a vignette from the Macedonian network of health promoting schools
This paper addresses the concept of student participation in learning processes within the health promoting schools approach. A model that distinguishes between token and genuine participation, which has been conceptualised on the basis of experience gained from the Macedonian Network of Health Promoting Schools is presented. This model is used as a broad analytical framework to discuss selected aspects of the evaluation data on the Internet-based collaborative project titled ?Virtual Classroom ? ICT, Learning and Changes,? recently undertaken within the Macedonian health promoting schools network. The qualitative, participatory evaluation showed positive views on the part of the both students and teachers concerning the degree and quality of student participation in the project. However, tensions expressed in the participants? views, particularly the students?, indicated that the traditional, didactic teaching/learning style still predominates in Macedonian schools. The students perceived the positive experiences from this project as exclusive, special and extraordinary. The value of the examples of good practice in participatory school health-promoting initiatives is highly acknowledged in the discussion of the findings; however, the suggestion is made in the conclusion that a broader reform on a structural level is needed in order to sustain positive change and bring health education/promotion closer to the democratic ideal.