Deakin University

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Planetary health pedagogy: Preparing health promoters for 21st-century environmental challenges

journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-29, 00:33 authored by Teresa CapetolaTeresa Capetola, Sue NoySue Noy, Rebecca Patrick
Issue addressed: Multiple interconnected drivers threaten the health and wellbeing of humans and the environment, including biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, rapid urbanisation and displacement. This requires enhanced literacy on health of the environment and innovation in problem conceptualisation and cross-sectoral solutions. Contemporary mandates (eg, Ottawa Charter) task health promoters to tackle the human and environmental health crisis. To address the complex determinants across multiple settings, health promotion graduates require competencies in interdisciplinary collaboration grounded in systems thinking. They also require knowledge and agility to leverage multiple gains from health promotion action that benefits people and planet. Similarly, health promotion practitioners are currently aware of the need for skills to deliver co-benefits to people and planet. Planetary health, as theory and framework, provides a socio-ecological focus, systems thinking approach, co-benefits framework for action and foundational basis to enhance health promotion graduates' skills and competencies to address multiple health and planetary challenges. To date, there have been limited practical attempts to address these challenges. Method: A desktop review and synthesis of teaching and learning scholarship in planetary health were coupled with iterative critical reflections of teaching practice, and the use of two case studies, to illuminate innovations in health promotion competencies. Results: Two examples of how planetary health promotion challenges are addressed through teaching and learning scholarship are presented to illustrate the use of a tailored sustainability tool and a deliberative interdisciplinary approach to collaboration, delivered within a course that constructively aligns curriculum content and assessment. Conclusion: A bespoke model, the Sustainability Wheel of Fortune, combined with constructive interactive teaching approaches, adds interdisciplinary collaboration and systems thinking approaches to the knowledge and practice of planetary health. A postgraduate microcredential fast-tracks knowledge and skills acquisition for recent graduates and established practitioners interested in upskilling for planning planet and population health co-benefits. So what?: The Sustainability Wheel of Fortune provides health promotion students with a model for understanding, and addressing, complex global and local challenges. The microcredential builds on health promotion competencies to develop interdisciplinary and systems-based approaches to planetary health challenges.



Health Promotion Journal of Australia