Health Education Development/How to get good marks

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Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Declaration--Spanish (Public Domain)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights - eng - ks

This is a briefing paper written to help you get oriented to the subject and the whole course in your second and third years of study. Your education involves more than credentialing or, merely, gaining a degree. It is about having a vocation to do some good in the world. To do that you have have an educated mind, as well as an open heart and hands. We are fortunate to have some guidance for this. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a number of key aspirations of people who wish to attain the basic prerequisites for health have been well articulated. Knowing something of the history of their framing is important for all who work with people as individuals and as members of groups, communities, societies and cultures. This briefing paper will try to help you understand the links between Anatomy & Physiology and Public Health with Rehabilitation Counselling somewhere in the middle. It should also give you some idea of what is involved in writing a critical paper. You can click on the in-text links to be taken to various resources. However, also note that you will not be allowed to use in-text linking with the work that you will turn in for assessment.


This subject is a foundation for both the Public Health and the Rehabilitation Counselling majors. It will require you to be at the top of your game throughout the semester and through the months to follow. You will increase the likelihood of getting great marks in PHE2HED and completing the whole course well, if you start well. So, how do you do that? You can…

  1. familiarise yourself with key resources (and responsibilities);
  2. understand the underlying disciplines and philosophies;
  3. consider carefully the larger contexts and why they are relevant; and,
  4. get a grip on ‘Social Interdependence’ and ‘Cooperative Learning’ theories.

Familiarise yourself with key resources and responsibilities[edit]

At the beginning of a course of study, you should be orienting yourself towards the subject. To begin with, carefully reviewing the subject guide, or the course outline, if you are in North America. You will be responsible for the information such guides contain. Secondly, you can go through the first few lecturial and tutorial preparation materials and get some idea of the themes and directions that this subject will explore. You do not need to closely read everything. But, you should scan the readings suggested and note important concepts, values or activities. Write them down someplace convenient and accessible, such as Google Docs or Evernote, so you can return to them quickly for review.

Both the Public Health and the Rehabilitation Counselling majors focus on work in the community. Public Health works with groups and their larger environments to mobilise resources. Rehabilitation Counselling focuses more on the individual and their 'circles of influence' to assist the mobilisation of resources on a more individual basis. However, both draw on the principles of Health Promotion which have strong links to participation and the community.

If you are new to the idea of working in the community, you can download this resource Art of Community (Bacon 2009). Everyone will need a copy of the following resource to work through the various activities as a means of developing program-logic-based lesson plans and for learning how to lead a teaching activity as a group: Cooperative Learning Group Activities for College Courses (Macpherson 2000-2007). For now, just scan through the resources to become acquainted with them. Do not get bogged down! You cannot get everything done at the very beginning of your learning experience.

So, remember to read and review regularly and often. Take notes to remember what you read and where you read it. Think about what you read. Play around with the ideas, consider the values and attitudes being explored and test the various activities out for yourself. Friends are a very helpful resource in this regard. Ask yourself and each other how you might handle issues of concern to you now that you have uncovered these ways of thinking, feeling and acting. The Art of Community will give you real examples for dealing with a variety of issues relevant to this subject.

Get up to speed with Bloom’s Taxonomy! There are three domains that you should become familiar with: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Consider how you might create learning objectives with these in mind. You will also need to consider styles of learning. Kiger (1995) has a very nice way of putting this for teaching in the area of health. If you start exploring these two areas by using a Google search engine, you can cover quite a bit of ground in a few afternoons. There is much to master; but, there is plenty of good material on the Internet! But, learn to discriminate between good, better and best; learn to choose well. Remember the recommended reading list and the references and resources for each topic. By the way, you do not need to read all of the references below now! They are there to support my argument and to give you an example of referencing and sourcing your own arguments. However, it would be useful for you to check out the links. The same is true for the weekly topics.

Understand the underlying disciplines and philosophies[edit]

This subject is based on a social psychology approach to working with people in groups. Additionally, it draws on a humanistic (or, personalistic) and phenomenological tradition. Understanding something about human rights in a more critical way is important for following a 'strengths-based approach' advocated by this subject. However, many people are unfamiliar with the background and history of social psychology or, even, the development of documents explicitly focusing on human rights and responsibilities.

My own approach to social psychology and human rights has been heavily influenced by Gordon W. Allport, Emmanuel Mounier and Jacques Maritain. All were 'personalists'; each individual person matters and cannot be sacrificed unwillingly (and, even when someone is willing one should be slightly suspicious) to the greater good. As a player at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after World War II (he was head of the French delegation), Maritain influenced the development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which provides an ethical foundation for modern Public Health and Rehabilitation Counselling.

