08 SES 12 B, Wellbeing, Learning and Academic Achievement
Parallel Paper Session
The presentation reports on a sociological and health-pedagogical study of four different health courses offered to school classes by a privately owned Danish institution called The Youth Town. The courses are designed to have a broad appeal and thereby relate to very different adolescents in diverse contexts. They can be booked separately or in various combinations.
The four courses are:
Ethics on speed – the borders of technology:
The biotechnological developments affect the society young people are and will become part of, which is why it is relevant for them to form an educated opinion about the use of new technologies. The course focuses on the ethical dilemmas.
Health, Movement and Urban Space:
The rules have changed when it comes to exercise and the organisations surrounding it. Sub-cultures arise and the ad hoc way of organising sports has shown that a positive community can be created outside the traditional framework by taking part in the process of defining what the urban space is to be used for.
The food experiment:
Students create their take on what Scandinavian, everyday cooking should be like in the future. What are your eating habits now? Where do these habits come from? Who affects what we like to eat and how we like to eat it?
In Project respect we work with the students' conception of normality, their respect for the boundaries of others as well as their own, their understanding of concepts such as self-esteem and self-confidence, and the ideals they encounter in the media.
The courses aspire to present the adolescents with a broad and positive concept of health. The Youth Town has a health-pedagogical focus on developing the adolescents’ action competence and social awareness as well as their reflections and values in relation to health dilemmas and both present and future health challenges.
The main research objective is to study the health promoting effect of the courses with a particular focus on: 1) The construction of (health)identities: If and how the courses provide the adolescents with new ways of positive self-interpretations and new ways of relating knowledge to their everyday-life, 2) Barriers and potentials for genuine participation: If and how the courses succeed in creating meaningful and inclusive settings that promote the acquisition of health-knowledge and action competence.
The theoretical framework for the analysis is a triangular combination of Qvortrup’s four orders of knowledge (Qvortrup, 2004), Hart’s ladder of participation (Hart, 1992) and a health-identity concept constructed primarily from Ricoeur’s concept of self-constancy (Riceur, 1992) and Taylor’s social imaginaries (Taylor, 2004). As Views conflict about whether identity is an individual construct, accurately described as a person’s centre/core, or a social construct, best explained as a patchwork of identities or roles (Hall, 2001; Schwartz 2005; Coté & Schwartz, 2002), it is a secondary objective of the study to define a concept of health-identity, that is relevant and useable for both researchers and practitioners
Coté, J.E. & Schwartz, S.J. (2002) Comparing psychological and sociological approaches to identity: identity status, identity capital, and the individualization process. Journal of Adolescence, 25, 571–586 Hall, S. (2001) Who Needs Identity? in du Gay, P., Evans, J. & Redman, P. (eds.), Identity: a reader 15-30, Sage Publications Inc. Hart, R. (1992) Children’s Participation: From Tokenism to Citizenship, UNICEF International Child Development Centre, Florence. Qvortrup, L. (2004) The Mystery of Knowledge. Cybernetics and Human knowing, 11 (3), 9-29 Ricoeur, P. (1992) Oneself as Another. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Rasmussen J. (2004) Textual interpretation and complexity - radical hermeneutics. Nordisk Pedagogik, 24 (3): 177-194. Schwartz, S.J. (2005) A new Identity for Identity Research: Recommendations for expanding and Refocusing the Identity Literature, Journal of Adolescent Research, Vol.20 No.3: 293-308 Taylor, C. (2004) Modern Social Imaginaries Duke University Press, Durham
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