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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Eran Uziely

In Israel, the decision which educational framework is most suitable for pupils with special needs is made by a placement committee. In January 2005, the eighth amendment…

Abstract

Purpose

In Israel, the decision which educational framework is most suitable for pupils with special needs is made by a placement committee. In January 2005, the eighth amendment of the Israeli Special Education Law determined that all pupils have the legal right to participate in their placement committee’s deliberations. This paper aims to examine the implementation of this liberal reform that let young people’s voices be heard. Specifically, the focus is on the attitudes of involved professionals (committee chairs, educational supervisors, teachers, etc.) regarding the law, and whether and in what ways their views influence the extent to which this law is implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used an eight-step linear scale to investigate both the desired and actual levels of children’s participation in the committee’s discussions, as evaluated by professionals. In addition, the pupils’ satisfaction with the discussion process was evaluated, based on the professionals’ perceptions. Furthermore, the research analyzed which socioeconomic, cultural and occupational variables correlated with the degree of students’ participation in and satisfaction with the process.

Findings

The major finding was that many of the adults responsible for the implementation of the reform do not believe in its principles and are even opposed to child participation. In their discussions, child participation was poor.

Originality/value

The conclusion drawn from the study is that legislation alone is not enough when implementing a controversial reform. Spreading of this new social norm must be accompanied by efforts to promote the concept of child participation among the professionals who implement it.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Yetunde Olufisayo John-Akinola, Aoife Gavin, Siobhán Elizabeth O’Higgins and Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

Child participation is increasingly a global phenomenon as stated by Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on Children's Rights. This supports the first principle…

Abstract

Purpose

Child participation is increasingly a global phenomenon as stated by Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on Children's Rights. This supports the first principle, Democracy, of the Health Promoting School movement. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate a three-phase participatory research process (PRP) to document the views of children about participation in school.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 248 primary school pupils aged nine to 13 years participated: the first group of pupils answered two questions on individual coloured paper; the second group categorised these data separately, by question, assigning labels for each of the categories; and the third group used the categories to develop schema. The analysis was inductive.

Findings

The most common categories for what made pupils feel a part of their school were school uniforms, sports, friends, teachers and their school/classroom environment. Increase in the number of school activities, encouraging friendship and equal participation were key indicators of how pupils would ensure that everybody felt a part of the school. The findings indicate that interpersonal relationships and belonging are in the opinion of children important for taking part in school life.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates children's understanding of what taking part in school means to them. The PRP encouraged pupils to have control of the three-phase research process, and demonstrated the ability of children to work together in groups while having fun at the same time.

Details

Health Education, vol. 114 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2009

Lyn Wilson

This paper sets out to describe a small case study which aimed to unravel the complexity of pupil participation in secondary schools.

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1259

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to describe a small case study which aimed to unravel the complexity of pupil participation in secondary schools.

Design/methodology/approach

A secondary school in the south of England was selected as the case. Four group interviews, one individual interview and collection of relevant Healthy School documents provided data from which to begin to understand the mechanism, context and outcome of pupil participation in the case school.

Findings

The paper attempts to illuminate the theoretical underpinning for pupil participation with comments made by staff and pupils from the case study school. The mechanisms of participation are discussed briefly; however, it is recognised that individual schools will select initiatives according to their preference. Tentative evidence of a positive outcome for pupils who participate in school decision making is revealed. By exploring the context, or conditions, under which involvement occurs possible strategies for effective pupil participation are elicited.

Practical implications

The paper offers a framework for effective pupil participation.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to go some way towards illuminating the theory and practice of effective pupil participation.

Details

Health Education, vol. 109 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Yetunde O. John-Akinola and Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

Parental participation is important for strengthening and sustaining the concept of school health promotion but little is written on the processes involved. The purpose of…

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2073

Abstract

Purpose

Parental participation is important for strengthening and sustaining the concept of school health promotion but little is written on the processes involved. The purpose of this paper is to assess Irish parents’ and pupils’ views on how parents take part, or would like to take part, in school life.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample was recruited from nine primary schools, three Health Promoting Schools and six matched schools. Pupils aged nine to 13 years in the 4th, 5th and 6th class groups participated in the study. Parents of all participating pupils were also invited to take part in the study. Data were collected by self-completion questionnaire, comprising three closed and one open question.

