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Practice, Practice, Practice: Learning by doing Anne Fidler, ScD Asst. Dean for Public Health Practice Scott Harris, MPH Practicum Director BUSPH Practice.

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Presentation on theme: "Practice, Practice, Practice: Learning by doing Anne Fidler, ScD Asst. Dean for Public Health Practice Scott Harris, MPH Practicum Director BUSPH Practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practice, Practice, Practice: Learning by doing Anne Fidler, ScD Asst. Dean for Public Health Practice Scott Harris, MPH Practicum Director BUSPH Practice Office

2 What does chocolate taste like? Like chocolate Like chocolate Like the color red looks Like the color red looks Like heaven Like heaven

3 Experiential Learning the process whereby students “learn by doing” and by reflecting on the experience For example… hands-on laboratory experiments field exercises studio performances practicums

4 Service Learning Type of experiential learning Method of teaching, learning, and reflecting that combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful service, in the community

5 Can these be combined? Experience Classroom Experience Classroom Preparing to Learn

6 But, Experience-Only Methods Practice Theory Often fall short in helping students: Assimilate theory into practice Learn how to challenge an reflect on their own operating assumptions Effect enduring change

7 It views learning as acquired in the midst of action and dedicated to the task at hand. It sees knowledge creation and utilization as collective activities. Its users demonstrate a learning- to-learn aptitude. Work-Based Learning

8 Knowledge/Skills LEARNING Experimentation Real Experience Reflection The Experiential Learning Cycle R e – T h e o r i z i n g

9  Technical knowledge  knows how to mine a database  Interpersonal ability  actively listens  Problem solving  thinks analytically  Professional Responsibility  acts ethically  Results orientation  gets things done with others  Path-finding  expresses curiosity; seeks challenges Competency Sequences in Work-Based Learning

10 Core Competencies for MPH Students* Discipline-specific Discipline-specific Biostatistics Environmental Health Epidemiology Health Policy and Management Social and Behavioral Sciences Cross-cutting Cross-cutting Communication & Informatics Diversity and Culture Leadership Professionalism Program Planning Public Health Biology Systems Thinking * developed by Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003

11 Importance of Reflection …the practice of stepping back to ponder and express the meaning to self and to others in one’s immediate environment of what has, will, or is happening.

12 “If I continue to believe as I have always believed, I will continue to act as I have always acted; and if I continue to act as I have always acted, I will continue to get what I have always gotten.” --Marilyn Ferguson "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. " --Albert Einstein?/Mark Twain?/ Benjamin Franklin?

13  Content reflection looks at how we have consciously applied ideas in solving a problem  Process reflection examines how we go about problem solving with a view toward the procedures and assumptions in use  Premise reflection questions the very presuppositions attending to the problem to begin with Three Levels Of Reflection

14 Experiential learning is particularly important in public health Public health is based on APPLICATION of knowledge to effect change, using effective partnerships General lack of understanding about what public health is (even among students) Younger students lack real-world work experience

15 Good for the students….. Provides opportunities to reinforce concepts learned in class Provides opportunities to reinforce concepts learned in class Allows students to try- out different potential career avenues Allows students to try- out different potential career avenues Personal growth Personal growth Builds contacts Builds contacts Possible post-graduate jobs Possible post-graduate jobs

16 Good for community partners….. Provides opportunities for additional staffing resources Increases contacts with faculty interested in similar work Opportunity for “adjunct faculty” status Job auditioning

17 Good for the school….. Contacts with practitioners interested in similar research Opportunities for community-based participatory research Opportunities to incorporate practitioners in classroom Improves ability to attract top students

18 BUSPH Practice-based Education Integrating practice in courses Address real-world case studies Use adjunct faculty from practice world Field trips Practicum Required of all MPH students 56 to 112 hours in field setting

19 BUSPH Practice-based Education Practicum for MPH students: 2008: 278 students at 226 sites 2007: 260 students at 218 sites 2006: 257 students at 219 sites 2005: 237 students at 195 sites 2004: 208 students at 164 sites

20 What is a Practicum? Course to prepare public health professionals supervised practical application of theory Provides an opportunity to: integrate and apply classroom learning learn from professionals in the field contribute to the mission of the agency

21 It’s not just that we are getting older.... They are getting younger! BUSPH incoming students, 2007

22 What do we want students to learn? How knowledge, skills, and abilities from academia translate in the “real world” Inform what student does next Increase understanding of workplace culture and/or culture of another country or group

23 Identify practicum site Orientation to practicum On-site work minimum of 112 hours Learning contract signed by student, faculty, site supervisor Mid-term evaluation conducted with site supervisor on-line discussion forum (in development) Integration seminar Poster presentation What do students do for practicum?

24 Range of Experiences

25 Appropriate Practicum Projects A few examples: A few examples: Develop emergency preparedness plan Recruit for a research study Use SAS to analyze survey data Conduct a needs assessment Analyze/develop legislation

26 Not so Appropriate Practicums… These projects will not fit the bill: Mentoring or Job-Shadowing Photocopying 101 Student’s full or part-time job

27 Practice-based courses….

28 EH807 Urban Environmental Health Examines urban physical and social health hazards (e.g., lead, asthma, obesity, poor housing, racial segregation, income inequality) Highlights solutions (e.g., community empowerment, urban gardens, lead-safe yards) Environmental justice field trip in the Dudley St. Neighborhood Initiative area in Roxbury Students research topic on urban environmental health (final paper and class presentation)

29 EH783 Application of EH Principles in Practice Hands-on application of EH principles (e.g., water-borne diseases, food safety, housing, disaster sanitation) Helps prepares students for RS certification exam Co-taught by practitioners Students required to visit LHD and complete project relevant to local community

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31 In addition to Practicum Program….

32 Professional Development Professional Development Workshops ‘Beyond the Classroom’

33 Partnership for Effective Emergency Response (PEER) Public Health Departments Long-Term Care Ambulance Services Community Health Centers Hospitals

34 MA Public Health Regionalization Project Project goal: To strengthen the MA public health system by creating a state-funded regional structure for equitable delivery of local public health services across the Commonwealth

35 Community Partnerships Partnering with community organizations to identify and address issues that significantly affect our neighbors.

36 New England Alliance for Public Health Workforce Development

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38 Let’s discuss…… What are the elements of effective practice- academic relationships? What kinds of learning take place in practice setting? How can the educational academic/practice relationship extend to other research or service activities? How does the experience at BUSPH translate to your situations and institutions?


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