Maritain (1947) believed and persuasively argued that people can agree on practical processes and goals, even when they differ in their religious beliefs, political commitments and philosophies.[1] He did not overlook the importance of each person being able to justify themselves, to some extent, in each of these and any other issues that are important to people. Still, if we think of each other as neighbors (Williams 2005), he argued that there is much more that unites, rather than divides, us. His inspiration helped to keep the drafting committee of the Universal Declaration moving forward in the midst of their many disagreements (Glendon 2001). Underlying his conviction was his understanding that we often know much more than we can explain about what is right and wrong. He had a way of helping people find words, images or stories to bring this sense to the surface.

This ability to work with others for human dignity and human rights was also exhibited in other ways. For instance, Jacques Maritain, a French Catholic academic, and Saul Alinsky, a radical American community activist of Jewish descent, were great friends who admired each other; this was true even though they disagreed with each other philosophically (Wolfe 2011). The example of Maritain’s life as an advocate for and a cherisher of the person in their freedom, as well as his critical thinking, also influenced many leaders of freedom and democracy movements in Latin America and the rest of the world (Oliveras 1985).[2]

Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator and phenomenologist who was influenced by both Maritain and Mounier (Block 2012:95; de Oliveira 1985:415), is especially important for our subject in terms of understanding issues relating to adult literacy. He wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire 1972) and was often at odds with various dictatorships. This meant that he lived in exile for much of his adult life. While his position can be constructively criticised (de Oliveira 1985:415), it provides for a grassroots level engagement with the poor and disenfranchised on their own terms.

The phenomenologists writing in the ‘existential-humanistic’ tradition at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania have also profoundly influenced my thinking and that of many in the health field. They, in turn, have been influenced by some very alert thinkers such as Erwin Straus. His journal article, ‘The Upright Posture’ (Straus 1952), is a classic for using Physiology & Anatomy to understand so much more about the ‘how and why’ of humans engaging their environments and with one another.

You will get a taste of this tradition in this subject. That is because the subject has to do with enabling and empowering people (especially those from potentially vulnerable groups in society) to achieve their aspirations through the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and resources in supportive environments where community action is strengthened. This will be a great foundation for those of you who will seek to do an Honours year.[3] If you will be engaged in counselling, the 'process-oriented approach' associated with phenomenology is popular at both the School of Public Health and elsewhere.[4]

Finally, learn to think in terms of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO 1986). One of the great thinkers of the modern Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science movement, Ann Allart Wilcock, uses this as the basis of her work (Wilcock 1999). Here is a good article that introduces the Ottawa Charter in terms of the salutogenic approach of Aaron Antonovsky who will also feature this semester (Eriksson & Lindstrom 2008). You can learn more about these ideas in Green and Tones (2010) which is on your recommended, but not required, reading list.

Carefully consider the larger contexts and their relevance[edit]

In thinking about strengthening communities, another person whose works you should get to know during your sojourn through this subject and beyond is E.F. Schumacher. He wrote the highly influential book, Small is Beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered. Here is a good background video in low resolution for people with slower IT resources, Coming Home: EF Schumacher and the Reinvention of the Local Economy]. (You can use software such as, KEEPVID, to download a higher quality mp4 version.) Healthy local communities are essential to personal health.

Therefore, community building (CB) and community development (CD) are very important background aspects of this subject, Health Education Development through Groups. We are preparing those enrolled in the Public Health and Rehabilitation Counselling majors for work in the real world. Remember, this is a foundation subject for what follows in both study areas. It will be your responsibility to keep informing yourself of the principles and practices involved with CB and CD. Here is a one stop shop for information, inspiration and resources:

Schumacher’s work has also influenced the intermediate technologies movement and the modern distributism movement. The Australian Fabian, parliamentarian and academic, Race Mathews, has written a book outlining some of the key features of this ‘distributivist’ approach, Jobs of Our Own (you can get the table of contents, first chapter and index here:

Get a grip on ‘Social Interdependence’ and ‘Cooperative Learning’ theories[edit]

There are other key people and ideas that you should be aware of as well. For instance, there is Kurt Lewin (lu-veen) who heavily influenced much of social psychology thinking in the 20th Century. He was born into a Jewish family in what was Germany, then, and Poland, now. He left Germany with the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s. In many respects, his work prepared the Allied troops to successfully counter the Nazi-trained soldiers during World War II. On the home front, he helped housewives to change their shopping habits to meet rationing requirements (Burnes 2004).

He was also, effectively, a ‘midwife’ of the Office of Special Services (OSS) through his association with the ‘Tavistock Institute’, one of the founders of the ‘'Human Relations’' journal, an instigator of the action research approach, as well as the originator of conceptual tools such as field theory and group dynamics which are useful in terms of resolving social conflicts (Burnes 2004; Lewin 1934, 1997). Importantly, he was a humanitarian who wished to support efforts to effect constructive change. Despite recent dismissals of Lewin and his ideas in some quarters, Burnes (2004) has persuasively argued for the continuing relevance of Lewin’s seminal work as much of the criticism is either lacking in sufficient foundation or based on a very narrow construal of his actual positions.

