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CTB is based upon three learning theories: Experiential Learning Theory, Social Learning Theory, and Cognitive Learning Theory. Experiential Learning Theory (C. Rodgers, 1994) suggests that significant learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student instead of just the delivery of content. To create interest in the subject, CTB utilizes real-life video vignettes at the beginning of each lesson. Learning is also facilitated by directly confronting practical, social, and personal problems. For instance, the health risk of STDs and pregnancy are confronted through real-life video interviews of teens who are struggling or have struggled with these problems. The CTB curriculum emphasizes that abstinence is the only 100% certain method to avoid these risks.

Social Learning Theory (Bandura) emphasizes the importance of learning by observing desired behavior and the outcomes of those behaviors. CTB curriculum uses Social Learning Theory through role-plays and activities that demonstrate how to resist unwanted peer and relational pressure to have sex. The role-play activities in the classroom helps students develop confidence that these same skills will work in their personal situations.

Cognitive Learning Theory (Holder et all, 1991; Miller et al., 1995) underscores the importance of gaining attention, stimulating recall of prior learning and providing guidance and feedback to enhance retention. CTB utilizes a student manual which was developed based on this theory. Each student records responses to discussion questions and receives feedback on key learning points. In addition large classroom posters are used to reinforce key messages. Retention is further encouraged by highlighting key action steps for the student. For example the three steps to resisting peer pressure and being assertive are: Set it! (setting boundaries for sexual activity and determining how far the individual will go), State It! (verbalizing those boundaries) and Show it! (showing that they mean no).