Dissertation Proposal Defense by Andria Shook
Date and Time
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 259
EDUCATING THE WHOLE CHILD: EVIDENCE OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS SERVING LOW-INCOME STUDENTS
The World Health Organization describes childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges in the 21st Century estimating 43 million children under five meet the criteria to be classified as overweight. Obese children are more susceptible to an array of physical health conditions and psychological health conditions, and children residing in low-income communities have greater risk of obesity than children of means. Studies have provided evidence that poor nutrition and limited physical activity among today’s children and youth negatively impact their physical, social, and emotional health as well as their school attendance, learning, and academic achievement. Unless a child has means to engage in wellness activities outside the school day to reduce their susceptibility to obesity, school is likely the child’s only opportunity to access such services.
Reform efforts have encouraged schools to begin moving from a strict adherence to standardized assessment-centered instruction toward holistic, outcome-based instruction to maximize academic success. Currently, however, minimal accountability
and limited school funding leave school-based health and wellness activities more prevalent in highly resourced communities. At this point in time, little is known of the dimensions to incorporate health and wellness, nor do we know the extent to which such
programs impact students.
Efforts have begun in select schools and districts to address chronic low performance in new, holistic ways. The purpose of this study is to better understand how health and wellness instruction influences students, particularly those of low-income status, at three schools with large numbers of low-income students. Statistical analyses will compare low-income students’ physical and psychological responses before and after the start of health and wellness instruction to their non-low-income peers to understand potential effects for each population. Using these differentiated findings, a cross-case analysis of each school’s wellness program will be conducted to identify how health and wellness instruction is incorporated at schools educating large populations of low-income students.
** USD graduate students and faculty are welcome free of charge