264434 Seedlings and culture tables: Telling essential stories through new technologies for teaching and learning

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:20 PM - 1:32 PM

Kathleen M. Roe, DrPH, MPH , Health Science Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Frank Strona Jr., MPH, Phdc , Department of Health Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Kevin Roe, MPH , Department of Health Science and Recreation, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Rho Olaisen, MPH, DC , Health Sciences, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
San José State University's MPH program has had a cultural competency course for over 30 years. Initially developed by students and drawing from a sentient approach to teaching and learning, the course has several signature features that have remained central and treasured since its 1990 debut. One is a set of short stories written by all class members, collected into a book, printed and then given back to the class, called Seedlings. This low-tech, high-intensity assignment has become a rite of passage as MPH students write and then share stories of celebrations that reflect their cultures, the cultural contexts within which they learned about health, and times when they have felt different. Another core element is the Culture Table – a table-top gathering of artifacts that represent each student's cultural background, presented each week by individual students and then combined for a collective culture table at the end of the semester. Similarly low-tech in original design, the culture tables provide a deep and personal view of the lived experience of culture to complement a serious and critical set of reading and writing assignments. Stimulated first by our online program and then the explosion of technology-enabled teaching tools, these core assignments have been transformed for the 21st century -– stretching the senses, broadening their reach, and deepening critical reflection and praxis among students and a broader group of participants. This presentation will demonstrate what is possible when timeless stories are told through emerging technologies, and the profound impact on student learning.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the use of digital media tools in cultural competency training in academic public health programs.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Professional Preparation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Developer of course described in project, department chair
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.