Structural Conditions of Educational Settings and the Use of Resources of Disadvantaged Adolescents to Promote Literacy, (e)Health Literacy, and Healthy Lifestyles


The basic and applied research project SCURA aims to promote (e-)Health Literacy of disadvantaged young people in educational settings.  In the first phase, the acquisition and promotion of (e-)health literacy in the context of educational opportunities will be explored using ethnographic research. In the second phase, a target group-specific training programme for teachers and professionals in the social service to promote (e-)health literacy among young people will be designed, implemented and evaluated.


Project background

The ethnographic and intervention research study SCURA represents an important basic and applied research that enables us to analyse the educational settings in-depth from the perspective of public health and health literacy.

In the first funding phase of the HLCA network, the ELMi ((e-)Health Literacy and Minority Health) project investigated the interaction between different resources of disadvantaged young people with a migration background and their health-relevant everyday activities in their free time, as well as the processes of meaning-making of these everyday activities.

In the second funding phase of the HLCA network, the subproject SCURA will take a closer look at the (e-)health literacy practices of disadvantaged young people in the educational settings, which are particularly relevant for them. The settings selected in this project are the transition system and language/integration courses.

The settings are understood as complex fields of action within which the learners can use and expand their individual health-related competences. The aim of ‘SCURA’ is to describe the following aspects within selected educational settings: the structural conditions, the role of teachers, and the available resources of young people. In addition, the relationship of these aspects to promote (e-)health literacy are explored.

Based on the qualitative, ethnographic study, approaches for promoting (e-)health literacy are identified and a teaching manual and a handbook for professionals in educational settings are prepared. In accordance with the manual, training units for the actors active in practice (teachers and specialists in social services) are conceptualised, implemented and evaluated.

The aim of the training is, among other things, to raise awareness of the participants on health-relevant aspects in educational settings and to demonstrate how (e-)health literacy of disadvantaged young people can be specifically promoted.

Throughout the development of the research project and the advanced training as well as the teaching manual, a timely exchange between different actors in practice and scientists is made possible. This cooperation achieves the dissemination of scientific findings and the optimised adaptation of the training manual to the needs of teachers and specialists in social services.

The findings can serve as good practice to enrich/inspire future (e-)health literacy intervention designs for young disadvantaged people, teachers, and social workers and to make them culturally- and process-sensitive.

Zeynep Islertas
University of Education Freiburg
Stefanie Harsch
University of Education Freiburg
Prof. Dr. Uwe Bittlingmayer
University of Education Freiburg