What can we Learn for the Future Development of the Health Promoting School Idea from the Experience of a Project in two Regions in Russia?
Clift, Stephen and Bruun Jensen, Bjarne (eds.)
The Health Promoting School:international advances in theory, evaluation and practice.
Danish University of Education Press.
The European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS) has now spread across 38 European countries, and includes over 500 schools with 400,000 students. Russia has officially been part of this network from the outset, but the idea has never taken off in Russia as readily it has in other parts of Europe, and,
partly due to the sheer size of the country, it has not in practice had a great deal of impact. In 1999 David Rivett, from the World Health Organisation European Office Copenhagen, whose particular responsibility it was to facilitate the development of the Health Promoting School (HPS) in Eastern and Central Europe, saw an opportunity to develop the HPS in two Oblasts (regions) in Russia offered by a new World Bank funded project. This project provided support to help schools in Rostov (in the South, near the Caspian sea) and in Novosibirsk (in Siberia) develop more modern approaches to education. Another Oblast, Tver, in the centre of Russia, was also part of the project, but funded separately. David Rivett approached the Health Education Unit at the University of Southampton, where staff had experience of developing the HPS in Central and Eastern Europe to organise a development project over three years. The aim of this project was to introduce a HPS approach into the three Oblasts, and to discover how some basic concepts and ideas found within HPS
networks in other parts of Europe could best be developed there, using the key principle that the HPS is a process not a preset outcome (Jensen and Simovska, 2002:2) and has to be developed in each context in a way that is appropriate, and which builds on the needs, perceptions and understandings of participants.
This chapter explores what can be learned from the experience of these two Oblasts for the development of the HPS approach. It is based on evidence from Rostov and Novosibirsk Oblasts (Tver is not included as it was not part of the World Bank funded project and not evaluated in the same ways).
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