221087 Scorecard for the “movement” to infuse epidemiology education into grades 6-12: What progress has been made in the past five years?

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 1:20 PM - 1:35 PM

Wendy W. Huebner, PhD , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Mark A. Kaelin, EdD , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Many would argue that there is a definite “Movement” afoot, among people with both a personal passion and professional interest, to integrate epidemiology and other public health sciences into elementary and secondary school education. Granted, the idea of earlier exposure to the science of epidemiology meets little resistance on scientific grounds, given the demands of this discipline to problem solve, think critically, and deal with both quantitative and qualitative information. However, widespread incorporation of a new science into regular school curricula does not occur easily or often. We note that a growing number of individuals and groups have engaged in efforts to develop and sustain an epidemiology education “Movement.” Many are working independently, while others are working to coordinate and combine efforts and implement a focused strategy to: 1) develop curricula; 2) prepare teachers; 3) maintain momentum through communication and encouragement; and 4) create demand from stakeholders and educational institutions. We gave a presentation about these efforts at the 2005 APHA meeting. For this 2010 presentation, we will summarize and discuss some of the progress made in each of these areas during the past five years, discuss resource materials on the Internet, and elicit ideas from the audience about new strategies and directions. The session will conclude with a discussion of how to further define and evaluate the short- and long-term goals of this initiative.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the rationale for increasing exposure of students in grades 6-12 to the science of epidemiology, and identify the main elements needed to accomplish this (develop curricula, prepare teachers, maintain momentum, create demand) 2. Explain the importance of evaluating the short- and long-term goals of these efforts 3. Assess progress in creating new or enhanced epidemiology curricula for younger students 4. Describe activities and innovations in professional development programs and workshops for teachers to understand a science they typically did not learn about in their own schooling 5. Identify and compare existing mechanisms for communicating and sharing among epidemiology education advocates and discuss possible enhancements 6. Discuss possible new and enhanced strategies to create demand via engaging stakeholders and infusing epidemiology education into the existing educational structure

Keywords: Public Health Education, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Epidemiology (1990) and have worked for ten years on NIH grants (SEPA and SEDAPA) to develop and test epidemiology curricula for grades 6-12.
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.