Teaching Quality of Life and Well-Being in Public Health

  • Chelsea WesnerEmail author
  • Diana Feldhacker
  • Whitney Lucas Molitor
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 79)


In this chapter, authors explore interrelated and multidimensional factors that influence health, well-being, and quality of life. Teaching well-being in public health requires thoughtful planning and pedagogy that moves beyond traditional didactic instruction. Using the social ecological model of health as an organizing framework, authors describe an innovative and integrated approach to teaching that aims to create quality learning experiences. Through applying Fink’s taxonomy of significant learning to public health education across health science disciplines, instructors can guide the process of active learning through incorporating each phase of the taxonomy: learning how to learn, foundational knowledge, application, integration, caring, and human dimension constructs. Creating significant learning experiences involves engaging students in multiple ways and incorporating strategies and activities that encourage lasting change in the life of the learner. In this chapter authors discuss active learning, technology utilization, reflective dialogue, and rich discussion as methods of teaching health, quality of life, and well-being within each level of the social ecological model of health: intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and public policy. Learners explore factors related to quality of life and well-being as authors describe how influences of context, social determinants of health, contextual factors, culture, and engagement in meaningful activities relate to health. Assignment descriptions and case examples are timely and serve to equip students to meet the demands placed upon health professionals in our modern, globally connected society. Sustainable improvements in health often include a series of complementary interventions that target multiple levels of the social ecological model. The chapter culminates with examples of direct and indirect learning experiences, in which course objectives align with Fink’s taxonomy of significant learning and related activities target each level of the social ecological model. These examples illustrate the importance of engaging health science students in innovative and interprofessional learning experiences as a way to promote and sustain health, quality of life, and well-being.


Active learning Quality of life Well-being Public health Interprofessional education and practice Significant learning experiences Social ecological model of health Social determinants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chelsea Wesner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diana Feldhacker
    • 2
  • Whitney Lucas Molitor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of South DakotaVermillionUSA
  2. 2.Department of Occupational TherapyCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Occupational TherapyUniversity of South DakotaVermillionUSA

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