Healthy children, healthy planet : the case for transformative education in schools and early childhood from an Australian perspective

Davis, Julie M., Cooke, Sue M., Blashki, Grant, & Best, Andrew (2010) Healthy children, healthy planet : the case for transformative education in schools and early childhood from an Australian perspective. International Public Health Journal, 2(4), pp. 561-570.

View at publisher


Climate change is an urgent global public health issue with substantial predicted impacts in the coming decades. Concurrently, global burden of disease studies highlight problems such as obesity, mental health problems and a range of other chronic diseases, many of which have origins in childhood. There is a unique opportunity to engage children in both health promotion and education for sustainability during their school years to help ameliorate both environmental and health issues. Evidence exists for the most effective ways to do this, through education that is empowering, action orientated and relevant to children’s day to day interests and concerns, and by tailoring such education to different educational sectors. The aim of this discussion paper is to argue the case for sustainability education in schools that links with health promotion and that adopts a practical approach to engaging children in these important public health and environmental issues. We describe two internationally implemented whole-school reform movements, Health Promoting Schools (HPS) and Sustainable Schools (SS) which seek to operationalise transformative educational processes. Drawing on international evidence and Australian case examples, we contend that children’s active involvement in such processes is not only educationally engaging and rewarding, it also contributes to human and environmental resilience and health. Further, school settings can play an important ecological public health role, incubating and amplifying the socially transformative changes urgently required to create pathways to healthy, just and sustainable human futures, on a viable planet.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

562 since deposited on 07 May 2010
85 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 32138
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Transformative education , health promoting schools, sustainable schools , education for sustainability, environmental education
ISSN: 1947-4989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Education and Extension (050203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Primary Education (excl. Maori) (130105)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Nova Publishers
Deposited On: 07 May 2010 00:33
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 14:40

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page