During this enquiry students work in two teams one using textbooks and websites to put forward the traditional claim that it was Jenner, the other using a wallet of resources to prove that it was Jesty.  Following a brief debate, students have to work out why it is that individuals like Jenner receive more acclaim than others.  This sheds light not only on their understanding of the role of the individual but also on interpretations.  Students are left with the question to ponder as to why the idea of vaccination occurred to two people in two different counties in the West of England within 20 years of each other, and to nobody else?

Learning objectives

  • Students grasp the key reasons why Jenner has been given the credit for pioneering the work on vaccination
  • They can generate and substantiate a list of reasons why Jesty might also make a plausible claim
  • They can advance reasons why Jenner rather than Jesty got the credit for the initial idea
  • They can explain what light this episode shines on the role of individuals in the history of medicine and can link it to other ideas.


As students come in the room they are

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