Lewin influenced Morton Deutsch who researched the concept of social interdependence (this is an absolutely must read link that will take you to many other ‘short, sharp and sweet’ sources of information that you can use to get your own thinking STARTED).

Deutsch has been working on conflict resolution for decades. In fact, he is considered by many to be one of the key figures in modern conflict resolution (The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution founded by Deutsch) and distributive justice (The International Society of Justice Research Morton Deutsch Award) projects. As a social psychologist, he has been particularly concerned about conceptualising what justice means for those who are often oppressed by the powerful (Deutsch 1975).

It is possible to criticise Deutsch’s arguments. Markovsky (1987) does this in his review of Deutsch’s (1985) Distributive Justice: A Social-Psychological Perspective. Yet, it is hard to gainsay his orientation, his efforts, or the relevance of his message. His influence has been immense. Such influence can be seen in the prolific work of the Professors Johnson in the areas of education, social justice, and conflict resolution.

In turn, the Johnson brothers have been instrumental in articulating the benefits of cooperative learning. If you can or will only read one thing this semester for this subject (and, that clearly will not do), then you should get a copy of the following article (use Google Scholar on campus and you should be able to access and download a PDF of the article to a USB for printing): An educational psychology success story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning (Johnson & Johnson 2009).


Having read through this briefing paper, you should have a better idea of how to get great marks in this and other subjects. You should also have a better idea of how to do well in the course of your studies with us in the Public Health and Rehabilitation Counselling majors. Just remember to do at least these four things: (1) familiarise yourself with key resources (and responsibilities); (2) understand the underlying disciplines and philosophies; (3) consider how these interact with the larger contexts; and, (4) get a good grip on the key constructs, models and theories used by the discipline(s) in the area(s) that you are studying.

By reading this briefing paper, I hope that you also have an idea of what is required in writing a critical piece of work with proper referencing. Bear in mind that I have done something that you will not be allowed to do; I have included a number of web-based references. You will only be allowed to use web-based material in this course when you are critiquing the material. Someone needs to know more than what is in Wikipedia (great place to start) or on info-pages.

All the best!


Allport, G.W. (1955) Becoming: Basic considerations for a psychology of personality. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Allport, G.W. (1968) The person in psychology: Selected essays. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.

Bacon, J. (2009) The art of community: Building the new age of participation. Beijing: O’Reilly. Last accessed on 1 March 2013 at:

Block, S. (2012) Change Agents: Alinskyian organizing among religious bodies, Volume III, Ideology. Spero Publishing. Last accessed on 1 March 2013 at:

Burnes, B. (2004) Kurt Lewin and the Planned Approach to Change: A re-appraisal. Journal of management Studies. 41(6):977-1002.

Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H. and Nystrom, M. (2008) Reflective Lifeworld Research. (2nd ed.) Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.

de Oliveira, A.D. (1985) The influence of Maritain on the Brazilian thinker Alceu Amoroso Lima. In, Allard, J-L. (ed.) Jacques Maritain: philosophe dans la cite/A philosopher in the world. Ottawa, CA: Editions de l’Universite d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa Press, pages 407-416.

Deutsch, M. (1975) Equity, equality, and need: What determines which value will be used as the basis of distributive justice? Journal of Social Issues. 31(3):137-149.

Deutsch, M. (1985) Distributive Justice: A Social-Psychological Perspective. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Eriksson, M. and Lindstrom, B. (2008) A salutogenic interpretation of the Ottawa Charter. Health Promotion International. 23(2):190-199.

Freire, P. (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Penguin.

Gendlin, E.T. (1996) Focusing-oriented psychotherapy: A manual of the experiential method. New York: Guilford Press.

Gendlin, E.T. (1997) Experiencing and the creation of meaning: A philosophical and psychological approach to the subjective. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

Giorgi, A. (2009) The descriptive phenomenological method in psychology: A modified Husserlian approach. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Duquesne University Press.

Glendon, M.A. (2001) A world made new: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New York: Random House.

Green, J. and Tones, K. (2010) Health Promotion: Planning and strategies. (2nd ed.) London: Sage.

Johnson, D.W. and Johnson, R.T. (2009) An educational psychology success story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning. Educational Researcher. 38(5):365-379.

Kiger, A. M. (1995) Teaching for health. (2nd ed.) Melbourne: Churchill Livingstone.

