An Investigation Of The Different Modalities Of Schooling And Their Implications For Health Education

  • Helen Byrne

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The role of the significance of organisational culture has been historically difficult to define and apply to the school setting. This thesis is concerned with the factors that contribute to the modality (ie. the most typical way of being) of a school and the ways in which this interacts with the teaching and learning of Health Education in England.It draws on the works of Bernstein, Daniels and Vygotsky, where their ideas of power and control are mediated both through discourse and action at both the micro-level of the classroom and the macro-level of the school as an organisation. Their theories form the link between what happens at the level of pupil learning within the school and the outcomes of the pedagogy that is taught. The health aspects can be integrated with the above by combining Antonovsky’s concepts of Salutogenesis and ‘sense of coherence’.Four High Schools within one English LEA participated in the research in 2008. Collected data included interviews, observations and questionnaires from pupils and staff. The outcomes from the analyses considered how the schools operationalised Health Education as part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic education programme. The research also considered the consequences and learning experiences for the pupils. A link has been found between the type of school modality and the status of Health Education that exists in each school post the 1988 Education Reform Act.The use of the ideas associated with Salutogenesis can be seen as a way towards instilling the notion that health is a valuable personal commodity that is needed throughout the life course. Schools are well placed to continue promoting positive health education and could introduce a ‘Health Passport’. This would effectively encourage individuals to take responsibility for their attitude and behaviour towards their own health because it is a resource for everyday living. The correct modality conditions within a school will enable this idea to succeed.
Date of Award1 Jul 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorHarry Daniels (Supervisor)

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