I was excited to join this team for a few reasons. Broadly, three of my interests are psychology, education, and health, which are all encompassed by this project. Additionally, I had taken a neuroscience class with Dr. Kuhn, which I absolutely loved because she is brilliant, so I wanted to get a chance to work closely with her. Lastly, I’ve taken challenging classes at Duke, but I wanted to be a part of a long-term project that would challenge me beyond the usual academic setting.
And oh how it has been challenging (but also rewarding)! There are many moving parts which are difficult to deal with even as a team, but I know the end goal of creating a sustainable resource for teachers to be able to teach this class is so worthwhile.
We want teachers to participate and teach the course, but we also understand that, for those who have been teaching a health class in a certain way for years and years, it’s not easy to make the change to a new curriculum. However, our goal is to help teachers feel comfortable with the material and share our objective of successfully implementing and offering an honors health class. It not only contributes to their development as professionals but also provides their students with an opportunity to take an advanced course outside of the typical honors disciplines.
We have been able to work towards our goal with the much-needed support of Dr. Kuhn and Dr. Wilson, as well as education consultants, administrative officials, teachers, and Dr. Carmen Sanchez. It has been a valuable experience thus far learning and hearing from these delightful and insightful leaders.
My specific contribution to the team is working with Dr. Sanchez to develop pre- and post-tests to evaluate a teacher’s understanding of and ability to teach the curriculum. Our first step is starting the IRB process, which Dr. Sanchez has suggested I take the lead on. As a psych major and avid participant in research studies, I have read and heard about the importance of the IRB, but I am eager and motivated to take on the approval process from scratch.