In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Dr. Sara L.C. Mackenzie of the University of Washington School of Public Health highlights the importance of writing in public health. The article reviews methods of teaching writing as well as how writing has been integrated across the curriculum of the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health.
In 2012, the school’s faculty identified specific document types used in public health that could be used for teaching purposes. A pedagogical approach called writing across the curriculum (WAC) has been incorporated into the UW School of Public Health curriculum. WAC emphasizes the approaches of “writing-to-learn,” which focuses on the end product and involves informal, shorter low-stakes writing assignments and “learning-to-write,” which emphasizes integrating discipline-specific document types to develop students’ skills in recognizing the type of writing to use in various social contexts. Mackenzie concludes that writing is central to public health work and should be central to education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.
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