Epidemiology in the Classroom
Use the following
background material to familiarize yourself with epidemiology and the
methods used to investigate community health problems.
Suggestions for Classroom Use
At a minimum,
before beginning a case study, students will need to know the basic
scientific steps for investigating an outbreak. Here are some classroom approaches that have worked well:
Present a case study
- Divide the
class into small work groups of five to ten students. Ask each group
to assign a facilitator, a recorder, and a reporter.
- Hand out Part I
and call on individual students from the class at large to read the
narrative and questions out loud.
- Then have
students work in their small groups to answer the questions.
- Finally, have
the groups report their responses to the whole class.
- Move through
the remaining sections in the same fashion.
Note that to avoid
giving away answers, you should give students the parts of a case study
sequentially, as indicated. The slides related to the case study could be
shown during the work session or used in a wrap-up session.
What Students Have Learned
traditional testing on specific knowledge points regarding epidemiology
and outbreak investigation
- Use the sample
problems and the national event problems found in Science
To enrich your class' study
local experts to speak to the class. These could include a public health
official from the local health department, a physician specializing in
infectious diseases, or an infection control nurse from a local
students to the MMWR, CDC's weekly publication featuring breaking news
in national and international health.
- Have students
read The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, or other health-related literature.
- Show the movie
- Have students
research the pioneers of public health, such as John Snow, John Graunt,
and William Farr.
- See the Resource Library and Careers
in Public Health for more ideas.
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