Findings

A total of 218 parents and 231 pupils participated. There was general agreement between parents and pupils on parental participation in school. Overall 40.6 per cent of parents and 43.2 per cent of pupils reported that parents frequently take part in school activities. A majority of both parents (79.5 per cent) and pupils (83.6 per cent), agreed that parents were encouraged to talk about things that concern their child in school, while 73.5 per cent of parents and 65.6 per cent of pupils reported that they were made to feel a part of child's school. Qualitative data from parents and pupils suggested similar ways in which parents can best take part in school. Some respondents suggested how schools could engage with parents but most responses provided examples of how parents could act directly to take part in school life. These direct actions included doing, helping with, and watching school activities such as sports, tours, music and cake sales.

Originality/value

The findings illustrate the similarity of views of parents and pupils concerning parents’ participation in school life and suggest that children may have the potential to represent the voice of their parents in school when considering how to improve parental participation in schools.

Details

Health Education, vol. 114 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1981

W.J. CAMPBELL, J.L. COTTERELL, N.M. ROBINSON and D.R. SADLER

Are the effects of school size transmitted in measurable quantities to the personalities of pupils? Having argued that the learning environments of small and large schools…

Abstract

Are the effects of school size transmitted in measurable quantities to the personalities of pupils? Having argued that the learning environments of small and large schools could differ in predictable ways, the authors examined the effects of these differences on the personality development of pupils. Multiple regression analysis revealed the effects of school size to be reflected in only two of eight personality outcomes — sense of cohesion and concern for persons. Two variables — attitude towards school and fear of failure — are regarded as “not proven” and four variables — functional identity, sense of internal control over events, breadth of role constructs, and cognitive complexity showed no evidence of the effects of school size.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 4 February 2015

Daniel Östlund

This chapter focuses on the participation and social interaction of pupils with low-incidence disabilities in the Swedish educational system with the goal of relating…

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the participation and social interaction of pupils with low-incidence disabilities in the Swedish educational system with the goal of relating policies and practices in education for learners with low-incidence disabilities. Sweden has a welfare system that ensures that all low-incidence learners and their families receive support in education and in their everyday life. The research section concentrates on studies that focus on participation and social interaction in an educational context (training school), which is an adapted education program for low-incidence learners characterized by its high staff ratio and individualized forms of teaching. Despite legislation, policies, and intentions that Swedish schools shall include all pupils, it is still a challenge for the Swedish school system to provide education for low-incidence learners in inclusive environments. Research shows that low-incidence learners primarily have vertical relations with teachers and assistants in school, and that there is a lack of horizontal relationships with peers. The greatest challenge is to create learning environments that contribute to building relationships between low-incidence learners and learners without disabilities.

Details

Including Learners with Low-Incidence Disabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-250-0

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Venka Simovska and Monica Carlsson

With the aim of contributing to the evidence base on school‐based health promotion, the authors discuss the outcomes and processes of a European intervention project…

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1261

Abstract

Purpose

With the aim of contributing to the evidence base on school‐based health promotion, the authors discuss the outcomes and processes of a European intervention project aiming to prevent obesity among children (4‐16 years) and promote their health and well‐being, titled Shape Up: a school‐community approach to influencing determinants of healthy and balanced growing up.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple case study research was carried out in five schools in five EU countries. Data sources included project documents, interviews, and observations. Narrative qualitative cross‐case analysis was carried out following the single case analyses.

Findings

The study showed that, if given sufficient guidance, pupils can act as agents of health‐promoting changes on both school and local community level; they were involved in actions which improved school policies, provisions and affordances for healthier diet and regular physical activity. The study identified three forms of participation, each with a different level of pupil involvement and agency.

Research limitations/implications

The study is qualitative, based on five single cases and cross‐case analysis; this research design implies caution related to extensive non‐contextualised generalisation of the findings. However, valuable implications for research and practice can be drawn, especially in relation to structural barriers for participatory health promotion.

Originality/value

The paper is of value for researchers as well as practitioners in the field, particularly those interested in eco‐social models of health, whole‐school approaches to health promotion and pupil participation. The study's specific value is in the systematic qualitative cross‐case analysis, which contributes to the research rigour and allows for situated generalisation.

