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New project focusing on health and learning

Published: 22 February 2017

Health, appreciation and participation - are some areas that researchers and students from Luleå University of Technology focuses on in Övertorneå Municipality's project for health promoting school improvement.

– This project about health promoting school development gets really exciting with the development work, research and student work included. It gives me the feeling of the jackpot when all these parts are present, and the support of the National Agency is particularly gratifying, says Catrine Kostenius, Professor of Health Sciences at Luleå University of Technology and the projects research leader.

Increase student achievement

The Swedish National Agency for Education has awarded grants to 99 principals for health-promoting school improvement work. The grant will lead to health promotion and prevention efforts for greater effectiveness. Övertorneå received 1.089 million SEK and will during the spring semester go to health promotion efforts to increase student achievement and well-being at school. This is done for example by competence education for both school staff and students in the field of health and learning, and a health motivator will be employed to coach students and staff.

Research from more areas

In the application to the Swedish National Agency for Education  Catrine Kostenius contributed with linking the research to the development process. During spring, she and her research team will answer research questions about health promotion by capturing experiences and thoughts from students and school staff - a so-called empowerment based perspective, where those affected by the change are involved and co-creator of the development process.

Besides Catrine Kostenius contribution of an estimated approach linked to health and learning, more researchers will participate from Luleå University of Technoology. From the Department of Health Sciences lecturer Anna-Karin Lindqvist contributes with her research and practical tools for mental training, and lecturer Anitha Risberg contributes with her research end knowledge about stress and stress management. From the Department of Arts, Communication and Learning  lecturer Lena Nyström is participating, with her research experiences in schools. She contributes with specific knowledge of how students will be herad and how their power for positive change can be utilized in school improvement process.

– By putting together the knowledge from several disciplines and venture beyond professional boundaries, I am confident that we will generate knowledge that will be useful for health promoting school improvement.

Student work in the project

In the spring, Hanna Forsberg, health counselor who is writing her master's thesis on health school environment, will share her results. Even students from health guidance programme at Luleå University of Technology will write their theses on the subject of health promotion linked to the project in Övertorneå. Julia Fredriksson and Susanne Sjöblom examine school personnel's experiences of health and learning.
In Övertorneå, 40 percent of all students in high school are newcomers and a series of studies shows that this group is particularly vulnerable to ill health. Josefin Dahlstrom and Victor Naslund is therefore focused in their thesis on what the immigrant students are experiencing as health promotion.

In early February, the first project meeting was held in Övertorneå.

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Catrine Kostenius

Catrine Kostenius, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 493288
Organisation: Nursing, Nursing and Medical Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology