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A journey into school health promotion: district implementation of the health promoting schools approach Open Access


Other title
health promoting schools
implementation models
comprehensive school health
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gleddie, Douglas Lee
Supervisor and department
Melnychuk, Nancy (Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
St. Leger, Lawry (Deakin University)
Doherty, Maryanne (Secondary Education)
Simmt, Elaine (Secondary Education)
Chorney, David (Secondary Education)
Veugelers, Paul (School of Public Health)
Department of Secondary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The purpose of the study was to examine a particular division-level implementation of the Health-Promoting Schools (HPS) Approach, the Battle River Project (BRP). Schools have become an important setting to positively affect health behaviors of children and youth. Although evidence exists for the efficacy of the HPS approach, there are recognized gaps in the areas of implementation and policy development. The BRP was initiated by Ever Active Schools (Alberta) and focused on social and organizational levels, with the end goal of positively affecting student health outcomes and policy. The participating schools and the division were supported by all partners involved in the research and worked to facilitate the development of healthy, active school communities. The study is presented as a series of four papers bracketed by introduction and conclusion chapters. The introduction chapter details the theoretical framework, literature review, context, and methodology of the study. The first paper introduces the BRP, provides provincial background, and details the structure and framework of the project. The second paper examines the use of evidence to effect change in schools and the division. The takeaway points from the project included the value of stakeholder involvement throughout the process, the need to share gathered evidence with those in a position to implement effective practice and capable of effecting change, and the importance of encouraging an embedding of health in school and division culture. The third paper shares the findings from the case study of the BRP under three dominant themes: participation, coordination, and integration. Evidence gathered in the study strongly support the efficacy of school division–based HPS implementation. The fourth paper examines the development and early implementation of healthy school policy in the Battle River School Division. Several themes were gleaned from the case study data, including perceptions and misconceptions, the importance of a bottom-up/top-down process, flexible rigidity with regard to implementation, and the need to make healthy schools the way we do business. The concluding chapter provides a summary of the work, highlights results, provides recommendations, and next steps.
License granted by Douglas Gleddie ( on 2010-09-28T18:34:42Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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