PSCI 335

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					PSCI/HSOC 335
                            HEALTHY SCHOOLS:

Community based participatory research, planning and action

                        A Fox Leadership, ABCS Seminar

Wednesday, 3:30-6:30pm                           office hrs, T 2-3, Leadership Hall,
Rodin high rise, M30 (conference                 3814 Walnut St. (entrance on
room)                                            terrace, left side of building, then
Prof. Mary Summers                               through door on your left) and by                           apptmt

This Fox Leadership and academically based community service seminar, first initiated 2
years ago, uses course readings and students’ observations in service learning projects in
Philadelphia elementary/middle schools to analyze the causes and impact of health and
educational inequalities in urban schools in the United States and efforts to address them.
Course speakers will help us examine the history, theories, politics and leadership behind
different strategies for addressing these inequalities and their outcomes.

Course service projects are primarily at Lea and Wilson, two ―Penn Partnership‖ schools
that have a special relationship with Penn’s Graduate School of Education. The West
Philadelphia Recess Initiative grew out of this class and is based on ongoing work with
the Center for Disease Control and Health Promotion (CDC)’s School Health Index
(SHI), a blueprint for the formation of School Health Councils (SHCs) and an evaluation
and planning process, which seeks to adopt one or two realistic school health
improvement plans each year. The CDC’s goal is for individual schools to use this
process to promote ―health behaviors (that) can play a critical role in preventing the
leading causes of death, disability, hospitalization, illness, and school absences.‖ These
two schools have identified establishing an effective recess program that promotes
exercise and organized play and helps to prevent injuries and bullying as a key area
where university students can be helpful to their students and staff. The West
Philadelphia Recess Initiative and associated efforts to address ―school climate‖ issues at
lunch and recess, therefore, represents a key class service placement. There are also a
variety of other service opportunities including work with the Agaston Urban Nutrition
Initiative developing and implementing effective nutrition and cooking lessons with
children and parents and Focus First, a student initiated service-learning program that
provides vision screening and follow-up care for children who may need glasses to
succeed at school.
This course, represents in part an ongoing effort to determine whether institutions of
higher education (IHE’s) can be helpful in facilitating the SHI process and whether this
process can in turn be useful in promoting cooperative IHE/school partnerships that
establish effective, well-supervised, educational service-learning, volunteer and research
experiences that promote a healthier school environment.

Course goals include:
   1. Establishing a collaborative relationship with school staff and students in
       developing and assessing school health improvement projects that target both
       individual health behaviors and the school environment and climate.
   2. Developing resources and researching best practices and methods of evaluation
       that may prove useful to these efforts
   3. Evaluating the theory and politics that have shaped the CDC’s strategies for
       addressing the behavioral and some environmental causes of disease and ill
       health, and the strengths and limitations of these strategies at both the local and
       national level.
   4. Analyzing the historical, political, social, racial, economic, and institutional
       contexts that shape current efforts to address ―the achievement gap,‖ the strengths
       and limitations of these strategies, and what role leadership can play in improving
   5. Analyzing the Obama administration’s K-12 Educational Reform Agenda in the
       context of previous national reform efforts, including No Child Left Behind, the
       Childhood Nutrition Act, and efforts to achieve more integrated schools.
   6. Helping students in the course determine what role they as citizens want to play in
       addressing educational and health inequalities; what arguments they want to make
       about the causes of and strategies for addressing these inequalities; and how to do
       so effectively.

