As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Literacies of Public Health

June 8, 2016

I am just about done with the MA in written communication, planning to return to my previous job in public health at UM this fall. After doing public health research and some teaching for the past 10 years, I decided I needed a change. I am planning to go back as clinical faculty, to teach scientific writing to graduate students, and starting in 2017 to undergraduates (we will be admitting undergraduates starting fall 2017). I really like the idea of helping my students move toward a deeper understanding of "public health literacy." It encompasses so much more than "scientific writing," capturing the spirit of what I hope to achieve in my work. In the brief description of NCTE's policy research brief (p. 3), the authors use the words "economic, professional, civic, community and academic." Those are what I consider to be the very core of public health! So I am quite intrigued with this idea of disciplinary literacies from the get go. Looking forward to reading more and learning more!!

Ella August


  1. I literally just received this book from amazon and I'm trying to figure this out, so I thought I'd get started here and then go from there.

    I just cracked this book open and something struck me within the first few pages. I really like how they put this term "world factory" into the text. Currently we are regarded as a profession that is in charge of cranking out kids to fulfill some sort of programmed destiny. I don't know how I feel about it and I'm sure that there are other feelings as well.

    As teachers, how do you feel as an "administrator" of this "world factory"? What are ways you have been trying to combat this system in your own classrooms?

    These statistics scare me as well, knowing the college professors do not see what we do. I'm interested in seeing what you guys think as well.

  2. Ella & Eileen, thank you both for starting this off. Sorry I'm late to the party, but I'm excited to be talking with you both about all of this. I also noted both of these ideas you have mentioned in your posts. It's both depressing to read and exciting to know that there are others who are simultaneously working on improving our education system. The "world factory" is definitely alarming, but I think and hope that this program (and other opportunities) can help me to think of ways to help create more real-world audiences for my assignments and find opportunities for interdisciplinary skill development and thinking. As a social studies teacher, I'm excited to see how we identify and explain the similarities and differences across disciplinary literacies, and I'm already brainstorming some potential projects that would get my middle and high schoolers thinking more about aspects of public health. Looking forward to talking with you more!