Description of The Learners
The class is made up of young adults ranging from 20-26 years. Some of the listeners are people with the condition but have not publicly spoken about it, or have close relatives or friends with the condition. Others might have the condition but do not know their status since they have not and cannot go for examination. This is a group that wants to learn about the various types of diabetes to adopt appropriate ways of living their lives better.
For those with the condition already, they want to understand the right course of action to take and for those without; they want to learn about how they can modify their lifestyles and prevent themselves from engaging in the way of life that can result in them acquiring the condition. Also, the fact that they are relatively young, most in their 20s, they are energetic and keen about life. For some too, this is the age to enjoy life without limits.
They lust for knowledge but must be handled with care so as not to antagonize them. Their opinions, whether well informed or not, must be listened to and accorded the respect. Thus, the best way to progress with the class is through discussion. It should be highly interactive to give room for them to air their opinions confidently.
The setting of the class is a college. The staff working here are mostly degree and diploma holders depending in their area of specialization and the department they work. All the academic staff is made up of degree holders as a requirement by the government. The support staff, on the other hand, is mostly people with diplomas. However, we must face the fact that the students mostly meet with the teachers and interact more with them.
It is thus safe to conclude that they interact with well-educated and informed people in the school whether the academic or support staff. Another fact that cannot go unmentioned is that most of the staff is made up of young adults ranging from 30-45 years. It shows the institution’s aim of trying to integrate the student body and the staff better. Several in-service training for the staff exists to continuously equip the staff with necessary skills in dealing with the students.
Being college students, they are knowledgeable about diabetes. They are aware of the causes, and the fact that it has no cure is universal knowledge among all the students. However, most of them have never dealt or cared for a diabetic patient. They only feel it is beyond their league. They believe it is a specialty for the medical personnel. And others too feel it is an exaggerated illness. They believe diabetes is not a top killer as they consider cancer and HIV being the worse illnesses.
The learners come from diversified family backgrounds. It is quite hard to put them into categories regarding their education. Some parents are semi-educated while others are well educated. But one fact is, all the parents are socially educated. They know what is right and what is wrong with their children. However, most of these parents believe in some myths surrounding the diabetes calamity. The good thing is that they agree about the causes of the disease.
The class is made up of college students. At the end of their course, they will be qualified diploma holders. This is a relatively educated group, which can grasp the fairly complex material and do what is expected of them. If well taught about a certain subject, they will understand the concepts and how to implement the ideas.
Also, at this age, they are eager to conquer the world. They understand the importance of education and thus are eager to learn more. They want to show the world that they are knowledgeable and that keeps their academic thirst going. The reason for choosing this seemingly normal disease is that it resonates well with the class. The class is made up young people who are mostly dating. To most of them, it is a thrill being in a relationship, which is cool by itself. However, the peak of these relationships is engaging in harmful lifestyles about their diets and lack of exercises.
This is despite the fact that most cases of diabetes are caused by lack of proper exercise and the consumption of sugary food. The lesson is to question why this continually happens with parents and teachers guiding these young people. Can the prevalence be blamed on the teachers, parents or the students themselves? To fill this gap, the lesson is very vital since the answer lies in the minds of these students.
Topic Selection Rationale
The main teaching philosophy is through discussion. The discussion is the best method of delivery due to the nature of this sensitive subject. Despite the fact that the young people know the dangers of not exercising proper diet, it is still an increasing trend. Moreover, most people hate being guided in such intimate matters. They feel like the others are intruding into their private life.
They want to be left alone and do what they want with their lives. In any case, they say they are adults albeit naïve ones. The discussion thus becomes handy in such a situation. This becomes easier with college students since they are educated, eager to explore and ever ready to be heard. The discussion should start with a simple introduction. A brief introduction to the topic, reasons for the topic and specifically why the class is chosen.
It is to remove further any imaginary boundaries between the educator and the students that may exist in the minds of the students. The discussion should focus on a patient suffering from the disease. It should be a right scenario where the focus rotates on how the patient acquired such a disease. Also, on how he behaved upon learning of his condition and how he lives with the condition.
The discussion will be around a man living with diabetes known as Peter. He is 28 years of age, which is a small deviation from the age of some students. The only minor difference is that he was diagnosed with the disease while still in the university some five years ago. The description of his college social life leaves nothing to be desired though it clearly resonates with the young students.
He was a person that did not like practicing and used to consume a lot of sugary food. He slept with almost all of them who were too eager to be linked with the campus celebrity. Besides the lazy behavior, Peter was an alcoholic and would regularly be found in the clubs if he was not in his room sleeping. This behavior made him have a very poor hygiene with no regular exercises and the use various sugary foodstuffs besides the alcohol that had turned to be his best friend.
After some time, Peter developed some complications that were associated with often urination, regular feelings of thirst, blurry vision, extreme fatigue, loss of weight and numbness in the hands and feet (Herr, et al. 2013). This led to him being examined by the doctor for the symptoms of diabetes. After the examination, received the shock of his life when the results returned positive of diabetes mellitus.
He felt as if his celebrated life was over. It took some time and the efforts of his parents to make him accept the situation. He followed the doctors’ advice, and he coped well. His winning attitude helped a lot too. And now, he has four years to his name living with diabetes. His simple advice to young people is; avoid inappropriate diet and alcohol and also practice regularly through running or other field events.
The students discussed all aspects of this case above from the causes to the final stage of accepting one’s status. They found out that speaking out also helps a great deal. The discussion is fruitful if the class participates well. The interactions amongst themselves and also between them and the educator equip them with knowledge on diabetes. The discussion is the best mode of teaching a young class which is expected to impart this knowledge to others further. It gives them the freedom to think on any angle and widen their knowledge gap due to the peer discussion.
Herr, R., Pouwer, F., Holt, R. I. G., & Loerbroks, A. (2013). The association between diabetes and an episode of depressive symptoms in the 2002 World Health Survey: an analysis of 231 797 individuals from 47 countries. Diabetic Medicine, 30(6), e208-e214.
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