BC DASH believes health and learning are connected for students. This graphic recording is a visual summary from the 7th annual leadership forum on healthy schools.
The plenary speaker Dr. Penny Ballem spoke about the need to build strong and flexible relationships to move a public health agenda forward. A dialogue about healthy schools requires a cross-sector approach and she outlined some of her philosophies of success. Presentations from Healthy School Network projects, the After School Sports Initiative and GO Day (Girls Only Day) inspired the forum participants and we then heard directly from the Youth Council.
All of the presentations at the forum were engaging. Here are just two examples of things that resonated with me. In the afternoon, two professors from Vancouver Island University collaborated on a presentation about “bridging our data”. Drs. Le Masurier and Fisher shared how teachers in the classroom can be at an arms-length distance from researchers with datasets, and vice versa- but data can bridge the gap both in methodology and in results. Dr. Le Masurier gave the example about how obesity is an important science story, but an even bigger story is about movement and fitness. High levels of fitness result in better health, no matter your weight. (Then he connected how movement can make us smarter – who knew!). Dr. Fisher uses narrative and story to collect data. Her approach starts by asking us to consider how and why we assess students – is it a deficit model, or a strength-based model? and ensures student voices are in the model of inquiry. Performance standards/tools were provided to forum participants by DASH to help create a model of inquiry that speaks across sectors.