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What is epidemiology?
Why is the curriculum called Detectives in the Classroom?
Why develop a curriculum for middle school students?
Five Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings
Concept Map of the Five Essential Questions
Epidemiology Backgrounds
Alignment with the National Science Education Standards
Alignment with Attributes of Scientific Literacy

What is Epidemiology?

The science of epidemiology has been described in numerous ways. John M. Last's description, in A Dictionary of Epidemiology,* is perhaps the most frequently cited:

"The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems."

A more simple description comes from Donald F. Austin and S. Benson Werner, in their Epidemiology for the Health Sciences,** published in 1974:

". the study of how and why diseases are distributed in the population the way they are . in other words, why some get sick and some don't."

Most descriptions mention, in one way or the other, the following seven ideas: methods, frequency, distribution, determinants, disease, populations, and prevention. Therefore, epidemiology consists of the methods used to study the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in populations, so that the disease can be prevented.

* Last, John M., Editor, (2001). A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 4th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

** Austin, Donald F. and Werner, S. Benson (1974). Epidemiology for the Health Sciences. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.