Students have the option of receiving an additional independent study credit (PSCI
or HSOC), if they commit to at least four hours a week for their community service
work, a journal (to be turned in on a bi- weekly basis on class blackboard or by email),
and play a lead role in producing a more extensive case study, series of lesson plans,
program evaluation or research project, (which should be discussed in advance with the
instructor). Their grade for the indep study will be based 50% on journal and 50% on
―final product‖ (case study, research paper, lesson plans, etc).
                             Requirements and Grading

PSCI/HSOC 335                                                        % of Grade

Class Participation
       includes at least 2 blackboard reflections on readings
       + reflection for any missed class                                             5

Community Service Participation
     Consistent attendance, initiative, and reporting
     (at least 2 blackboard reflections)                                             5

         Family Health/Education Paper (3-5pp)       Due 2/3                        10
         School interview based paper (3-5pp)        Due 2/17                       10
         Literature review (3-5pp)                   Due 3/3                        10

         Individual report/project related to community service placement*          30

         Individual or group case study on school/health reform strategy*           30

      *Oral presentations as scheduled in last 4 weeks of class; all hard copies due last
week of classes.

       Extra credit can be earned by attending and reporting on school related events on
blackboard and more extensive participation on blackboard (commenting on other
students’ reflections, reporting on and summarizing relevant news articles, etc.)

        Students are encouraged to build on their school-based work and previous papers
throughout the course: ie, pick an issue associated with your community service work
that you want to explore in the course of the semester. Report on interview with staff
and/or students in the school and their perspective on this issue in your interview paper.
Analyze how this issue is addressed in relevant literature (ideally including books or
articles in class readings) in literature review paper. Develop a case study of an effort to
address this issue in your case study paper. –And ideally by the end of the semester you
will also have been able to put what you have learned to work in some project or proposal
related to your community service, which you will discuss in your community service
report. Those of you who want to change topics or address different health and education
issues in different papers may do so; but the hope is that in general your papers will build
on each other.
        Please note that I want you to write papers that make clear arguments, use
evidence to support your argument, and consider/acknowledge counter-arguments.
If you find writing difficult or do not have much experience with writing this type of
paper, please make sure that you have help and support with writing for this class
either from a classmate, friend or at the writing center lined up and plan on writing
more than one draft of your papers. I will be willing to read and make suggestions
on drafts as much as possible. I would also like to hear from students willing to help
each other with writing –and hope you will offer each other this type of help in your
group work.

Required books:

Paul Tough, Whatever it Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem
and America (2008)

Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation: the Restoration of Apartheid
Schooling in America (2005)

Available at House of Our Own Book Store, 3920 Spruce St, 215-222-1576

All other readings will be handed out in class and/or posted on class

Field Placements
Although public transportation is available, both Wilson and Lea schools are within a
short walking distance from Penn's campus. Van service will be arranged for students
participating in Recess Initiative; tokens are available for students who wish to take
public transportation. In order to get to Lea, board the 42 bus going westbound from 40th
and Spruce. Get off of the bus at 47th and Spruce. Turn right and the Lea School will be
directly to your left. In order to get to Wilson, board the number 11 or number 36 trolley
going westbound at 36th, 37th, or 40th street stations. Get off the trolley at 46th street
and Wilson will be directly across the street on the southeastern corner of 46th and
Woodland. Transportation or public transportation will also be covered for students who
choose to work with Urban Nutrition Initiative staff member (and recent Health Schools
alum!) Jarrett Stein at other Philadelphia middle schools.

