Calvin College

CALVIN - Minds in the Making

Strengthening Liberal Arts Education by Embracing Place and Particularity

Case Study

Get the Lead Out! Retailer Survey

Pedagogical Suggestions to Foster Student Learning and Engagement

The retailer survey provides a number of opportunities for fostering student learning.  To begin with, students are required to have a basic understanding of childhood lead poisoning and its causes.  This fits with nursing students need to understand the complexities of environmental health problems.  In the case of the Calvin project, this was accomplished by inviting in a guest speaker from the Healthy Homes Coalition to provide an overview.  Students could also be required to research childhood lead poisoning prevention methodologies.

Nursing students are further engaged in the project through the survey itself.  By delivering the survey, the students gain first-hand experience with the private sector and come to understand the private sector’s role in the prevention of childhood lead poisoning.  Student experience is at first limited to the surveys that they complete.  Having students share their experiences with their peers should broaden individual experience.  Discussion about the findings of the entire class can help students see patterns, allowing them to engage in community problem solving.

After completing the surveys, students return to share results with the individual retailers.  This affords an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter by requiring them to share expertise.  In numerous cases, students took this requirement quite seriously and looked for educational and sample materials to share with the retailers.  Students could be required to research and develop educational packets for participating retailers.

The following year, the students returned to the retailers to share with them recommendations for best practices.  This provided and excellent opportunity for the new rotation of students to also engage in community problem solving as they reviewed the results of the previous year’s study.  Calvin students also took this opportunity to develop additional educational and outreach materials for the retailers that included local information and resources.

While the methodology of the survey must be standardized for sound data collection, this project affords numerous opportunities for students to research the subject matter, to engage in community problem solving and to demonstrate a mastery of the material by sharing it with others.


Next: Involving Community Leaders