Online Program

Culturally congruent 4th grade puberty education for somali-bantu students

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:06 a.m. - 11:24 a.m.

Celia Bird, MS, NP-C, San Francisco, CA
Hendrika Maltby, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Background: Beginning in fourth grade, children in Vermont receive puberty education that can positively impact self-perception and health behaviors. Nursing theory emphasizes the importance of integrating cultural knowledge into education. Purpose: To begin to assess the cultural congruence of the fourth grade puberty education curriculum in the Burlington school district with the beliefs of Somali-Bantu students. Significance: This assessment will describe the prevailing values of a predominant ethnic group in the school district and determine how those values influence the impact of the puberty curriculum. Methods: A qualitative community based participatory research methodology was used. The main points of the fourth grade puberty curriculum were read to a focus group of Somali-Bantu high school students who discussed the alignment of their beliefs with the lesson points. The data were analyzed using Leininger and MacFarland's ethnographic data analysis method to discover prominent themes. Results: Three themes were developed from the data: ‘Appropriate Age', fourth grade; ‘Who's Teaching Whom', gender matched teacher/student classes; and ‘Role of Puberty Education', adult responsibility. Only the theme of ‘Appropriate Age' was found to be congruent with the current puberty curriculum. Recommendations: Adaptations to the curriculum and continued discussion among students and teachers are needed to address the lack of congruency between Somali-Bantu beliefs and the current puberty curriculum. Suggested changes include classroom gender division and classroom discussion about family values of increasing responsibility in becoming an adult. Further study is required with parents, male students, and other ethnic group in this and other school districts.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Identify how to begin to culturally adapt puberty curriculum.

Keyword(s): Cultural Competency, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the literature review, proposal development, research and the data analysis for my master's thesis in the science of nursing on the topic of culturally congruent 4th grade puberty education for Somali-Bantu students.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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