08 SES 03, Professional Development in Health Education
Whereas there has been a fair amount of focus in research and practice on health outcomes in school health promotion and on experiences with implementing different models and approaches, the professional competencies needed for supporting this development is under-researched. This study seeks to articulate core competency domains and key competencies elements in school health promotion that are consistent with the principles in the whole school approach to school health promotion.
This research objective presupposes that a more fundamental question on the ‘why’ or ‘what for’ is discussed: ‘Does school health promotion require professional competencies?’ One could argue that practitioners through their pre-service training develop general competencies that easily can be applied and developed in relation to school health promotion. However, in most countries, health education is only offered as an elective course in teacher education. Research on the implementation of health education and health promotion in schools indicate that although key stakeholders indicate a commitment to this, and policy and strategies are developed, the development of professional practice is slow (Jourdan et al. 2008; Nordin et al. 2014).
The whole school approach to health promotion has been defined as an approach ‘which goes beyond the learning and teaching in the classroom to pervade all aspects of the life of a school’ (IUHP 2010), and health promotion in a school setting as ‘any structured and planned activity undertaken to improve and/or protect the health of all school users’ (Young, Leger and Blanchard, undated), emphasizing health promotion principals of equality and inclusion. With the development of theory and practice in school health promotion, different conceptualizations and models of the whole school approach and the settings-based approach are offered in the literature (see e.g. Clift and Jensen 2006; Whitelaw 2001), and a discussion of the different conceptualizations and models is therefore called for.
A professional is able to solve complex problems, where decisions are based on an assessment of the situation, and the context that this is embedded in (Eraut 2004). Ellström and Kock (1996) refer to professional competencies, when defining competencies as the individual’s potential preparedness to act in relation to a task, situation or work. The competencies term in IUHPs project, “Developing Competencies and Professional Standards for Health Promotion Capacity Building in Europe”, is defined as “a combination of the essential knowledge, abilities, skills and values necessary for the practice of health promotion” (Dempsey et al. 2011:3). The project includes a comprehensive review of the international and European literature on the development of competencies frameworks for health promotion (Dempsey et al. 2010). Although it is a generic competency framework, covering many different professions, fields and contexts, these competencies formulations will also be discussed in the paper.
As Battel-Kirk et al. (2009) points out, formulation of competencies in health promotion is useful, since it can contribute to an establishment of a common language concerning skills and knowledge demanded in practice. The criticism of a competency approach argues that it is based on an engineering (or a mechanistic) model of education, with a tendency to undervalue professional judgment and experience, and disregard values and principles (Elliot 2004, Biesta 2010). If we acknowledge the pitfalls of a competency approach, a further development in the conceptualization and discussion of professional competencies in school health promotion can guide a development of professional practice.
Barnett, R. & Coates, K. (2005): Engaging the curriculum in higher education. Berkshire: Society for research into Higher Education and Open University Press. Battel-Kirk, B.; Barry, MM.; Taub, A. & Lysoby, L. (2009): A review of the international literature on health promotion competencies: identifying frameworks and core competencies. Global Health Promotion 16:12. Carlsson, M. (in print) Professional competences in school health promotion – between standards and professional practice. I: Simovska, V. & McNamara P. (eds.) Schools for Health and Sustainability - Theory, Research and Practice. Springer. Carlsson, M. (in review): Professional competencies in relation to school health promotion. In: Simovska, V.; Jensen, JM.; Broström, S.; Pedersen, U. (eds.): Health education and health promotion in daycare and schools. Dafolo. Cph. Clift, S. & Jensen, B.B. (eds.) (2005): The health promoting school: international advances in theory, evaluation and practice. DK: Danish University of Education Press. Dempsey, C.; Battel-Kirk, B. & Barry, M.M. (2011): The CompHP Core Competencies Framework for Health Promotion Handbook. Short version. Paris: (IUHPE). Ellström, P.‐E. & Kock, H. (2009): Competence development in the workplace: concepts, strategies, and effects. In Illeris, K. (ed.) International Perspectives on Competence Development. London: Routledge. Eraut, M. (2004): Practice-based evidence. I: Thomas, G. & Pring, R. (eds.) Evidence-based practice in education, Open University Press International Union for Health Promotion and Education (2010): Promoting Health in Schools: From evidence to Action. IUHP. Jourdan D., Mannix Mc Namara P., Simar C., Geary T. & Pommier J. (2010) Factors Influencing Staff Contribution to Health Education in Schools. Health Education Research, Mar 5: p. 519-530. Online : http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/4/519.abstract [retrieved on 16/10/2009] Jourdan, D. (2011): Health education in schools. The challenge of teacher training. Saint-Denis : Inpes, coll. Santé en action. Nordin, LL., Madsen, KD. Andersen, TT. & Simovska, V. (2014): RESEARCH IN SCHOOLS FOR HEALTH AND SUSTAINABILITY WORKING PAPER NR 3/2014. Department of Education, Aarhus Universitet. Robertson, M., and Minkler M. (1994). New Health Promotion Movement: A Critical Examination. Health Educ Behav 21, 295-312. Young, I; St Leger, L. & Blanchard, C. (undated): MONITORING AND ASSESSING PROGRESS IN HEALTH PROMOTING SCHOOLS: ISSUES FOR POLICY MAKERS TO CONSIDER. IUHP. Whitelaw, S. et al. (2001): ’Settings’ based health promotion: a review. I: Health Promotion International, vol. 15, No. 4, s. 339-353.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.