Policy ‘Meandering’: The Influence of Mental Health and Well-being in Educational Policies

Article


Di Emidio, D. 2021. Policy ‘Meandering’: The Influence of Mental Health and Well-being in Educational Policies. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 11 (1), pp. 18-33. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8912z
AuthorsDi Emidio, D.
Abstract

This article contextualizes, and contests, the use of the terms mental health (MH) and well-being in ideologically driven educational policies and practices, market oriented, individualistic and measurable. Alongside an unprecedented worldwide trend to establish an educational ‘turn’, so called ‘therapeutic education’, it is argued that educational policies in the UK have arbitrarily merged, or ‘yoked’, the terms MH and well-being with ethical implication for policy implementation. Through ethnographic and participative methodologies, involving the main social actors to mobilize expert knowledge in two educational settings, the ‘yoking’ of MH with well-being becomes apparent and catalyst for further yoking. Hence, more policies and new concepts emerge as manipulations of school/colleges’ initiatives, such as achieving good results or promoting ‘character’ to engineer next generation citizenry. Juxtaposing the terms MH and well-being to education calls for clearer re-definitions of the aims of education. Every effort should be made by policy makers to keep the two terms independent from each other and well-articulated with performance indicators such as resilience that do not undermine the value of vulnerability. New definitions of MH and well-being should guide policy making and implementation in schools/colleges, to avoid lumping up together heterogeneous and multilayered terms that deserve distinct attention and application.

KeywordsMental Health; Well-being; Policies; Education; Participatory Action Research
JournalCrossing Conceptual Boundaries
Journal citation11 (1), pp. 18-33
ISSN2041-9090
Year2021
PublisherSchool of Social Sciences, University of East London
Publisher's version
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8912z
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2021
Copyright holder© University of East London 2021
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Foreword
Brown, V. 2021. Foreword. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 11 (1), p. 4. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918z
From Abstract Concept to Active Participants: Reflections on a Purposive Sample
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Varriale, A. 2021. Re-Visiting Polymorphous Ideology: Populism of the Left and Right. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 11 (1), pp. 60-70. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918x
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