(Peace Corps, 1984, 175 p.)

Teaching and communication skills - Preparing demonstrations and learning activities[edit | edit source]


One of the purposes of technical training programs is to provide a forum for ideas and innovative teaching tools that can be adapted for use at the community level. In this and following sessions, the participants build upon skills and experience gained during the program, and begin to develop effective materials and methods that can be used to share technical information with community members.


To create and practice using locally appropriate learning materials and methods relating to solar dryers and food storage methods

To develop and use criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching tools and methods


Helping Health Workers Learn: Chapters 11-16, 17.
Health Education Training Model, Sessions 4, 9, 10 and 11.
Improved Food Drying and Storage Training Manual, Sessions 18, 20-22,
The Photonovel, A Tool For Development
Bridging the Gap
Audio-visual Communications Teaching Aids Resource Packet


"Guidelines for Appropriate Teaching Aids", Handout 15A


Newsprint and markers, or chalkboard and chalk, as determined by by the participants


Before the program begins, ask participants to bring examples of teaching tools or ideas that they have used in their work.
Gather a variety of examples of teaching aids.


  1. (10 minutes) Warm-up Activity

Have volunteers demonstrate the teaching tools or ideas that they have brought to the program.

  1. (15 minutes) Sharing Ideas about Teaching Tools and Methods

Refer to the list of potentially useful methods, foals and techniques developed in Session 12, "How People Learn". Ask for additions to the list. Encourage the group to examine a wide variety of ideas: story-telling (role play, drama, puppetery); visual aids (flannelboards and flexiflans, slide presentations, posters, drawings, flip cards, comic books and photonovels); discussions and demonstrations.

Show some examples of teaching materials. With the group, analyze each one regarding its potential for being an effective and appropriate tool or method in community education.

Ask for ideas about how each one may be adapted to the theme of the training program.


During or after this session is a good time to schedule workshops in puppetry, drama, radio or other methods of communicating information. If there are local resource people available, encourage them to participate in the training course.

If some of the participants have particular skills in developing teaching aids, give them the opportunity to teach optional workshops, making sure that they still have adequate time to complete their own projects.

Refer to Helping Health Workers Learn for detailed descriptions of teaching aids and methods.

Use the Audio-Visual/Communications Teaching Aids Resource Packet and the Improved Food Storage Training Manual for ideas and reference material.

  1. (20 minutes) Developing Criteria for Evaluating Teaching Tools and Methods

Use the following questions to guide a discussion of ways to determine the effectiveness of teaching methods and aids. Keep a list of criteria on newsprint.

  • What are some ways of determining the value of a teaching tool or method?
    - How can you tell if a method or teaching aid is accomplishing its goal?
    - How can you stimulate audience participation?
    - How can you tell if a method or tool is appropriate for its intended audience?
    - What are some specific characteristics of a successful teaching tool or method?

Distribute "Guidelines for Appropriate Teaching Aids" Handout 15A, and ask the participants to add to the guidelines, based on the discussion and criteria list just developed. Point out that the guidelines should be followed during the development of materials and methods demonstrations.

  1. (time as needed throughout the training program) Developing Presentations

Have the participants begin to work on presenting technical information about solar dryers, as well as other energy conserving food technologies, using the guidelines and the criteria list for appropriate teaching methods and tools.


Schedule the presentations throughout the rest of the program. Some of these may be given during the technical review scheduled for the ninth day of training. This would involve going into more depth in areas mentioned during the mid-program evaluation as needing additional study or review. If the participants have expressed interest in learning about other food preservation technologies (e.g. smoking, canning, brining, salting) they may choose to present information about one of those topics. All participants should be preparing presentations for the end-of-training Fair.

  1. (time as needed) Presentations

After each presentation, have the participants refer to the criteria list developed and evaluate the content, format and participation of each group. Some questions to guide the evaluation:

  • Was the information technically accurate, clear and appropriate for the intended audience?
    - Was the group making any assumptions about people's values regarding technology? health? If so, did they seem accurate?
    - Were there any secondary or hidden messages in the presentation?
    - Were you convinced by the message? Why, or why not?
    - Do you think that people with little formal education would learn from the presentation?
    - Was tradition incorporated in the method of presenting information, or in the technology used?
    - Was the audience involved?
    - Was discovery a part of the presentation?


Whenever possible:

  1. Make your own teaching aids, using low-cost local materials,
    2. When making teaching aids, use and build on skills students already have.
    3. Try not to make the aids for the students, but rather involve students or members or the community in making them for themselves.
    4. Look for ways to use real objects instead of just drawing things.
    5. Draw human anatomy (and signs of health problems) on people, not on paper,
    6. Teach new ideas or skills by comparing them with familiar objects or activities.
    7. Make teaching aids as natural and lifelike as you can, especially when detail is important.
    8. Use teaching aids that call for doing as well as seeing - aids that students must handle or put together.
    9. Make them as fascinating or fun as possible, especially teaching aids for children.
    10. Use teaching aids that do not simply show or explain something, but that help the students to think things through and discover solutions for themselves - teaching aids that exercise the learners' powers of observation and reason.
    11. Use your imagination, and encourage students to use theirs. Turn the making and inventing of teaching aids into a challenge and an adventure.
    12. Keep teaching aids relatively simple, so that when health workers return to their communities, they can make their own and teach others.

In summary: Create and use teaching aids that help develop self-reliance in both acting and thinking - in helping persons find things out for themselves.

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Authors Eric Blazek
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 0 pages link here
Aliases Solar and Energy Conserving Food Technologies 17
Impact 205 page views
Created April 14, 2006 by Eric Blazek
Modified December 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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