Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education: Innovative Approaches, Methods, and Ideas

By Paul Jay Edelson; Patricia L. Malone | Go to book overview

This chapter describes the development of a drug and alcohol prevention
program that is facilitated on a parent-to-parent basis in an elementary
school setting
.


Peer-Facilitated Adult Education

Susan Anderson

The idea of creating a peer model of adult education developed out of a social worker's need to provide a program of substance abuse prevention within a school district. Having treated the catastrophic end of family dysfunction for over ten years in an acute psychiatric service, I wanted to intervene at the earlier stages of family development. The questions that remained were these: How can I provide a substance abuse program to elementary schoolchildren that will have long-term effects? How can I integrate a family systems model within a public education setting? How can I provide a dynamic program that can promote psychosocial change within the family? How can I send the message of substance abuse prevention and family wellness to the community at large? And finally, how can I provide these services with limited professional resources? I was but one family systems specialist for an entire school district.


The Community Parent Center Emerges

After a year of trial and error, the program that emerged in answer to these needs came to be called the Community Parent Center. In its early stages the program roughly resembled a peer-facilitation model, but there were many stumbling blocks to overcome before it actually functioned on a parent-to-parent basis. It was overcoming these stumbling blocks that led to creative program development. The result is a unique model of adult education that is self-sustaining, facilitated by parents, runs on personal growth and development, and even earns money—both for the parents and for the community.

Many of the novel features of this model grew out of the need to synthesize two seemingly disparate disciplines—psychotherapy and education. The Community Parent Center evolved as a viable hybrid, a self-generating new

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