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Research on Schools for Health and Sustainability

The centre’s primary objective is to conduct pioneering research within health education and education for sustainable development in primary and lower secondary education. Health and sustainability are important parts of the curriculum – not only as topics to be covered in particular subjects, but also as fundamental educational principles for the school’s academic and organisational development. In Denmark, health, the environment and sustainable development constitute transversal dimensions to be integrated across the boundaries of subject and year group.

National learning objectives have been drawn up for each of the three themes, which are implemented in subject-specific, or in more general curriculum guidelines. The centre’s research focuses on reassessing the competences future generations will require if they are to participate competently in the processes of change relating to issues of health and sustainability, given the complexity of these issues and the uncertainty of related knowledge.

Research focus

The specific goal in establishing the centre is to generate knowledge regarding the transformative processes which occur when political intentions and objectives for teaching in health, the environment and sustainable development are converted into curriculum practice within the school.
The research builds on existing national and international educational and cross-disciplinary research, particularly within the fields of health promotion and education for sustainable development.
The research strategy is based on an interdisciplinary approach and a combination of basic research, concept development and research-based practice development (intervention).
The idea behind this strategy is that the different types of knowledge, and the interplay between them, can inspire, complement and challenge each other in developing the field.
The research draws on both quantitative and qualitative research methods and on social and organisational learning theories and critical education.