Those of you who are already involved in work in West Philadelphia schools may
choose to continue with your projects as your service placement. Please consult with
the instructor.
   1. West Philadelphia Recess Initiative. Join other Penn students in
      expanding and developing this initiative, which grew out of the Healthy Schools
      course and is now affiliated with the Netter Center’s Community Schools
      Student Partnerships Program (CSSP) for promoting a better school lunch
      climate and interactive play and fitness five days a week at Henry C. Lea, a K-8
      school at 47th & Locust (11:15-1:40) and Alexander Wilson School at 46th and
      Woodland (11:15-1:14). You will be expected to attend lunch/recess at least one
      day a week at one of these schools, an orientation session, and support/debriefing
      meetings on Sunday afternoons or evenings. An excellent opportunity for
      students who want to think about school climate issues and role schools, school
      meals, and recess play in children’s health and providing opportunities for
      exercise and recreation. –Involves multiple possibilities for helping to develop
      programming, evaluations, and the development of positive behavior plans as well
      as an opportunity to observe and think about administration of school lunch
      program in Philadelphia schools. Program supervised at each school by both in-
      school coordinators, who work with school staff to improve programming and
      lunch/recess policies and Masters of Education level coordinators to support
      volunteers. Contacts: Lea coordinator, Yvette Almaguer
      <>; Wilson coordinator, Jordan Hollander, Jordan
      Hollander <> Student Director of Recess Initiative,
      Natalie Feigenbaum <> Apply at:
      Related projects
      1. Continue project started at Lea to work at lunch/recess with students who do
          not speak English and work with Penn Big Brothers Big Sisters to recruit
          ―Bigs‖ who speak these children’s native languages.
      2. At Lea work on developing ―problem solving strategies‖ for children at each
          developmental stage that can help with coaching children with how to resolve
          disputes that sometimes lead to violence or tears.
      3. Assist in developing relationships with African American Penn Organizations
          and other groups that might be helpful for providing speakers and activities
          especially for middle-school lunch/recess at Lea, as well as potentially
          providing volunteers for Recess Initiative.
      4. Assist w. developing a student council at Lea with Yvette and Dean
          Muhammed to help develop lunch/recess policies/plans
      5. Help supervise Alternative Recess at Wilson for students who cannot handle
          outdoors recess (quieter, safe setting for indoor games and activities).
      6. Help develop and supervise plans for rewarding positive behavior and
          disciplinary procedures at both schools.
      7. Help collect and analyze data looking at efficacy of program in preventing
          bullying and increasing exercise.

 2. Agaston Urban Nutrition Initiative programs.
Penn’s Netter Center’s Agaston Urban Nutrition Initiative sponsors projects promoting
nutrition and health awareness and increasing the availability of healthy foods and fitness
opportunities in many schools in West and North Philadelphia. Unless you have a strong
attachment to another UNI program, students in Politics of Food are encouraged to work
in one of the following programs:
    1. Lea After School nutrition and cooking club. Assist the AUNI Lea educator
        Meg Ferrigno in teaching a group of students nutrition and cooking lessons in the
        school’s After School program once a week. Responsibilities may include
        researching and designing lesson plans, purchasing and prepping food. Project
        hours: Mondays, 3:00-5:00. Contact: Margaret Ferrigno
    2. Edward Gideon Middle School (2817 West Glenwood Ave) Design and
        implement a monthly Parent Cooking Workshop at a Strawberry Mansion-
        neighborhood school in collaboration with UNI staff Jarrett Stein. The purpose of
        the workshop is to reinforce nutrition lessons taught to students during school.
        Responsibilities include researching best practices, coordinating with school
        administration, recruiting participants, creating menus and budgets (be creative),
        and leading monthly cooking workshops. Transportation can be arranged. 2-3
        students needed. Contact: Jarrett Stein <>
    3. Shaw Middle School (5400 Warrington Ave) Develop a curriculum to teach
        lacto-fermented pickling for an after-school cooking club in collaboration with
        UNI staff Jarrett Stein. The purpose of the Pickle Project is to engage students in
        the process of producing a healthy snack using traditional methods. The
        curriculum you design and implement will use the hands-on process of pickle
        making to teach important nutrition and history lessons. No prior knowledge of
        lacto-fermentation necessary, high motivation to learn necessary. Transportation
        can be arranged. 2-4 students needed. Contact: Jarrett Stein
    4. Pepper Middle School (84th St. and Lindbergh Ave) Every day students arrive
        at school and buy chips, cookies, and fruit drink from a store located in the
        school. The Urban Nutrition Initiative already runs an after-school fruit stand to
        compete with corner store snacks. Your job is to design a Granola Bar Stand
        using the fruit stand as a model to serve a nutritious breakfast and educate the
        student body. Collaboration with UNI staff Jarrett Stein. Transportation can be
        arranged. 1-2 students needed. Contact: Jarrett Stein <>