Lewin, K. (1935) A dynamic theory of personality: Selected papers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lewin, K. (1997) Resolving social conflicts & Field Theory in social science. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

M’Bow, A-M. (1982) Allocution a l’occasion de la celebration du centenaire de la naissance de Jacques Maritain. Directeur general de ‘l Organisation [sic] des nations Unies pour l’education, la science et la culture. Maison de l’Unesco. Accessed last at 1 March 2013 at: .

Macpherson, A. (2000-2007) Cooperative learning group activities for college courses: A guide for instructors. Toronto, CA: Kwantlen University College. Last accessed on 1 March 2013 at:

Markovsky, B. (1987) Book Review: Distributive Justice: A Social-Psychological Perspective. By Morton Deutsch. American Journal of Sociology 92(5):1262-1264.

Maritain, J. (1947) Communication with regard to the Draft World Declaration on the Rights of Man. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [sic]. Paris, 18 June 1947. Phil./5/1947. Accessed last on 1 March 2013 at:

Maritain, J. (1948a) Introduction. Human Rights: Comments and interpretations. A symposium edited by Unesco [sic] with an Introduction by Jacques Maritain. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 25 July 1948, pages I-IX. UNESCO/PHS/3(rev). Accessed last on 1 March 2013 at:

Maritain, J. (1948b) Philosophical Examination of Human Rights. Human Rights: Comments and interpretations. A symposium edited by Unesco [sic] with an Introduction by Jacques Maritain. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 25 July 1948, pages 59-63. UNESCO/PHS/3(rev). Accessed last on 1 March 2013 at:

Maritain, J. (1966) Above the Babel of Minds. The UNESCO Courier. July-August, page 46. Accessed last on 1 March 2013 at:

Mathews, R. (1999) Jobs of our own: Building a stake-holder society—alternatives to the market and the state. Sydney: Pluto Press.

Olivares, E.P. (1985) L’influence de Jacques Maritain en Amerique latine. In, Allard, J-L. (ed.) Jacques Maritain: philosophe dans la cite/A philosopher in the world. Ottawa, CA: Editions de l’Universite d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa Press, pages 399-408.

Schumacher, E.F. (1973) Small is Beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered. London: Blond & Briggs.

Straus, E.W. (1952) The upright posture. The Psychiatric Quarterly. 26(1-4):529-561.

UNESCO (1982) Celebration du centenaire de la naissance de Jacques Maritain 1883-1973. New York: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Accessed last on 1 March 2013 at:

WHO (1986) The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Wilcock, A.A. (1999) Reflections on doing, being and becoming. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 46:1-11.

Williams, T.D. (2005) Who is my neighbour? Personalism and the foundations of human rights. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America.

Wolfe, C.J. (2011) Lessons from the friendship of Jacques Maritain with Saul Alinsky. Catholic Social Science Review. 16:229-240.

[1] Maritain would repeat similar sentiments during his speech, as the head of the French delegation, to the 2nd Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Mexico City in November of 1947. The essence of the speech, Above the Babel of Minds, was published in The UNESCO Courier of July-August 1966 on page 46 as part of its twenty year anniversary retrospective. He argued, “Because the end-purpose of Unesco [sic] is a practical one, agreement between minds can be reached spontaneously, not on the basis of a common abstract concept, but upon the basis of a common practical concept; not on the affirmation of one and the same vision of the world, of man and of knowledge, but upon the affirmation of a single corpus of beliefs to govern action. This is little enough, no doubt, but it is the last remaining fortress where minds can meet. Hence it justifies the undertaking of a great task, and we will have achieved much if we can attain awareness of our common practical convictions.” When a symposium of philosophy papers was developed by UNESCO to support the work of the drafting committee, Maritain, who was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University in 1948, was asked to provide the ‘Introduction’ (1948a:I-IX) in addition his own contribution, ‘Philosophical Examination of Human Rights’ (1948b:59-63). Some of the other contributors included: Mahatma Gandhi, E.H. Carr, Benedetto Croce, Teilhard de Chardin, F.S.C. Northrop, Aldous Huxley and Margery Fry.

[2] His influence has lasted for several decades after his initial work with UNESCO. To celebrate the centenary of his birth, UNESCO (1982) published Celebration du centenaire de la naissance de Jacques Maritain 1882-1973. It contains a forward by the Director General of UNESCO, Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow, as well as Maritain’s allocution to the general conference of UNESCO on 6 November 1947 and his comments in the philosophical symposium. M’Bow gave an allocution at UNESCO House on 13 December 1982 as part of the celebrations (M’Bow, A-M. 1982).

[3] Just to mention two important books: Dahlberg, Dahlbert & Nystrom (2008) and Giorgi (2009).

[4] Again, just to mention a few books: Greenberg, Rice & Elliot (1993); Gendlin (1996, 1997).