Summary of Teaching Plan
The main goal of the teaching proposal is to disseminate necessary knowledge and practice required to facilitate realization of healthy people by 2020. This is justified by the need to equip students with integrated theory based practice on health issues. Students need skills that link theory, practice and community problems. There are selected competencies that are imperative to realization of the health goal. Traditional teaching trends show that institutions of learning are shifting from separation of theory and practice to integration of the two components. This is followed by a faculty based support for theory and field practicum. This proposal has suggested important competencies that students must fulfil before graduating.
Goal: To disseminate knowledge and practice in ensuring that there will be Healthy People by 2020 (HP2020). Epidemiological rationale for topic
The topic identifies the need to equip students with theory based knowledge and practice based methods, as well as tools that will enable students to creatively apply their knowledge while in a challenging setting. Students need encouragement to use their skills in the field to generate new assumptions and know how various interventions work. They also need knowledge and practice to demonstrate their knowledge of interrelationships between theory and practicum. Explain how the theory will be applied:
The students require competencies and understanding of relationship between i) theory, ii) research methods, iii) program planning, iv) management and evaluation v) policy development and diseases and healthcare (Sorensen & Bialek, 1993). There is therefore a need for students to utilize their asset of knowledge and skills to fulfill their competency (Sorensen & Bialek, 1993).
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
Scholarly literature has been able to discuss the value of theory and its relation to application of practice. Many of the writers have argued that theory and practice should be assimilated in the graduate curriculum (Helitzer & Wallerstein, 1999). Separating theory from practice has the impact of producing poor policy planners. Health learning institutions end up unleashing graduates to the outside world who are unable to become effective practitioners in the healthcare profession. A more community based learning approach by medical schools has defined the trend of most medical schools (Kaufman, 1985). Some institutions have increased their collaborations with health departments, realistic community settings and providing technical assistance to communities. Institutions have now focused on practice based frameworks with core focus of salient areas like planning processes. Health education training has now integrated community skills and reality based on learning into the teaching curriculum. In some instances, institutions tend to cut out reflective skills in their curriculum due to limited time because of part-time programs. Such programs tend to teach few skills in the limited time. Helitzer and Wallerstein (1999) have warned that the type of academic education that overlooks practical experiences or theory may end up producing health professionals who have difficulty in working and creating practical solutions to community problems. More focus in health training keeps encouraging an integrated curriculum between theory and practice (Helitzer & Wallerstein, 1999). Learning Theory to Be Utilized:
A student centered approach as opposed to teacher centered approach is encouraged. Student’s resources that involve field practicum.
Community Response to Teaching
Community based teaching epidemiological approach develops a class based training that begins by seeking to understand the importance of designing a scientific study; more practice based skills in planning and reporting and training that allows team work and self-learning abilities. The proposed teaching module focuses on theoretical orientation in epidemiology, protocol development. In this teaching methodology, student centered teaching is encouraged. The students are grouped into groups of five who then chose a leader among themselves. The faculty assists students by facilitating active learning and involvement of students at designated institutions. The faculty may also accompany students during data collection, analysis and presentation of their findings. During the practice based training session, the students are taught how to conduct field research, survey scheduling, logistic planning, enlisting community support, team building, discretion in decision making while in the field, confidence building and positive attitudes and understanding the practical aspects of epidemiological studies (Sorensen & Bialek, 1993); Helitzer & Wallerstein, 1999).
Proposed Competency Areas
Theory and practice competency would be based on learning relevant social, political, cultural, psychological and behavioral theories. Another aspect would be historical development, understanding of community problems, developing practice and theory based interventions and understanding of their relationship across various levels of analysis, integration with principles of practice and experiences in the field. Research methods competency comprise of research design, quantitative and qualitative analytical skills for individual social network, community organization and policy. Under the program planning and evaluation competency, acquisition of skills in practice of intervention, planning, monitoring and evaluation, cost analysis, health and program coordination. This would involve theories of problem, evaluation and relationship between theory development and evaluation. Policy development competency requires the student to include systems analysis understanding, political context of change process, agenda setting and policy formulation and health disease competency (Sorensen & Bialek, 1993); Helitzer & Wallerstein, 1999).
Planned Evaluation of Goal:
The effectiveness of the training would be evaluated based on how students related epidemiological information and skills to local and current health problems in their communities. They would be allowed to stay in the community and the value of their knowledge to the community evaluated especially along the lines of epidemiological principles. The value of the data collected is assessed based on its importance to that community in terms of ability to be used as teaching materials. The output of students in identified institutions will be evaluated while in the setting by faculty members.
The outcomes may be ascertained based on ability of students to describe key learning opportunities; understanding advantages and disadvantages of different community education approaches and ability to plan a range of clinical solutions in various settings. Through reflection and creativity, they are also encouraged to solve community problems.
The main potential barrier for the proposed teaching module would emanate from institutions with a part-time training schedule. Such institutions have little time for practicum hence may resist the module. However, more flexibility between the students and the schools is encouraged so that a wide spread and extended period of time can be prolonged while not compromising the quality of the outputs.
The presentation begins by justifying the need for an integrated theory based practice. It gives historical trends on traditional teaching and the current status. The module then describes methods and theory of teaching that are important for this study. Lastly, it identifies proposed competency areas necessary for training. The presentation is done on power-point.
Helitzer, D., & Wallerstein, N. (1999). A Proposal for a Graduate Curriculum Integrating Theory, and Practice in Public Health, Health Education Research, 14 (5), 697 – 706.
Kaufman, A. (1985). Implementing Problem Based Medical Education: Lessons from successful Innovations. New York: Springer.
Sorensen, A. A., & Bialek R.G. (1993). The Public Health Faculty /Agency Forum: Linking Graduate Education and Practice, University of Florida, Gainsville.