Details

Health Education, vol. 112 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Maria Louisa Bruselius-Jensen, Dina Danielsen and Ane Kirstine Viller Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to explore how pedometers (simple gadgets that count steps) can be used as tools in participatory health education to enhance primary school…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how pedometers (simple gadgets that count steps) can be used as tools in participatory health education to enhance primary school children's insights into, and abilities to reflect on, physical activity in their daily life. The paper focuses on how using pedometers fosters participation and enhances reflection concerning physical activity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on findings from an exploratory project with sixth-grade classes (12-13 years) in four Danish primary schools. The approach is called Imove. In Imove, pupils use pedometers to study their own patterns of physical activity, transform their data into statistics, and use the statistical representation to reflect on how physical activity is integrated into everyday life patterns, and how different activities constitute an active life.

Findings

The paper concludes that pedometers support pupilsparticipation in studying their own health practices, and the step data provide new insights into, and encourage pupils to reflect on, the way physical activity is formed into everyday patterns.

Research limitations/implications

The study is an exploratory one with four participating school classes. The findings need to be further explored by employing similar methodology in studies with more participants. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that pedometers support pupils’ genuine participation in health educational processes.

Practical implications

The findings identify simple measuring technologies, such as pedometers, as potent assets in health education learning processes and call for creative thinking in developing health promotion programmes for young people.

Originality/value

Measuring technologies play an increasingly critical role in health research, as well as in individual health regulating practices. This paper contributes with a new perspective by demonstrating the educational possibilities of applying pedometers in participatory school health education.

Details

Health Education, vol. 114 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Judy Orme, Matthew Jones, Debra Salmon, Emma Weitkamp and Richard Kimberlee

Health promotion programmes are widely held to be more effective when the subjects of them actively participate in the process of change. The purpose of this paper is to…

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1031

Abstract

Purpose

Health promotion programmes are widely held to be more effective when the subjects of them actively participate in the process of change. The purpose of this paper is to report on an evaluation of the Food for Life Partnership programme, a multi‐level initiative in England promoting healthier nutrition and food sustainability awareness for students and their families through involvement in cooking, growing, farm visits and School Nutrition Action Groups (SNAGs).

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a mixed methods approach, drawing upon quantitative and qualitative data sources. The data sources included quantitative data on school level programme related activities, qualitative data collected through focus groups with children and reports from teachers and other staff involved in the delivery of the programme.

Findings

The paper concludes that the pivotal role of SNAGs in catalysing and embracing a whole school approach must be seen as an important mechanism for any health promotion in complex school environments.

Originality/value

This was a national evaluation of a unique school food project aiming to transform food culture in primary and secondary schools. The findings highlight the importance of a whole school approach to public health initiatives and the centrality of pupil participation in the success and sustainability of such interventions.

Details

Health Education, vol. 113 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Kristiina Henrietta Janhonen, Johanna Mäkelä and Päivi Palojoki

The purpose of this paper is to examine Finnish ninth grade pupils’ (15-16 years) perspectives on hot school lunches and consider the potential of these perspectives as a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Finnish ninth grade pupils’ (15-16 years) perspectives on hot school lunches and consider the potential of these perspectives as a resource for food and health education.

Design/methodology/approach

Data include observations, essays, and visually elicitated focus group discussions from a larger qualitative case study. Data were collected during the term 2012-2013.

Findings

Pupils considered the lunch break as their free time and valued discussions with friends. The taste of school food was important for them. Pupils solved contradicting expectations connected to school lunches through constructing social hierarchies, making compromises, and conforming to peers’ or general opinions. Desire for social belonging and independence were important justifications for breaking food-related rules.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the focus on one school, further research needs to address contextual variation in different schools and age groups, as well as the viewpoint of teachers.

Practical implications

To genuinely engage pupils, potential contradictions between adults’ and adolescents’ perspectives need attention. Understanding food-related social determinants and justifications for food practices from pupils’ perspective are valuable pedagogical assets for teachers. Pupils’ speech and activities that counteract formal aims can be seen also as possibilities for dialogue, rather than merely problems to be changed by adults.

Originality/value

The paper describes how pupils’ perspectives to school lunch practices are in tension with the educational aims of school lunches, thus contributing to developing adolescent-centered food and health education in secondary schools.

Details

Health Education, vol. 116 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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