Fun on the Farm: Evaluation of a Lesson to Teach Students about the Spread of Infection on School Farm Visits

Meredith K.D. Hawking, Donna Lecky, Neville Verlander, Cliodna McNulty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:School visits to farms are a positive educational experience but pose risks due to the spread of zoonotic infections. A lesson plan to raise awareness about microbes on the farm and preventative behaviours was developed in response to the Griffin Investigation into the E. coli outbreak associated with Godstone Farm in 2009. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the delivery of the lesson plan in increasing knowledge about the spread of infection on the farm, amongst school students.Methods:Two hundred and twenty-five 9-11 year old students from seven junior schools in England participated. Two hundred and ten students filled in identical questionnaires covering microbes, hand hygiene, and farm hygiene before and after the lesson. Statistical analysis assessed knowledge change using difference in percentage correct answers.Results:Significant knowledge improvement was observed for all sections. In the 'Farm Hygiene' section, girls and boys demonstrated 18% (p<0.001) and 11% (p<0.001) improvement, respectively (girls vs. boys p<0.004). As girls had lower baseline knowledge the greater percentage improvement resulted in similar post intervention knowledge scores between genders (girls 80%, boys 83%).Conclusions:The lesson plan was successful at increasing awareness of microbes on the farm and infection prevention measures and should be used by teachers in preparation for a farm visit.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere75641
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fun on the Farm: Evaluation of a Lesson to Teach Students about the Spread of Infection on School Farm Visits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this