The Development and Implementation of the Positive Kids Model: a Whole-Brain Teaching Approach for Children Ages 3 to 12 Focussing on Health Behaviors and the Spiritual Component of Commitment as a Holistic Approach to Substance-abuse Prevention
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
James J. North, Jr.
Bruce L. Bauer
C. Mervyn Maxwell
Problem. Though there are many programs aimed at teaching children the importance of not using drugs, most of these programs have been developed without considering at least two factors. First, the typical "Just Say No to Drugs" programs taught in public and private schools have been developed without taking into consideration the hemispheric functions of the brain. Many psychologists associate different thinking styles with the two hemispheres of the brain: the left brain (LB) and the right brain (RB). Accumulating evidence suggests that when we communicate in such a way as to be understood well only by those who primarily use one hemisphere, we "turn off" those who primarily use the other. Our educational system is basically oriented to LB thinkers. Evidence now surfacing suggests that school dropouts are predominately RB thinkers.
Generally, the substance abuse prevention programs taught in schools are patterned after the existing system of education and thus reflect LB strengths. This suggests that the programs have narrowed the spectrum of children to whom they appeal, thus making them less effective than they could have been.
Second is an observation based on two systems of education: the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) system and the American public school education system. In American public schools, religion is not taught. This has resulted in developing substance-abuse prevention programs which lack the spiritual component. While public schools are deficient by not emphasizing the spiritual aspect of the person, the SDA philosophy of education which trains the heart (spiritual), the head (mental), and the hand (physical), does not accentuate the social component of a person. Thus, both systems lack a holistic philosophy of education.
This observation exposed a need for developing a holistic substance-abuse prevention program which would appeal to both LB and RB-oriented children.
Method. A descriptive systematic approach of this research began with literature review. This review suggested the importance of using music as a teaching medium because it requires no medium and is perceived by both hemispheres of the brain without conscious distinction. The literature review also suggested that activating both hemispheres of the brain enhances learning, and information is remembered for a longer time. A musical drama was created and performed in four places: a public school, a non-SDA church, an SDA school, and an SDA church. A questionnaire was used to collect data from the churches and schools where the Positive Kids musical drama was performed.
The SPSS/C+ statistical computer program was used to analyze the collected data. It was noted that though the program had been presented more than six months previously in these institutions, people still remembered the contents of the program.
Conclusion. Music, which is perceived by both sides of the brain without conscious distinction, should be a medium of choice to be used when teaching children.
Children--Religious life., Church work with children--Seventh-day Adventists., Health education (Elementary)
Mfune, Saustin Sampson, "The Development and Implementation of the Positive Kids Model: a Whole-Brain Teaching Approach for Children Ages 3 to 12 Focussing on Health Behaviors and the Spiritual Component of Commitment as a Holistic Approach to Substance-abuse Prevention" (1991). Dissertation Projects DMin. 199.
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