Student Wellness: An Investigation on a Small Canadian Post-secondary Campus

This study explored various aspects of Canadian post-secondary student views on wellness. Primarily based around physical and mental wellness, this work looked specifically at student self-reporting on a small Canadian post-secondary campus in northern Alberta, Canada. Participants were asked a series of open- and closed-ended questions relating to their perceived physical activity levels and mental health status. Responses indicated that physical activity does impact their mental health, and reflected a strong focus on environment, academic, personal, and social influencers in relation to their mental health. With 24.5 percent of the respondents having accessed mental health services on- or off-campus in the past twelve months, the participants also presented a strong case for the necessity of effective coping strategies during the busier times throughout the academic year. In response to the findings, the research team aims to collaborate with the institution’s Mental Health Action Team and Interdisciplinary Research Cluster on Wellness to discuss, plan, and implement strategies to help alleviate barriers to student wellness.

The Role of Education in a Time of Austerity and Social Turbulence in the European Union and Greece

The article focuses on the educational systems in European countries and Greece, examining the reasons of new phenomena, among which the resurgence of xenophobia. It suggests a cause-and-effect relationship between the main ideas propagated by the extreme right, disseminating in the EU fanatic nationalism and xenophobia and the ideas prevailing in the educational institutions. Despite the big differences among countries, all educational systems in the EU are ethnocentric. Thus, although influence of multicultural ideas is notable, and as far as education is concerned, evolution has been radical, schools still reproduce the idea that nations are fundamental entities, related by a common language, common origins/ancestors, and having a history and a culture of their own. As far as Greek society is concerned, analysis shows that Greek school textbooks contain a highly ethnocentric conception of history and culture, placed within an extremely Eurocentric context, reproducing, instead of challenging, the stereotype of European superiority. The Eurocentric taxonomy is inferiorizing the Greek national identity, while at the same time it is considering the products of ancient Greek culture as being of universal value. The article suggests that this evaluative double bind is harmful for Greek youth. Since Greek Antiquity is presented by schools as the emblem distinguishing Greek people from their “southern” and “oriental” inferiority, the fictitious “Greekness” narrated, in accordance with the alleged European superiority, is cultivating a national identity ambivalent and fragile, thus, an identity unavoidably defensive, xenophobic, and incapable of coping with the European times.

Students’ Attitudes toward Reading for Pleasure in Greece

Research has indicated that students with more positive attitudes toward reading for pleasure tend to read more often, leading to higher reading achievement. As Greece is a country with below-average reading achievement in all PISA assessment cycles and with very limited related nationally representative research available, it is deemed important to examine factors related to attitudes toward reading for pleasure in Greece and explore any relation to reading achievement. Therefore, the present study, with the use of multilevel modelling analysis of the most recent relevant PISA database, examines factors related to fifteen-year-old students’ attitudes toward reading for pleasure in Greece, focusing on reading achievement, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES). Findings indicated that there is a positive relation between students’ reading for pleasure attitudes and their reading achievement, as well as a weak but positive relation between reading for pleasure attitudes and SES. In addition, boys were found with more negative attitudes toward reading than girls, even after controlling for reading achievement. The present study offers valuable insights for policy and practice and suggests that the promotion of reading as a meaningful recreational activity should constitute a major focus on behalf of parents, teachers, schools and government.