Community Participation and Health

This course introduces students to a holistic perspective on community participation/development theory and practice as it relates to the health of citizens. In our postmodern arena, there is a need to re-conceptualize community and to search for new alternatives for community participation that are conducive to health. To promote health requires students/professionals to appreciate how the determinants of health, such as social support, security, and peace, impact upon people in local, national, global and virtual communities.

The course is divided into three areas: conceptual frameworks, applied perspectives, and student leadership. The course begins with a critical exploration of challenges to engaged community participation in local and global communities with related health impacts. Primary health care, quality of life, citizen education, human rights, national identity, and threats to water quality and accessibility will be critically analyzed and related to community capacity building for health. In the applied perspectives section, students will critically/constructively analyze community participation initiatives impacting upon health highlighting community tensions/conflict, the contested interface between governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), children’s health, women’s economic community development, and emergency responsiveness. Experiential learning will be promoted through class site visits to the Toronto Board of Health and cultural venues, which participate in regenerating the local, highly diverse, urban environment of Toronto, Canada, including the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). In the final section students will participate in a community of learning by working together in small groups to present a critical/constructive analysis of a local, national/provincial, or global community participation initiative. The course ending will highlight the invaluable leadership role of participating citizens/professionals as they construct sustainable and peaceful communities and take action to transform their future. In-class 3 hours/week

Program Requirements Course Type: Core Course Clinical Field