Alleviating Disadvantage through Schools June 2007


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Presentation to a WHO Technical Committee meeting in June 2007 on the role that schools can play in addressing poverty and social determinants.

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  • I live in south of Vancouver, my office is in Victoria (five hours) and my meetings are in Ottawa (seven hours). So it is nice to attend national meetings in Vancouver. First time I get to attend an international meeting without getting on a plane or a ship, and I listen to my local MLA – a colleague from a local social service agency
  • Minister
  • Leads : Doug McCall (ISHN), Odette Cossa, , Anna Marie Hoffman (UNICEF), Davison Munodawafa (WHO Regional Advisor, SEARO) -           A paper on the school’s role in health, learning and development in low-income countries. Leads : Leslie Drake (PCD-UK), Andy Anderson (University of Toronto) Participants: TBD-Canadian International Development Agency, TBD-Scotia Bank of Canada, Sonam Peldon (Bhutan), Peter Phori (Lesotho), Sheldon Shaeffer (UNESCO – Bangkok), Stella Manda (World Bank- East Africa), Sergio Villaverde (South America) -           A paper on schools in low-income communities within middle and high-income countries. Leads: Lori Baugh Little Johns (CASH-Alberta), Doug McCall (ISHN), TBD (National Healthy Schools – England), Diane Allensworth, (CDC-United States) Participants : Elizabeth Gyorfi-Dyke (Canadian Population Health Initiative), Doris Gillis (National Collaborating Centre on Social Determinants-Canada), Kim Schonert-Reichl (CCL-Knowledge Centre on Early Childhood), Francis Bedford-Jones (Royal Bank of Canada), Regiane Rezende (State SH Coordinator, Brazil) -           A paper on schools in communities that have been disrupted or dislocated by war, natural disaster or epidemics.   Leads : Ian Young, Scotland Health, Hetty van Gurp (International League of Peaceful Schools), Participants :, Albert Lee (Hong Kong), Lina Kostarova Unkovska-(Macedonia), L Cropley, (University of New Orleans, USA) Eva Lloyd, (Univ of Bristol – Cochrane Review) Dept of National Defense Canada, other development agencies -           A paper on schools in aboriginal and indigenous communities.   Leads : Rangimarie Bassett (Auckland Public Health, Maori Community, New Zealand), Participants : TBD- Greenland, TBD-Australia, Ted Amendt (CCL Knowledge Centre on Aboriginal Learning), Jeff Reading (Canadian Institute on Health Research), Margot Greenwood & Sandra Grifffen), (National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health), Sally Davis (Univ of New Mexico-Navaho Pathways Project),  
  • Let’s be straight – not talking about the social determinants of health (my health is socially determined and I am not part of the group that needs our collective support) We are talking about disadvantaged communities Comfortable Canada in the past, my wife brought a potato to school In my previous community work my office was firebombed, we read threatening notes on dynamite paper and we have a nice quiet form of ethnic cleansing going on with the english minority in Quebec Today (in population health terms) Head lice in Ottawa, closing of schools due to cochroaches in Montreal, let alone going to our northern territories or to our aboriginal communities Take Minister Hogg’s message to heart My staff and my wife tell me to under promise (not going to do it because we just might be statisfied with that and it is not good enough to be good enough ) Five years ago…Dept of ed from the US called about SARS we had declined rapidly from a brief flirting with CSH in the late eighties and ealry nineties HC had lost funding and interest from core team, CASH coalitions had dwindled to five or six, My wife and ran CASH from our basement, worked for or ran ed groups of ministries, superintendents, golf game was improving and had my 15 minuites in Quebec Call led to mtg with CMEC – notion of joint coordinator from US and England, lobbied hard to get a Ed minister at the HL meeting, took it back to ed ministrrs, Now have SHRN (30+ researchers) and millions focused on SH, with 4-5 centres, now have contacts in every SB and most HA, now have 45 NGO’s and revitlalized advoacy capacity, now have coordinators in all 13 jurisdictions and the JCSH, now have a teachers SH magazine and a regular insert in PH journal, now have a police strategy and a MH strategy focused on schools in a planned way, now have a fledgling network of safe schools coordinators, now have a SH library and funding for webinars and wikis,
  • I have been travelling from c to c to c (play on words here in Canada, surrounded by three oceans) Comprehensiveness, coordination and capacity Flay (interplay between home, school and community Stokol (ecology of communities and settings) Fullan (top down , bottom up, sideways in) Hargreaves – contrived collegilaity of teachers work life Now it is context, complexity and characteristics
  • New addition to this mess…. bathroom That mini-context can mean smoking, bullying, giggles and more. Imagine about 400 little kids in and out every day…with a different experience in different parts of the school, interacting with their genetics, intelligence, family experiences, etyc. And we think that we can control that with
  • In Canada (low income communities, rural communities, urban communities, suburban communities, catholic communities, aboriginal communities, multi-ethnic communities, in large or small schools and school districts) In the world (Low, middle and high countries) Creates Communities of practice not only by geographic regions) Basic policy/program dilemma at all levels – select a few issues from the top and invest in those issues or invest in the bottom and hold them to their selection
