The Model 3 Method

The Model 3 Method differs in important ways from traditional prevention-focused curricula.  Rather than building the program around a comprehensive knowledge set that students must master to “complete the course,” it focuses instead on guiding students through a learning path that maximizes the likelihood they will make real-world choices that lead to “favorable outcomes.”  In other words, the primary student outcome we are seeking is to increase the odds that students will Make Better Choices in real-world situations.

To achieve this outcome, we take the position that “education” alone is not enough.  Instead, the Model 3 Method takes a three-pronged approach – Educate, Validate, and Demonstrate. 

  • EDUCATE – While education (knowledge) is essential to increasing the odds that students will make better choices, we also believe that education alone is not sufficient.
  • VALIDATE – Validating information for oneself transforms the learner from being a knowledge receiver (passive) to a being a knowledge seeker (active).
  • DEMONSTRATE – Testing one’s knowledge through interaction with others builds confidence and self-reliance.

Our approach to EDUCATING is guided by three principles:

  1. Provide objective facts and information; encourage inquisitiveness
  2. Structure and package discrete learning experiences to provide regular “aha” insights, where learning is crystalized (e.g., using effective storytelling principles)
  3. Organize learning around 3 Must Knows, to ensure successful cognitive integration of material.[1] With respect to opioid awareness, the 3 Must Knows are 1) “Opioids are both legal and illegal,” 2) “One pill can kill,” and 3) Good Samaritans are protected”

In addition to educating, we teach students to VALIDATE:

  1. How to identify reliable, independent sources of information; social media does NOT count as a primary source
  2. Building and learning to trust one’s own ability to discern what is true and what is not true
  3. Incorporating this skill set into one’s “personal brand”

Third, we encourage students to DEMONSTRATE their learning through:

  1. Peer to peer teaching and learning
  2. Interaction with others to test and strengthen understanding
  3. Explicitly linking the 3 Must Knows to Making Better Choices
    1. “Opioids are both legal and illegal” –> There are many routes to addiction
    2. “One pill can kill” –> Refuse to accept a pill from someone
    3. “Good Samaritan are protected” –> Intervention is possible in a crisis situation

[1] Our pedagogical approach is informed by the work of Blake Richards and Paul Frankland, as described in “Why Students Forget – And What You Can Do About It” []