require extensive teaching to enhance both the parents‘ and child’s understanding of the condition and methods to manage the problem. Whatever stage of childhood the young patient is in, it is important to keep the child’s developmental stage in mind and to encourage parents to foster the child’s normal development despite limitations that may be imposed by illness. Table 13 outlines principles that are useful for teaching pre-school and school age children.

Table 13

Principles for Teaching Pre-Schoolers And School Age Children

  • Children learn best through their senses; choose learning activities that stimulate many senses
  • Learning activities should be interesting and meaningful; select activities that create enthusiasm and interest
  • The child’s learning is enhanced through the use of concrete materials; teaching should move from the concrete to theabstract as appropriate
  • Consider the child’s developmental level, experiences, interests, and abilities
  • When possible, give the child something to keep or to take home
  • Activities such as games, role playing, showing items and objects, using puppets and artwork, and telling stories and reading books are appropriate for this age group

Source: Hooper, J.I. (1998). „Health education.“ In: Edelman, C.L.,& Mandle, C.L. Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan, 4thed. St. Louis: Mosby, 222-227.

Teaching adolescents