An ECCH & ICH document
This third edition of the Guidelines for Homeopathy Education has been renamed the „International Guidelines for Homeopathy Education‟. We would like to acknowledge the thorough consultation process which took place, involving a wide cross-section of the homeopathy profession, including individuals with expertise in the area of homeopathy education in 23 countries in Africa, America, Europe and Oceania.
These guidelines outline a framework for the education and training of a competent, autonomous homeopath. The homeopath should ideally be competent to work in a variety of roles, ranging from an independent consultant in private practice through to being an integrated member of a team of healthcare practitioners working in a clinical setting. Practitioners from other health care disciplines studying homeopathy are expected to complete the full homeopathy content of these guidelines, including the clinical requirements, in order to become competent homeopaths.
We invite course providers, professional associations and individuals to assess the practical application of these Guidelines. All feedback is welcome, and will help us to make appropriate amendments for future editions. Readers and users are invited to send their thoughts to the International Council for Homeopathy (ICH).
The purpose of these Guidelines
This document is to be understood as a set of Guidelines, and not as criteria or a set of mandatory regulations. Individual national and regional situations may be influenced by legislation, regulation, national occupational standards, codes of ethics and other factors. The different areas of these Guidelines may therefore be more or less relevant to national guidelines, accreditation processes, curricula, syllabi or other documents and regulations which affect the education and training of homeopaths.
These Guidelines identify objectives and basic curriculum areas in homeopathy education andtraining, and may
- serve as a guide for the establishment of national or regional education guidelines
- facilitate the planning, implementation and evaluation of a course
- identify the relative importance of key topics
- serve as a guide for selection of learning opportunities and teaching approaches
- guide the development of effective, valid and reliable modes of assessment
The Guidelines may also play a major role in implementing an accreditation process for colleges and teaching institutions at a national or regional level. Please refer to regional accreditation documents, such as the European Guidelines for Accreditation of Courses of Education in Homeopathy (2002), or national accreditation documents, such as the AROH Accreditation and Audit Guidelines for Course Providers of Advanced Diploma of Homoeopathy (HLT 60607) (2009).
E-learning is mostly associated with activities involving the simultaneous use of computers and interactive networks. The computer does not need to be the central element of the activity or provide learning content. However, the computer and the network must be significantly involved in the learning activity. E-learning has been defined as a “pedagogy empowered by digital technology”. In the United States e-learning is defined as a planned teaching/learning experience which uses a wide spectrum of mainly internet or computer-based technologies to reach learners. In most universities, e-learning is now used to define a specific method in which a course or study program is delivered. Students study online and therefore rarely, if ever, attend for on-campus access to face-to-face educational facilities.
Web-based learning is associated with learning materials delivered in a web browser, including when the materials are packaged on a CD-ROM or other media.
Online learning is associated with content readily accessible from a computer. The content may be on the Web, the Internet, the computer‟s hard drive, or simply installed on a CD-ROM. The concept of online learning surfaced before the development of the Web, and before learning materials were delivered over the Internet or networks, so network use is not necessarily required.
Distance learning involves interaction at a distance between teacher and student, and enables the teacher to react and respond to the needs of the student. Simply posting or broadcasting learning materials to students is not distance learning. Instructors must be involved in receiving feedback from learners (Keegan 1986, Garrison & Shale 1987).
Distance learning is a concept older than most of the others discussed here. It does not necessarily require the use of computers or networks. It involves interaction between class members primarily at a distance, and enables the teacher to interact with students. Distance learning is typically associated with televised broadcasts and correspondence courses, but it also applies to certain E-learning applications.
The primary characteristic of the learning activity differentiates between each of the following concepts: web-based learning, online learning and distance learning. Intensive use of the defining feature is required. Incidental or occasional use of a characteristic feature is not sufficient to qualify for a certain type of learning. Ideally concepts and methods are merged to facilitate broader learning and accommodate ethical concerns.
Teaching and learning approaches
The following overview contains a number of suggestions for teaching and learning approaches (TLAs) that may be used as part of a homeopathy course. TLAs are used to help students learn what we want them to learn (Ramsden 2003). This overview is by no means exhaustive, and other effective teaching approaches may be applied.
