The authors, led by Irma Brito, report on experiences in several public and private higher education institutions in Portugal. The narrative accounts emphasize the importance of “seed groups” in the co-creation of health-promoting higher education institutions in which teachers, non-teaching staff and students (who have had training in participatory action research) participate. The action research has brought forth knowledge resulting in transformative skills at the levels of the individual, the institution, and the broader setting. This is illustrated using concrete examples from co-creative environments.
The chapters are organized sequentially, starting from an introduction to the PHR methodological approach and continuing with examples of how this approach promotes health literacy in various contexts. The concept of health literacy challenges a dogmatic view of science, emphasizing competency building based on common knowledge. It thus constitutes an epistemic encounter between science and common sense. This book integrates the knowledge of teachers, non-teaching professional staff, other employees of diverse categories, and students. In the concluding synthesis, the authors provide an overview of the themes covered, and discuss the shortcomings which need to be overcome for future work in accordance with the foundations laid by the National Network of Universities and Higher Education Institutions Promoting Health in Portugal.