Schools and Public Health

Schools and Public Health : Past, Present, Future

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Schools and Public Health is a meditation on the past, present, and future of the relationship between public health and American public schools. Gard and Pluim begin by developing a historical account of the way schools have been used in the public health policy arena in America. They then look in detail at more contemporary examples of school-based public health policies and initiatives in order to come to a judgment about whether and to what extent it makes sense to use schools in this way. With this is as the foundation, the book then offers answers to the question of why schools have so readily been drawn into public health policy formulations. First, seeing schools as a kind of 'miracle factory' is a long standing habit of mind that discourages careful consideration of alternative public health strategies. Second, schools have been implicated in public health policy in strategic ways by actors often with unstated political, cultural, ideological, and financial motivations. Finally, the authors call for a more sophisticated approach to public health policy in schools and suggest some criteria for judging the potential efficacy of school-based interventions. In short, the potential effectiveness of proposed interventions needs to be assessed not only against existing historical evidence, but also against the competing roles society expects schools to play and the working-life realities for those charged with implementing public health policies in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 276 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 2 tables
  • 0739172581
  • 9780739172582
  • 1,338,248

Review quote

Gard and Pluim have produced a coherent reflection on the history of relations between schools and public health. Though the authors quickly introduce the term 'school health' as a synonym for public health in educational space, the book remains useful for teachers and school administrators interested in the historical relationship between schools and public, health-related initiatives in schools. Gard and Pluim offer a needed addition to scholarship on schools and public health that sets the stage for more sophisticated discussions about the present and future of public health interventions in educational environments. The book's strength is that it provides a strong history of the positive and negative (even exploitative) ways that corporate and institutional influence, wielded in the name of health, have operated in education space. The authors focus chiefly on Western educational settings and initiatives with a corporate and economic modality. Readers would benefit from more contemporary examples of public health initiatives in schools. The book is a vanguard piece in the examination of school health's history from an educational perspective, as opposed to previously penned works by public health practitioners. Gard and Pluim's informative mediation introduces teachers to the history, context, usefulness, and methods of health intervention in schools. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates and above. CHOICE Through meticulous scholarship this book traces the relationship between public health and American schools from the end of the nineteenth century to the recent incursions by corporations and programs sponsored by food and drink industries. The arguments and examples provided will provoke those working in health education to consider the political and economic interests at work in shaping school health. It is essential reading for any person concerned by the ways commercial interests are impacting schools. -- Jan Wright, University of Wollongong Gard and Pluim have written an important book that deserves to be read by all those involved in public health initiatives that target schools as the site of implementation. It should also be read by school administrators charged with implementing such initiatives and academics who research and write about them. The authors have provided an insightful analysis of the relationship between public health and education in the United States by drawing on key examples from the past and present. This fine book gives us a modest, sophisticated, well-researched assessment of this complex issue. -- Richard Tinning, University of Queensland, University of Auckland This is a stunning contribution to the pressing, ongoing debates about public health policy, obesity levels, and education. It will challenge, please, and annoy in equal measure. Rich in scholarship and empirical detail, it is essential reading for policy makers and practitioners alike. -- John Evans, Loughborough Universityshow more

About Michael Gard

Michael Gard is senior research fellow in the School of Education at Southern Cross University and adjunct associate professor at the University of Queensland. Carolyn Pluim is associate professor of education at Northern Illinois more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Fear and Loathing in Seattle Chapter 2: A Process not a Thing Chapter 3: The Birth of the Miracle Factory Chapter 4: A Dazzling Variety Chapter 5: Sex, Drugs, and School Food Chapter 6: Reforming the Self Chapter 7: Obesity, Schools, and History Chapter 8: The 'New' Body Work of Being a Teacher Chapter 9: Health for Sale Chapter 10: A Future without Limitsshow more