08 SES 13, Wellbeing and Schooling: Cross cultural and cross disciplinary perspectives
In recent years wellbeing has become a widely discussed topic both in political circles and society more broadly. A number of international comparison studies are beginning to focus on young people’s wellbeing such as the influential UNICEF survey highlighting the influence of poverty on children’s wellbeing in rich countries (United Nations Children's Fund, 2007) and the Children’s Worlds project (see Pople, Rees, Main, & Bradshaw, 2015) but these generally focus on the wellbeing of youngsters in Westernised contexts or well-developed economies, and prioritize monitoring, measurement and comparison. Critical discussions and conceptualizations of the concept of wellbeing in relation to children and young people from a variety of socio-cultural, political and economic settings are scarce (e.g. Fattore, Mason, & Watson, 2016; Wright & McLeod, 2015). Furthermore, the various disciplines that view wellbeing as part of their remit conceptualise and operationalise wellbeing in different ways. For instance, whilst economists have tended to focus on objective indicators such as nutrition, housing and school enrolment (see for instance, Roelen & Gassmann, 2012), psychologists have highlighted the importance of individuals’ subjective experience in understanding wellbeing and have tended to rely on self-report approaches (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) or on fieldwork in the specific context of school psychology practice (see Nastasi, 2006). Social anthropologists on the other hand have been arguing that the conceptualisation of children and youth wellbeing is largely contingent upon specific local values, norms and resources of a given community and thus entrenched in everyday life and always context-specific (see, for instance, Matthews & Izquierdo, 2010). Educational research has mostly engaged with issues of wellbeing within the paradigm of health-promoting schools, where wellbeing is linked with mental health and focused on the whole-school development, including the curriculum, to promote it (Simovska & McNamara, 2015). We would argue that these different disciplinary lenses need to be applied synergistically to generate a more sophisticated understanding of young people’s wellbeing.
The purpose of this symposium therefore is to bring together researchers from different disciplinary and cultural contexts, to start to address these issues pertaining to wellbeing in relation to schooling and education. The contributors represent different disciplinary perspectives (social psychology, social anthropology, educational psychology) and are experienced in working in different cultural settings (UK, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Germany and Denmark). The papers collectively aim to bring about critical conversation concerning the conceptualisation of wellbeing in relation to schools and schooling, the efficacy of measurement frameworks and consideration of alternative approaches that adopt a culturally sensitive manner, relations between mental health and wellbeing, and promotion of mental health and wellbeing in schools. The first paper will particularly consider cultural universals and differences in health and wellbeing perceptions through application of a quantitative assessment approach informed by a psychological perspective across two contrasting national contexts (England and Kazakhstan). The second paper follows on by considering one of these national contexts (Kazakhstan) in more depth, and will focus on the development of culturally sensitive research strategies in an under-researched context of considerable ethnic and geographical variation drawing on social anthropological and sociological lenses. The third and fourth papers critically evaluate interventions to promote mental health in school settings. Continuing the theme of assessment, the third paper foregrounds the importance of student voice in understanding young people’s wellbeing in Ireland and explicates the relationship between mental health and wellbeing. The final paper considers the adoption of a programme developed in one context as it is applied to another (Germany) and interrogates its theoretical basis and practical application. Thus all papers will address the conceptualisation of wellbeing in school settings.
Fattore, T., Mason, J., & Watson, E. (2016). Children's Understandings of Well-being: Towards a Child Standpoint. New York: Springer. Matthews, G., & Izquierdo, C. (Eds.). (2010). Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective. New York: Berghahn. Nastasi, B. (Ed.) (2006). Multiculturalism issues in school psychology. London: Routledge. Pople, L., Rees, G., Main, G., & Bradshaw, J. (2015). The Good Childhood Report 2015. Retrieved from London: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/TheGoodChildhoodReport2015.pdf Roelen, K., & Gassmann, F. (2012). Child well-being in Kazakhstan. Retrieved from http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/child-wellbeing-in-kazakhstan Seligman, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive Psychology: An Introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14. Simovska, V., & McNamara, P. (Eds.). (2015). Schools for Health and Sustainability: Theory, Research and Practice. New York: Springer. United Nations Children's Fund. (2007). Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child wellbeing in rich countries. Retrieved from Florence: Wright, K., & McLeod, J. (Eds.). (2015). Rethinking Youth Wellbeing. New York: Springer.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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