3. Focus First: The purpose of this project, started as a student-run service-learning
project at Penn last year, is to address lack of access to vision care for children in
Philadelphia. Thus far, the program has focused on day care centers, where Penn students
screen children for vision problems using a photorefractive camera. The students then
coordinate free follow-up care for those children who need it. In its first year Focus First
screened over 1,000 children and coordinated follow-up care for around 100 children. 2
students needed to help with screenings at day care centers once a week and explore
options for developing a school-based Focus First program at Lea and/or Wilson.
Contacts: Elise Miller ( and Alex Rosenberg
                           COURSE CALENDAR

Week 1 (1/13): Introduction to Course

      ―Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?‖ first segment

Week 2 (1/20): Introduction to Schools and service projects;

Readings: Web sites: School District:
           (especially, Lea and Wilson schools, demographics, PSSA’s)

      Stephanie Strom, ―Does Service Learning Really Help,‖ New York
      Times, 1/3/2010

      Tara Parker Pope, ―The 3 R’s? A Fourth is Crucial Too: Recess,‖ New
      York Times, Feb. 24, 2009;

Week 3 (1/27) Theories of Inequalities: their impacts and outcomes for
education and health; health and education in Philadelphia schools in
broader institutional and historical contexts

      Readings: Ichiro Kawachi, ―Why the United States is Not Number
      One in Health,‖ from James Marone and Lawrence Jacobs, eds.,
      Healthy, Wealthy & Fair: Health Care and the Good Society (2005),

      Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (1999), 3-53 (Please look at bottom
of page, Taking Philadelphia Temperature 2008‖ and
       January 2009 - "Public Health in Philadelphia: Economics, Health and

Week 4 (2/3): School food, nutrition and health: the historical and
institutional context of the obesity epidemic and strategies for change

Readings to be announced.


Week 5 (2/10): Schools and Inequality: theories, causes and outcomes;
what we knew about interventions that worked in 1988 and 1998

     Readings: Lisbeth Schorr, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of
Disadvantage (1988), ix-xxix, 215-294.
      Lisbeth Schorr, Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and
Neighborhoods to Rebuild America (1998), ix- 154.

Week 6 (2/17): Educational inequalities and school financing in

Speaker: Jonathan Cetel, Good Schools Pennsylvania
            (Jonathan Cetel

Readings: (See especially ―study and action
guide‖ and reports under ―Learn‖) (especially publications and ―agenda’)

**School interview based paper due

Week 7 (2/24): School “climate” issues: priorities, strategies and
positive behavior interventions

Speaker: Caroline L. Watts,
Graduate School of Education

Barry McCurdy, Mark Mannella, Norris Eldridge, "Positive Behavior
INTERVENTIONS, summer, 2003

Jonathan Cohen et al, ―School Climate: Research, Policy, Practice and
Teacher Education,‖ Teachers College Record, vo. 111, number 1, Jan 2009,
pp. 180-213.

Week 8(3/3): Inequality and Health in Schools: promoting health in
schools; developing healthy schools

     Readings: School Health Index Middle School/High School training
manual, introduction, instructions, a relevant module and resources.

Pat Cooper, ―A Coordinated School Health Plan: McComb School District
in Mississippi supports the fundamental needs of all students—with
outstanding results.‖ Educational Leadership, Sept 2005, 32-36

**literature review paper due


Week 9 (3/17): ―The Achievement Gap‖ in theory, practice and politics: No
Child Left Behind and the reinforcement of inequalities:

      Readings: Sunderman, et al, NCLB Meets School Realities, ix-38
      Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation: the Restoration of
Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)

Week 10 (3/24) ―The Achievement Gap‖ in theory, practice and politics:
Strategies for the future:

      Readings: Paul Tough, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest
to Change Harlem and America

Week 11 (3/31) Service Project and Case Study Reports

Week 12 (4/7) Service Project and Case Study Reports

Week 13 (4/14) Service Project and Case Study Reports

Week 14 (4/21) Service Project and Case Study Reports