How can health and wellbeing education expand opportunities to lead a valuable life, in the context of a co-operative democratic society?
The theoretical and empirical emphasis of school-community partnerships in the network has a special potential in relation to exploring the ECER 2020 conference theme of educational research (re)connecting communities. We welcome submissions that are engaging with critical discussions of notions of community, the nature of citizenship and the role of values in health and wellbeing education research. We have also outlined three emerging spaces for theoretical and empirical development that is of relevance for the overall conference theme of (re)connecting communities, focusing on school-community development, relationship building, and school leadership.
Notions of community, the nature of citizenship, and the role of values in research, are at the heart of health and wellbeing education research. The network also encourages research that examines the potentials and barriers related to establishing sustainable school-community partnerships. The theoretical and empirical emphasis of community partnerships in the network thus has a special potential in relation to exploring the 2020 ECER conference theme of educational research (re)connecting communities. The importance of school-community collaboration is acknowledged in a number of school reforms across Europe and beoynd, alhough the emphaisis has been on the advantages for schools, while the recognition of centrality of educational communities to the (re)building of a shared social space, has not received sufficient attention. The notion of education for the common good can provide an overall perspective when considering educative responses to societal challenges, and emerging ways of understanding human wellbeing (UNESCO 2015: 33). Seeing education as for the common good includes reflections on how education can enhance the social and democratic fabric of society. How can health and wellbeing education expand opportunities to lead a valuable life, in the context of a co-operative democratic society? Below we outline three potential gaps and emerging spaces for theoretical and empirical development.
- School-community development: Previous research has emphaized the potentials in the whole school approach, hereunder building community links and collaboration between the surrounding community and the school. Some focus has been put on the functional aspects of this collaboration such as the establishment of support structures and organizational change processes in the school, while community development aspects, such as the relations between school internal and school external actors, and their expectations and experiences with mutual participation and learning (see e.g. Espinet & Zachariou 2014) have been somewhat neglected.
- Relationship building in IT and media technology facilitated learning spaces: The increased use of mobile devices and media technology among children and youth expands far beyond the borders of the school, and phenomena such as cyberbullying is an area of emerging attention in the collaboration between the school and the families (Inchely et al. 2016). The increase in social groups who collaborate in on-line networks, rather than in a confined time and geographical space, may furthermore change the schools’ relations with their surrounding communities.
- The role of school leadership: School leaders on different levels have an important role to play in relation to the development of teaching and learning, actualized in school reforms across Europe, and in current calls for the need to build a bridge between pedagogical leadership, curriculum and pedagogical practices (see e.g. Uljens & Ylimakis 2018). Questions for school leaders on all levels concern not only how schools can open up for the surrounding society, but also how the immediate surrounding community can be involved in schools. This actualizes empirical research on the changing roles of school leaders, as well as a focus on theoretical aspects of styles and forms of leadership practices related to this challenge.
Link convener: Monica Carlsson (monica(at)edu.au.dk)
Espinet, M. & Zachariou, A. (2014) Keystones on school community collaboration for sustainable development. CoDeS - Schools and Community – Working Together for Sustainable Development. (ENSI network)
Inchley J et al. eds. (2016) Growing up unequal: gender and socioeconomic differences in young people's health and well-being. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the 2013/2014 survey. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2016.
Uljens M. & Ylimaki R. (2017) Bridging Educational Leadership, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik: Non-affirmative Theory of Education. Springer.
UNESCO (2015) Rethinking education for the common good. unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000232555