10: Reduced Inequalities

Food, Health, & Race: Reduced Inequalities

Katya Salmi and Vedham Karpakakunjaram

Cohort 2018-2019


You are a part of a global effort to increase access to education and empower students through “open pedagogy.”  Open pedagogy is a “free access” educational practice that places you – the student – at the center of your own learning process in a more engaging, collaborative learning environment.  The ultimate purpose of this effort is to achieve greater social justice in our community in which the work can be freely shared with the broader community.  This is a renewable assignment that is designed to enable you to become an agent of change in your community through the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  For this work, you will integrate the disciplines of Biology and Sociology to achieve SDG #10: Reduced Inequalities.   

Learning Objectives

·       Biology: Identify the structure and functions of macromolecules important to living things

·       Sociology: Identify components of culture and understand how structural inequalities impact individuals


This active learning practice is designed to improve your academic skills, increase community connections, and improve social justice for our community.


Assignment 1: Food


·       Biology: A Report and a Reflective summary in e-Portfolio

·       Sociology: Written assignment & poster design

·       Service Learning: Students will design a poster that includes their favorite food and information about either the nutritional value of the dish or information on food resources available to Montgomery College students on all campuses.

Assignment 2: Disparate Health Outcomes

Learning Outcomes:

·       Biology: Analyze and interpret experimental results to reinforce biological principles

·       Sociology: students will understand how social factors contribute to disparate health outcomes

·       Link to Reduced Inequalities: Social factors contribute to disparate health outcomes amongst different populations based on race, gender, socio-economic class, etc…

Outputs and Service Learning:

·       Biology: Analyze data from Montgomery County’s Health Services (DHHS) and write a report.

·       Sociology: Original qualitative and/or quantitative research; wiki on Social Determinants to health in Montgomery County; the work will be collaborative.

Assignment 3: Race

Learning Outcomes:

·       Biology: Apply basic mechanisms of heredity to predict inheritance of traits.

·       Sociology: Students will gain a practical understanding of race as a social construct.

·       Link to Reduced Inequalities: In many countries, including the US, race is a significant barrier to equality. Understanding the fallacy of race can help students think more comprehensively and broadly about how to reduce inequalities.

Outputs and Service Learning:

·       Biology and Sociology: Analysis of data relating to skin pigmentation in different parts of the world.

·       Sociology students will compare race categories found in Montgomery County census data over three-five different time periods and create a series of tweets or a short video that captures their understanding of race as a social construct.

·       Biology students will have a summative assessment on the activity (group presentations) and write a reflective summary in e-Portfolio.



FOOD, HEALTH & RACE: REDUCED INEQUALITIES is licensed by Katya Salmi, Montgomery College and Vedham Karpakakunjaram, Montgomery College under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY-SA)


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Food, Health, & Race: Reduced Inequalities by Katya Salmi and Vedham Karpakakunjaram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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