190819 Teach Epidemiology: Professional Development Workshops Aimed at Infusing Epidemiology Education into Grade 6-12 Curricula

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mark Kaelin, EdD , Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Epidemiology is usually taught to graduate students in health-related disciplines. During the past 10 years the CDC, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / College Board, and others have advocated teaching epidemiology to younger students for reasons identified below.

Empowers students to be scientifically literate participants in the democratic decision-making process concerning public health policy.

Empowers students to make more informed personal health-related decisions.

Increases students' understanding of the basis for determining risk.

Improves students' health, mathematical, scientific, and media literacy.

Expands students' understanding of scientific methods and develops their critical thinking skills.

Provides students with another mechanism for exploring important, real world questions about their health and the health of others.

Introduces students to an array of career paths related to the public's health.

Many high school teachers have little, if any, knowledge of epidemiology. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported Teach Epidemiology Professional Development Workshops and the accompanying Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Teaching Units (http://www.montclair.edu/YESteachingunits/) provide middle and high school teachers with resources that facilitate and support their teaching epidemiology.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the rationale for teaching epidemiology to students in grades 9-12. Evaluate the appropriateness of fundamental epidemiological understandings that are the pedagogical basis for teaching epidemiology. Briefly review the model for the Teach Epidemiology Professional Development Workshops Have attendees participate in components of selected YES Teaching Units. Identify challenges to infusing epidemiology education in grades 9-12 and way to address those challenges.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: While not a epidemiologist, I have been teaching epidemiology to students from middle school to graduate school for more than 25 years. I am a founding member of the Epidemiology Education Movement, a group that advocates the teaching of epidemiology in grades 6-12.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research (Not Sure) Facilitate Professional Development Workshops

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.