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ASCD_whole_schoolAssociation for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, (2014). Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child: A Collaborative Approach to Learning and Health. What do you get when you combine the Whole Child model of schooling (from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) with a Coordinated School Health model (from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)? The results are an educational model that finally makes sense. The approach places greater emphasis on the ecology of both teens and of schools. It’s features include greater alignment between education and health; incorporation of the components of a coordinated school health program around the tenets of a whole child approach to education. [download 16pp report] [watch video]

Don Nutbeam, “The Evolving Concept of Health Literacy,” Social Science & Medicine, cardio67(2008): 2072-2078. The concept of health literacy has emerged from two distinct concepts: the scientific one of “risk” and the educational research and literacy approach of “asset.” Both conceptualizations are important and are helping to stimulate a more sophisticated understanding of the process of health communication in both clinical and community settings. [read more]

Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, “Why Education Researchers Should Take School Food Seriously,” Educational Researcher, 40 (2011):15. This thought-provoking article boldly calls for educational researchers to look at the confounding influences of school food’s impact on health and on academics, its effects on teaching and administration, the role schools play in teaching about food, implications for the environment and for other species, the large sums of money involved, the window that food provides into identity and culture, food’s influence on educational policy and politics and the social justice concerns around food. [read more]

healthlitwordleAndrew Pleasant, Jennifer Cabe, Kavita Patel, Jennifer Cosenza, and Richard Carmona, “Health Literacy Research and Practice: A Needed Paradigm Shift” Health Communication, 30(2015): 1176-1180. This team of researchers makes a timely call: “A more viable approach to increase the utility and use of health literacy research is to better understand the positive effects that health literacy can have on the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, nations, and the world. That is, it is well past time to reverse direction away from a deficit model of health literacy and to increasingly focus collective effort on creating a positive model of how health literacy can and should be prioritized and used to improve health and well-being at lower costs.” [read more]

Nel Noddings, “What Does It Mean to Educate the Whole Child?” Educational Leadership, 63(2005), 8-13. This is an excellent article from the quintessential expert in nurturing pedagogy (Noddings). Although the article is a decade old, it is timeless in its refutation of standardized testing (NCLB) in favor of educating all children and in holistic ways. Noddings suggests a more purposeful landscape of public schooling that includes salient outcomes such as happiness, social conscience, critical thought, and global awareness. [read more]

Alissa Quart, “The Body-Data Craze,” Newsweek and The Daily Beast, June 26body-data craze, 2013. Technology has revolutionized what we can measure about ourselves. But is all that tracking good for our health? Quart critically examines the world of data tracking, including the possibilities as well as pitfalls of self-quantification. The costs of allowing our data to be tracked and mined include privacy and even emotional attachment. [read more]


HealthyPeople2020U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2020 Framework,” 2010. A federal inter-agency working group set forth a national vision of “a society in which all people live long, healthy lives.” The group developed an ecological model to frame national health objectives that acknowledges the overlap among the social determinants of health and their collective impact and influence on health outcomes and conditions. Key influencers of health are race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, disability status, sexual orientation, and geographic location. The framework identifies health information technology (IT)health communication, and health literacy as being an integral part of the implementation and success of this vision. [read more]

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