A participatory action research project at the nexus of health promotion and sustainability in higher education
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AbstractLike many educational institutions, Deakin University has embraced the challenge of developing curricula to ensure that graduates are environmentally literate and competent to address sustainability in professional practice. Despite an abundance of literature pertaining to the link between human health and environmental degradation, the development of health-related education for sustainability curriculum has been slow. Health promotion, an integral aspect of health professional training in Australia, is considered an area of practice well suited to the action of sustainability. This article highlights the findings of a pilot project that explored which graduate-level health promotion competencies and principles for practice can be transferred to action on sustainability. Methodologically, this study offers a participatory action research process enhanced with case study design principles. Findings from the four case studies highlight that health promotion competencies are compatible with action on sustainability. The article also illuminates the themes in the literature about the value of mutually reinforcing pedagogies associated with education for sustainability and work-integrated learning. The article contributes to discussion in an emerging area of health curriculum, namely, health-related education for sustainability. It posits that health promotion is an area of the health curriculum that can support the development of competencies at the nexus between health and sustainability.