  • Hearing the Voices from the Margins : There is a dilemma that is often faced by international and national committees examining policy/program options. It is very difficult to engage marginalized citizens directly in the academic and bureaucratic work of producing reports. A strategy that can address this dilemma is to ensure that experts who have practical experience working with disadvantaged schools and who are willing to acts as advocates are engaged in the tasks of the committee. (not just token reps but ongoing consultations, reports, analyses, advocates) Eg of youth participation as tokenism and health sector arrogance Schools can address but not eliminate disadvantage . Schools are not able to eliminate disadvantage in their societies but can work effectively with other agencies to alleviate the impact of such disadvantages to benefit students, parents and communities. Recognize limits bur demand accountability SH assessments in 2005 –explict plan/priority to address disadvantage as part of CSH approach (not one … said yes) and would likely still be these case as they are busy with overeating and physical activity and other middle class issues Different Forms of Knowledge : This track on social and economic disadvantage will need to draw from published and grey literature if it is to capture the wisdom available from around the world. There is a dearth of formal, published studies about the social role of schools in low-income countries and communities because they are often using all of their resources for programs and basic survival. There is also considerable research that is “hidden” from the health and education sectors because it is published in social welfare journals as part of community development strategies. Linkages with other International and National Processes on Determinants : The social and economic determinants of health, learning and social development are being considered by other commissions, centres and committees. Consequently, this small working group should ensure that its work is informed about the work being done in those processes so that we do not duplicate their efforts.
  • HPS, CSHP, CSH, FRESH, are just overviews, frameworks, ways of clumping programs and services developed by academics and bureaucrats to organize their work…the issues and the people will matter and it won’t be pretty
  • -           basic hygiene/infectious diseases and parasites, -           HIV/AIDS/sexual health, -           nutrition programs (including school feeding programs to attract students into school) -           girls education -           teacher training -           basic education/literacy and basic health literacy -           school role in community economic development (eg agriculture, micro-businesses), -           the role of corporations in development -           the role of faith communities in development -           affordable school construction, clean water, sanitation
  • -           Healing/reconciliation programs to address injustices of colonization, -           Cultural retrieval/renaissance programs -           Suicide prevention -           Child abuse/family violence -           Chronic disease (tobacco, diabetes) -           Vocational/skills education -           Role of elders and schools in community development -           Governance issues
  • -           Intercultural awareness and respect -           human rights -           exploitation of children, adoption of children -           healing/reconciliation among communities, faiths, ethnic groups -           schools as a centres for community reconstruction -           schools as centres for disaster relief and crisis management -           conflict resolution/anger management skills -           peace education, global education
  • Alleviating Disadvantage through Schools June 2007

    1. 1. UN Agencies Technical Committee June 2007 Douglas S McCall
    2. 2. <ul><li>Introduce four sub-tracks </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss why context matters, really matters </li></ul><ul><li>Identify some differences in four contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest follow ups in four areas (networking, communities of practice, practical uses of technology in knowledge exchange, research and development) </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Don’t smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Eat healthy </li></ul><ul><li>Be active </li></ul><ul><li>Drink water </li></ul><ul><li>Stay out of the sun </li></ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Don’t smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Eat healthy </li></ul><ul><li>Be active </li></ul><ul><li>Drink water </li></ul><ul><li>Stay out of the sun </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be born poor. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t live in a poor community. </li></ul><ul><li>Get a high-paying, interesting job. </li></ul><ul><li>Marry well. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lose your job. </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize practical uses of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and exchange knowledge </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Network (loose, informal, messy - of other networks) </li></ul><ul><li>Members from countries (3 per), regional networks & agency offices, language, issue-based, research centres, international agencies, regrouping of countries (high, medium, low, mega) and schools reflecting communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Networking (side mtgs. at conferences), online collaboration (web sites, email, skype, wiki, blog, webinar, facebook) and knowledge dev (books, comparative studies, country portraits & case studies) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Low income countries </li></ul><ul><li>Low income communities </li></ul><ul><li>Aboriginal communities </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupted communities </li></ul><ul><li>Only a beginning, not the end of the process </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Determinants or disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable Canada, uncomfortable in some countries </li></ul><ul><li>Good enough is not good enough </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>School Health Promotion is a professional concept developed in several countries that must be redefined in every community and every school to be effective (Educators have their own, so do law, environment, development, human rights/racism) </li></ul><ul><li>How that concept is developed, implemented and sustained will depend on the historical, social and economic context (eg Europe, US, Canada, Australia, Latin America, low income countries, aboriginal communities etc) </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>Flay </li></ul><ul><li>Stokol </li></ul><ul><li>Fullan </li></ul><ul><li>Hargreaves </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>In Canada </li></ul><ul><li>In the world </li></ul><ul><li>Basic policy/program dilemma at all levels </li></ul>
    12. 13. <ul><li>Create and maintain networks </li></ul><ul><li>Create communities of practice, seek continuous improvement, build capacity over time </li></ul><ul><li>Make good use of technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct targeted research and knowledge exchange </li></ul>
    13. 14. <ul><li>Organize to hear the voices from the margins </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize limits of school’s influence on SES, war/peace/conflict while still demanding accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Use different forms of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Establish links with other initiatives such as Soc Determinants, aboriginal, </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>Issues: many, different, see next slide </li></ul><ul><li>Approach : Access to primary education, basic literacy, delivery of cost-effective public health services </li></ul><ul><li>Capacities : the school as the centre of the community, respect for teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Actions to support : </li></ul>
    15. 16. <ul><li>Access to and effective basic education </li></ul><ul><li>Schools construction, clean water, sanitation teacher training, </li></ul><ul><li>Basic literacy, completion of primary school </li></ul><ul><li>Role of faith communities, private sector </li></ul><ul><li>H & S Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Basic hygiene </li></ul><ul><li>School feeding </li></ul><ul><li>Girls education </li></ul><ul><li>Trades education </li></ul><ul><li>Basic health literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Parasites, malaria, </li></ul>
    16. 17. <ul><li>Issues : Approach : Completion of secondary education, basic health literacy and health careers, delivery of health, social services </li></ul><ul><li>Capacities : schools as safe havens </li></ul><ul><li>Actions to support : </li></ul>
    17. 18. <ul><li>Equity in </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity or Result </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy, numeracy, </li></ul><ul><li>Completing secondary school </li></ul><ul><li>School renovation, clean water, safe transportation </li></ul><ul><li>parasites </li></ul><ul><li>H & S Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Gangs, violence, FASD </li></ul><ul><li>family violence, neglect </li></ul><ul><li>Substance abuse </li></ul><ul><li>After school programs </li></ul><ul><li>School meal programs </li></ul><ul><li>Parent resource centres </li></ul><ul><li>Head start programs </li></ul>
    18. 19. <ul><li>Issues : Approach : Completion of secondary education, basic health literacy and health careers, cultural relevance and colonization, traditional knowledge and community as family </li></ul><ul><li>Capacities : schools as centres of renaissance, community elders are better organized </li></ul><ul><li>Actions to support : </li></ul>
    19. 20. <ul><li>Access to Ed Result </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of high school </li></ul><ul><li>Vocation and trades </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural relevance of school practices, curriculum, materials </li></ul><ul><li>Governance issues </li></ul><ul><li>H & S Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Child abuse/neglect </li></ul><ul><li>School meal programs </li></ul><ul><li>Aftermath of colonization </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic diseases, genetic diseases, </li></ul>
    20. 21. <ul><li>Pacific Islands </li></ul><ul><li>Generalized “we” </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect and implied </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomacy valued </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks consensus </li></ul><ul><li>“ yes” means harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual, relational </li></ul><ul><li>Western world </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive “I” </li></ul><ul><li>Direct and frank </li></ul><ul><li>Debate valued </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks compromise </li></ul><ul><li>“ yes” means agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Linear, analytical </li></ul>
    21. 22. <ul><li>Issues : Approach : Completion of secondary education, </li></ul><ul><li>Capacities : schools as centres of reconstruction (often only place to start) </li></ul><ul><li>Actions to support : </li></ul>
    22. 23. <ul><li>Access Issues </li></ul><ul><li>School reconstruction </li></ul><ul><li>Clean water, safe buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency response and preparedness </li></ul><ul><li>Role of development org’s </li></ul><ul><li>H & S Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Safety from looting </li></ul><ul><li>Lawlessness </li></ul><ul><li>Stress, trauma, anger </li></ul><ul><li>Peace & global education, human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental education </li></ul>
    23. 24. <ul><li>Cooperation </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>