ERIC Number: EJ1021128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
An Ecological Approach to a University Course that Develops Partnerships Impacting Health and Wellness in K-12 Schools and Communities
Shields, Sharon L.; Gilchrist, Leigh Z.; Nixon, Carol T.; Holland, Barbara A.; Thompson, Elizabeth A.
Peabody Journal of Education, v88 n5 p608-621 2013
Over the past several decades, there has been an increased focus on health promotion as opposed to individual health determinants and disease prevention. Given the association between health and academic success, health promotion is a vastly overlooked lever for establishing effective K-12 schools. Student, organizational, and community well-being are intricately linked, and thus, focusing on any one of these alone will not eliminate achievement gaps and health disparities. We assert that university-community collaboration is instrumental in promoting student and family well-being. Moreover, employing an ecological systems lens to inform partnership and health promotion practices facilitates collective action and magnifies results. In this article, we describe the philosophical and theoretical orientations that guide our teaching, service, and scholarship. We explain how a university undergraduate course that utilizes service-learning has leveraged theory to build university-community collaboration. Using illustrative examples of several service-learning projects, we show how an ecological systems orientation has enhanced the course; supported a systemic approach to health promotion in schools and communities; and facilitated strategic, mutual, and sustained partnerships. We conclude by highlighting the implications of an ecological approach to university-community collaboration, including organizational capacity building, implementation of evidence-based practices, and the need to enhance preservice teacher education.
Descriptors: Health Promotion, School Community Relationship, Well Being, Academic Achievement, Correlation, Educational Philosophy, Course Descriptions, Undergraduate Study, Service Learning, Preservice Teacher Education, Capacity Building, Food, Gardening, Educational Environment, Program Descriptions, Guides, Internet, Health Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A