Monday, February 2, 2015

School immunization policy. And you. And me.

A little over five years ago, before I even had a separate education blog, I started what became a series of blog posts about vaccines. I began thinking about vaccines after a friend posted on facebook a mutual friend's piece published in Slate about the risks un-vaccinated people, especially kids, pose to her young son who had been diagnosed with leukemia not long before. I subsequently got into a conversation on the comment thread on facebook which included the article's author, some detractors, and some other folks    After posting about the facebook conversation, I wrote this follow-up post and then this one. After that, I wrote two more (see here and here).

I no longer blog as often or at such length. These days I also avoid such conversations on social media any more unless the person/people with whom I would converse and I have a history of productive, informative conversations.

I learned a lot from those conversations, readings, and writing I did, but it just seemed like something that would remain just that. Last semester, though, I took a course called "The Politics of Education" and one class assignment was we to research and present a particular policy and its role at national, state, and local levels. At first, I was going to write about the Common Core but then it just felt like I would be taking on too large of a topic (don't worry, I wrote about that for one of my final exam essays) and then it hit me: I could combine my interest in education policy and vaccines and do a presentation on school immunization policy! My professor was skeptical at first, but she let me go with it and I ended up really enjoying the process--and I got good feedback, too.

I wasn't able to give the presentation in class as had been the assignment, so I put together a power point which I narrated. So just to warn you--it's not exactly polished, I do rather drone on a bit, the slides are text-heavy (since I wasn't going to be speaking to my class or facilitate a Q & A session, I needed to convey the information such that the audience could read or listen to it or both), and it might not be fully up to APA standards, but with the current measles outbreak, it's a timely topic and I thought maybe someone would be interested in what I found out. Enjoy!

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