Journal Article

Educating for a healthy, sustainable world: an argument for integrating Health Promoting Schools and Sustainable Schools

Julie M. Davis and Sue M. Cooke

in Health Promotion International

Volume 22, issue 4, pages 346-353
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dam030
Educating for a healthy, sustainable world: an argument for integrating Health Promoting Schools and Sustainable Schools

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SUMMARY

Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth and the British government's Stern Review of the economics of climate change have provided heightened awareness of how humans are over-stretching the Earth's life support systems. The health of human populations and the health of global ecosystems are inextricably linked and the need for fundamental changes in how we live is becoming impossible to ignore. While not the complete answer, education must be a part of imagining and transforming our patterns of living. Learning embedded in educational systems derived from worldviews that replicate unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyles and environments is not a part of the solution but a significant part of the problem. In Australia, two internationally implemented whole-school reform movements, health promoting schools (HPS) and sustainable schools (SS)—seek to provide ways of operationalizing transformative educational processes. Both movements aim to build resilience and optimism, use action-oriented teaching and learning approaches, and have a focus on the future. While these two approaches to educational and social change have much in common, currently there is virtually no conversation between their proponents and advocates. This paper makes a case for HPS and SS to work together—both theoretically and practically—with the ultimate goal being the emergence of schools that are both green and healthy. Such integration would make an important educational contribution to the creation of a healthy, sustainable world.

Keywords: health promoting schools; sustainable schools; transformative education

Journal Article.  4279 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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