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ERIC Number: EJ1075542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-4283
Building School Connectedness through Shared Lunches
Neely, Eva; Walton, Mat; Stephens, Christine
Health Education, v115 n6 p554-569 2015
Purpose: School connectedness is a well-established protective factor for young people's physical, mental, and social health. The purpose of this paper is to explore the promotion of school connectedness through the practice of shared lunches within a secondary school context in New Zealand. Design/methodology/approach: An ethnographic methodology was used to explore in-depth the mechanisms by which food practices included indicators of school connectedness, and used interviews and observations with teachers and 16-18-year-old students in a New Zealand secondary school. Findings: The results describe six key mechanisms by which shared lunches fostered school connectedness: showing common humanity, creating an informal setting, encouraging sharing, enabling inclusive participation, demonstrating sacrifice for the communal good, and facilitating experiences of diversity. These mechanisms contributed to increased social interactions in which people got to know each other better and were able to gain insight into others' personalities. This allowed for opportunities to establish and strengthen social relationships, and contributed to indicators of connectedness. Research limitations/implications: The study is exploratory with findings reported from one school. Further research in other contexts on the value of shared lunches for building school connectedness is required. Originality/value: Shared lunches, as part of an overall strategy to develop a well-connected school community, are adaptable and can fit into a multitude of situations to meet different needs. The findings of this study contribute to understanding the mechanisms by which shared lunches can affect indicators of school connectedness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A