8. Health and Wellbeing Education

Network Objectives

The general objective of the Network on Health and Wellbeing Education is to provide an interdisciplinary forum to continuously explore and critically discuss dynamic relations between education and health and wellbeing. The network will contribute to conceptual development as well as empirically based evidence for the different approaches to school health promotion across Europe, and play a part in enhancing the knowledge base within educational research in a broader sense. This includes exploring the contribution of school health promotion to general school development, and potentials and challenges related to the integration of health and wellbeing in school curricula and policy following school reforms.

The main overall research field includes education, learning and health promotion in schools. Health and wellbeing are considered as multidimensional concepts, including mental, emotional and social aspects, in addition to the physical dimension. In line with the critical ecological approach to health promotion and education, we are looking not only at the health of individuals, but at the contextual determinants that influence learning processes and health promotion in schools.

The health and wellbeing network focuses on research with schools as settings (or systems), and educational practices and supporting mechanisms related to health improvement in a broad sense. The research area is wide: it includes critical research of the links between curriculum, the school physical and social environment, teacher competences, supportive school management and policy structures on the one hand, and learning outcomes and pupils' health and wellbeing on the other. Further, the network encourages research that examines the potentials and barriers related to establishing sustainable school-community partnerships which aim at health improvement through education, but also at better education through health. In this way, the network engages with wider educational issues such as participatory pedagogies, community partnerships, professional and whole school development, professional competences and sustainable learning outcomes. It also welcomes critical discussions of research methodologies, and of the politics of health and wellbeing education research.

NW 08 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw08-subscribe(at)lists.eera-ecer.de .

Interview with Convenor at ECER 2011