by strengthening education and training
of public health professionals
for both practice and research
Deans' & Directors' Retreat - Erice, Sicily
26-29 May 2019
Diverse social identities and their importance for public health:
A syllabi collection with hands-on material for teaching
In advocating for the improvement of public health education in Europe, ASPHER fully endorses the need to bring diversity more into the focus of teaching. ASPHER therefore developed a policy on diversity competence to be an element of the ASPHER 2025 strategy. This approach goes beyond the notion of cultural diversity as ASPHER envisages an intersectional, holistic notion to reflect on multiple dimensions of diversity that affect the health of populations (Wandschneider et al., 2020).
The overall aim of the syllabi is to help establish a teaching program encouraging the reconsideration of normativities within public health while highlighting the intersectionalities between different markers of diversity. The teaching programme adopts a transformative learning approach to contribute to higher sensitivity toward diversity and simultaneously higher standards of European public health education and training (Wandschneider et al., 2020).
In a nutshell, these syllabi provide hands-on material for people engaged in public health education on health inequities, social injustices and diversity.
The syllabi enable students to
- identify mechanisms of privilege and oppression related to social identities,
- determine awareness of one’s own social identities and their relevance in the public health landscape,
- learn how to determine biases within public health structures (and oneself),
- address and change biases in their practices to ultimately reduce health inequities.
The syllabi can potentially strengthen the capacities of future public health professionals to acknowledge the relevance of social identities and how to respond effectively to contribute to health equity (Wandschneider et al., 2021).