- Raise students interest and expectations
- Ensure variety
- Motivate students
- Build on students‟ current knowledge and experience, develop what they already know
- Ensure good communication, explain when necessary
- Encourage students to pose questions, make requests and comments
- Provide opportunities for each individual student to be heard
- Encourage mutual respect and positive attitudes towards and between students, between
- students and staff, and a wish to learn together
- Show interest in students‟ point of view, actively listen and comment in a non-judgmental,positive and constructive way, focusing on what is useful
To help students to recognise the knowledge they already have and to encourage them to learn something new, the difficulty of the subject being taught should be set „one level above‟ the students‟ current level of knowledge (Krashen 1981, Vygotsky 1978, Øzerk 2006). It is advisable to begin with simpler tasks and move gradually towards more challenging tasks. This is in line with Bruner‟s (1960) principle of a ‘spiral curriculum’. Such a curriculum revisits basic ideas repeatedly, but at increasing levels of complexity and/or difficulty.
By setting high standards and making it clear that students are expected to achieve high standards, course providers and teachers help to stimulate students‟ self-esteem and self-confidence. This approach can also help to encourage students to consider course aims/objectives as inspiring challenges rather than insurmountable tasks. It may be helpful to set learning aims/objectives within time frames, which provide structure, and help students to stay on track and retain focus. Time frames should be flexible, and adjusted to meet students‟ individual needs.
Raising interest and explain
Teachers should provide students with clear explanations to facilitate their understanding and raise interest. Ideally, material should be presented with enthusiasm „face to face‟, and in an interesting manner (Ramsden 2003). It is much harder to raise interest or enthusiasm through written material alone. When appropriate, examples should be provided to illustrate theory (Felder and Silverman 1988). Students should be presented with clear, adequate teaching notes and other relevant resource material, which should have meaning to students „real life‟ problems whenever possible (Ramsden 2003). Enhanced learning can be facilitated by raising students‟ awareness of the possible range of learning models and activities (Felder and Silverman 1988).
As individual students learn best in differing ways, teaching and learning approaches should be varied. Students‟ attention span varies and can be poor during lectures (Brown and Race 2002, McKeachie 1994). Research suggests attention decreases from ten minutes into lectures and students only recall International Guidelines for Homeopathy Education 2011 41 significant knowledge from the first parts (McKeachie 1994). Mismatch between learning and teaching styles may result in boredom, inattentiveness, poor test results, discouragement and even drop-out. It is recommended that course providers and teachers endeavor to match teaching approaches to individual students‟ learning styles whenever possible (Felder and Silverman 1988).
Learning may be achieved by using different sensory channels (Dunn 2000):
- Verbal/visual presentations (varied colors/volume levels, variety of technology/media)
- Individual reflection
- Allow students to present materials to suit their learning styles
- Carry out tasks that are as closely matched to real-world situations as possible
- Use both inductive and deductive approaches in teaching
- Balance concrete information with abstract concepts (Felder and Silverman 1988)
- Balance the focus on fundamental understanding with problem-solving methods (Felderand Silverman 1988)
- Focus on intuitive and sensing patterns (e.g. recognising patterns through linking of items and encouraging generalisation from observations, observing material in teachers‟ and
- other students‟ presentations/findings) (Felder and Silverman 1988)
- Provide intervals for reflection and active participation (Felder and Silverman 1988)
Encourage students to actively participate in, and directly experience their own learning, rather than to passively read, hear or see (Stice 1987). Give students tasks to solve through project and problem-based learning (Pettersen 2001, Øzerk 2006). Practical exercises can for example involve patient observation, listening, questioning, raising self-awareness, and awareness of the process itself. The patient may be real, or a student acting as a patient
Encourage students to solve problems and discuss material together
Encourage students to teach each other
Provide opportunities to practise (Felder and Silverman 1988). This could involve case taking as an integrative approach. Students can be actively involved in case-taking and evaluation, through either direct interaction with patients, peers or by analysing video-taped or other types of cases. All aspects of homeopathy education and training could be integrated into different subjects taught throughout a course
Encourage group work (Armstrong 2004, Taylor et al. 2000) underpinned by clear group rules, so that individual students feel safe in the learning environment, thereby enabling the group to function effectively (Armstrong 2004, McGill and Beaty 1995, Nordland 1997)
Encourage self-reflection and the use of learning journals and/or learning portfolios.
Through self-evaluation, students can learn how to regularly review their homeopathy and other competencies. This may contribute both to student learning during education, and to their continuing professional development after graduation
Encourage students to consult with a homeopath themselves, in order to better understand the process of case taking, and the patient/practitioner relationship
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