NW 08: Co-production of knowledge in health and wellbeing education: engaging global disparities through collaborative research

NW 08 Health and Wellbeing Education

Co-production of knowledge in health education and student wellbeing: engaging global disparities through collaborative research

As actors in the field of Education deeply involved in knowledge production, we must continue to engage with a global perspective that incorporates a variety of understandings and promotes multicultural, transnational and inter-sectorial collaborations. Challenging the current prevailing power hierarchy in knowledge production and dissemination (Demeter, 2020) is necessary to enhance our capacity to efficiently inform policy and practices that target global health and wellbeing disparities.  In line with the overarching thematic of ECER 2022, we welcome submissions that critically explore different forms of research partnership in health and wellbeing education aiming at bridging global and local approaches to health education and wellbeing. 

The Call

Different cultural and social contexts are bound to have an impact on Health education and Wellbeing programmes design and implementation across populations (see Barry et al, 2017). The co-production of knowledge  entails committing to fully equal collaboration that encompass most, if not all, aspects of research design and involves different stakeholders such as, community leaders, teachers and students.  However, the tendency to liken Western knowledge to  universal knowledge adds to the challenge of creating spaces where a plurality of understandings and conceptual frameworks could co-exist.  Bearing that in mind, we must try to increase our awareness on the fact that the imposition on educational practices of a ”universalised” framework in which local knowledge is swept aside can have dramatic consequences on children and the larger community, including perpetuating and deepening inequities at both local and global levels.


The push towards revisiting the dominant approach to knowledge production in educational research is still met with  some resistance by policy makers  who continue to favor  evidence based education which, in turn, tend to negate other ways of knowing (Shahjahan 2011). In this respect, research collaborations are often intertwined with power hierarchies,  especially when projects engaged both Global North/Global South actors. How can we push the boundaries of what count as evidence in order to be more inclusive?  How can we ensure that the expertise pertaining to health and wellbeing transforms from being primarily unidirectional (Büyüm et al, 2020) to being generated and shared across geographies?   A decisive first step is to be proactive in engaging in epistemic decolonisation and envision the co-production of knowledge as a question of social justice (Mitova, 2020).  The Health Education and Wellbeing Network  has seen the burgeonning of collaborative projects over the past years that are doing exactly that. We therefore hope to share experiences in knowledge co-production that are relevant to researchers and practitioners alike.


Contact Person(s)
Link convener: Catriona O’Toole


  • Barry, M., M., Clarke, A.M., Dowling, K. (2017) Promoting social and emotional Wellbeing in     schools. Health Education, vol 17(5): 2016-0057
  • Büyüm, A., Kenney, C., Koris, A., Mkumba, L., Raveendran, Y. (2020) Decolonising global health: if not now, when? BMJ Global Health. Doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-003394
  • Demeter, M. (2020) Academic Knowledge Production and the Global South: questionning inequality and under-representation. Palgrave-MacMillan
  • Mitova, V. (2020) Decolonising Knowledge Here and Now. Philosophical Papers Vol 49(2).
  • Shahjahan, R.A. (2011) Decolonizing the evidence-based educaiton and policy movement: revealing the colonial vestiges in educational policy, research, and neoliberal reform. Journal of Educational Policy, Vol 26(2): 181-206

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Interview with Link Convenor 2019