Course: GHP 350
Instructor: Biehl
F 2018

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

This is a survey course that addresses the history of global health and major public health issues, from scientific, social, political, and economic standpoints. We studied general themes and movements and also looked into important case studies, like the Zika outbreak, HIV/AIDS epidemic, and U.S. opioid epidemic. The professors and preceptors wanted us to bring the methodologies and academic practices of our home disciplines to the course, so that the precepts could be as multidisciplinary as possible. The final paper allowed us to go into depth into a topic of our choice, and asked us to connect our work to the perspectives and themes we had learned during the semester.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

The precepts are discussion based, so it's important to read and analyze the texts beforehand. One of the most effective ways to do this is annotate the readings while going through them. The preceptors liked us to connect relevant, personal experiences to the material as well, and this helped make precept discussions more interesting. In the weekly discussion board posts, it was important to connect the readings from that week to each other and to that previous lectures. It was also important to take a stance on the readings or have some type of argument, rather than just describing the material. The lectures tried to include discussion. We were given name tags at the beginning of the course, so that the lecturers could call on us during the class or we could ask questions. Given that the class was fairly large, it was a little difficult to participate in class and by the third week, most people had lost their name tags. However, class participation is accounted for separately from precept participation in the course, so it is important to answer questions and contribute in the lectures, not just the precepts.

Learning For and From Assignments

This class is very "people-focused," meaning that the instructors pay special attention to how people on the ground are affected by diseases, global health interventions, and evidence-making practices. Because this is one of the focuses of the class, it is important to consider in weekly discussion posts, the midterm, and especially the final.

External Resources

My classmates were an important external resource. It was useful to bounce paper ideas off of them.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

If you're in the Global Health Program, you have to take this class. If you are interested in learning more about global health in a broad sense, as well as some of the most important global health issues, this is a good class for you. The weekly discussion posts should not be overlooked though -- they require a bit of work. That being said, if taken seriously, they can really help improve engagement with the class.
Critical Perspectives in Global Health

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