European Guidelines for Homeopathic Education
“Homeopathy is that healing art and science of medicine which has been clinically developed from the principles discovered by Samuel Hahnemann and described in his treatise ‘The Organon of Healing Art’.
The practice of Homeopathy involves the selection and prescription of a single remedy, which through prior testing on healthy people and from clinical experience, is known to produce a similar symptom picture to that of the patient. The remedy is prescribed in the minimum dosage required to bring about healing.”
The competent homeopath has the potential to play a central role in the health care of each individual member of the population. Homeopathy offers the option of a primary therapy in a wide range and stages of disease conditions. Where full restoration to health is not possible, homeopathy can offer palliation, relief from suffering and assistance in recovery.
The Education of Homeopaths
The homeopathic education process recognises the student as an individual and creates an environment that enables students to draw out their own potential.The education of homeopaths has certain minimum requirements as to the quality and content. This is to enable homeopaths to participate effectively and equally in the integrated system of health care delivery of each country. A range of educational experiences prepares the student for the full range of potential therapeutic experiences they are likely to meet in practice.
The qualified homeopath is 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 therapists and diagnosticians working in an institutionalised setting.
Designing a Curriculum
The ultimate objective of a homeopathic education course is to enable graduates to develop as autonomous and competent homeopaths. The education needs to be sufficiently long for the content of the study outlined in the ECCH Education Guidelines to be covered and assimilated.
Learning activities and opportunities in the course, and the assessment of student progress, are designed in such a way that all the study topics are covered, and students can show evidence that
- they know at a basic understanding level
- they comprehend through understanding relationships of ideas in concepts and procedures
- they can apply the material in a practitioner role, integrating understanding and refining knowledge.
In addition, throughout the course students are encouraged to develop independence and autonomy, showing evidence that
- they are able to analyse existing information or situations
- they can synthesise new ideas themselves from their individual experience
- they can evaluate their progress through use of reflective practice.
The course provider will develop the curriculum in ways that guide the teaching, learning and assessment towards these objectives.
Current experience within the education community of professional homeopathy shows that effective education in homeopathic practice takes a minimum of 3 – 4 years of full-time study at professional higher education level, or first degree level (according to the education system of each country).
As a core requirement prior to graduation students should have been actively involved in the supervised initial case-taking and on-going case management of a minimum number of 30 patients, covering a range of chronic conditions over a number of consultations. The students should have been the primary case-taker in at least 1/3 of the cases worked on.
It should be stressed that this is the absolute minimum requirement for this type of clinical learning. Active supervised clinical learning and problem solving will provide the background needed to develop the student for this final requirement. Other kinds of clinical experience and activities usually made available are:
- acute and chronic paper cases
- acute and chronic video cases
- active and passive roles in live case-taking of new and follow-up cases
- structured sitting-in with experienced practitioners
- case-study exercises
- other activities
Learning Strategies and Teaching Modes
In line with the homeopathic principle of similars, we respect the individuality of each student. This “learner-centred” approach has become a guiding principle in education generally. In order to enable students to work to their full potential, an appreciation of the range of learning styles and teaching methods is essential.
To provide students with the opportunity to experience different teaching styles
To encourage students to develop their own individual ways of thinking and studying
To offer different teaching methods according to different learning styles in students
To provide the experiences and opportunities for learning which prepare a student to begin professional practice
Acquisition of Knowledge
Knowledge can be acquired in many different ways
Propositional knowledge -knowing about an issue through theories and ideas, accessed through written and spoken information
Presentational learning – creative, metaphoric or symbolic representation of material, accessed through patient narrative, myth, folklore, poetry etc.
Experiential learning – accessed through: observation, role play, case taking, problem oriented learning
Practical knowledge – knowing about an issue through the acquisition of practical skills
The student will learn to look at
attitudes – how we think about what we do
skills – what tools must be mastered to be effective at our task
knowledge – what we need to know to be competent
Teaching modes will vary in relation to this, and in relation to students’ learning strategies.
It has been suggested that learning is making meaningful patterns out of confusion. For individual students to achieve this, homeopathic education needs to pay attention to the variety of ways in which an individual can learn.
For example, learning is affected by
The physical learning environment
The student’s state of mind and physical health
The student’s disposition to learn in certain ways – through natural intelligence in the areas of language, logic, inter-personal, intra-persona, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic abilities.
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