Originally published in 1980, the setting of this book is in the practicalities of teaching on labour wards, in antenatal clinics and in child health clinics. In such settings, health education about childbirth and parenthood is often an explicit, and always implicit, task for the health professional. The book results from several years’ research on health service teaching methods and contains detailed studies of teaching in practice, in clinics, in classes and on wards, by midwives, health visitors, physiotherapists, doctors, National Childbirth Trust teachers and the writers of educational pamphlets. A number of transcripts of teaching sessions are presented to illustrate ways in which practitioners can develop more relevant and sensitive teaching strategies. The author shows that realistic goals are essential if the needs of learners, who are also problematically ‘patients’ and ‘clients’, are to be met.
The book offers insights into professional problems which voluntary organisations concerned with the health service and with educational work with parents, can use to help both themselves and their clients to make a more intelligent use of the facilities available. A more practical but critical philosophy of antenatal teaching is advocated, enabling all professionals involved to take a fresh look at their courses and clients.