25 August 2010

Do Marriage Education Courses Work?

Having since recently run my own Daddy Class, I came across this blog of thought, discussing whether or not marriage courses work. That is do they provide long term results. Research has shown that these courses do provide short-term results.

This got me thinking if my course was effective. Of course, I would love to think it was. The feedback I received was all positive (except for the location). In the moment of the course, the participants felt they were getting useful information for parenting. However, how effective would what they learned be once the baby came along? I have no way of knowing.

The best judgement I can use is the old adage of: people will remember 10% if they read, 20% if they heard it, 50% if it was a discussion, and 90% if it is was a experience. It is sad to think of half of what was taught being forgotten.

This is why I emphasize in my class the support system web. I want individuals to be aware of who surrounds them, and who they can go to for help, and who is supportive. I let participants know that they are not the first person to have a first child, so there are a lot of people around them who can help.

Even though what is learned in class is of value, it is most important to rely on, and develop a supportive support system to help them get through the changes.

I would hope that aspect would help have long term effects, and just not short term.

I look forward to the research determining if such marriage classes (and other transition courses) are effective, because there sure are a lot of courses out there!