246468 Learning asthma: Linking asthma education to urban youth's perspectives and experiences

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:15 AM

Lisa Simon, PhD; Associate Professor , Department of Teaching, Culture & Learning, City College - City University of New York, New York, NY
The high incidence of asthma in urban communities has several ramifications. One is the reality that many urban youth have extensive experience with asthma. A second issue is the necessity for these young people to acquire an in-depth understanding of this disease. However, while many asthma curricula are designed to address this second factor, few take advantage of the first. Thus, too many curricula neglect to link what students know about the disease to the new information being presented. Since the connection between “new” and “known” is pivotal to engaged and powerful learning, this gap is problematic. This presentation addresses that gap, focusing on specific approaches educators can use to support youth's in-depth learning about health and disease. The effectiveness of these approaches is supported by findings from research on urban youth's perspectives on asthma. Participants (N=14) were between the ages of 12-15 who expressed a desire to share and develop their knowledge about asthma. The majority identifies as Latina/o. Data were collected through ongoing focus groups and interviews using activities that explored participants' conceptualizations of asthma. Data were analyzed recursively using constant comparison analysis and protocols grounded in critical sociocultural tenets. Results evidence the significant potential that role play, story-telling, image, and open-ended discussion have for learning about youth's understandings of asthma, their perspectives on medical recommendations, misconceptions and questions. These findings are significant in that they illuminate specific approaches health educators can use to support urban youth's engaged learning about disease and health management.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the characteristics of educational approaches that link what students know to information being taught 2. Evaluate asthma curricula that do not utilize students' experiential knowledge in learning new information. 3. Assess existing curricula to effectively support engaged learning and in-depth understanding.

Keywords: Curricula, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator of a study focusing on urban youth's perspectives on asthma. Additionally, I have been an urban educator for over 12 years and have extensive experience in supporting learners' in-depth acquisition of knowledge
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.