Teaching and learning for change: analysis of a post-graduate One Health program

Djibo Idrissa Sidikou, Thomas Julian Irabor, Bassirou Bonfoh, Aurelie Binot, Daniel Faulx, Olivier Vandenberg, Stéphane Leyens, Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux

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As problematized through the One Health concept, global health issues are defeating conventional disciplinary approaches since they unfold across various scientific domains and across all levels of society. Calling for a change in the way knowledge is generated and used to tackle these complex societal issues, the One Health concept appears as a particular perspective within sustainability science. Various academic initiatives, inspired by the One Health concept, are emerging to prepare future health practitioners and researchers to think and work across disciplines. The building of adapted curricula faces important challenges, tied to the siloed structure of universities. Hence, the training initiatives are still in their infancy, facing an important uncertainty regarding field needs and goals to achieve. This study analyzes the main features and the impacts of a One Health-oriented program, starting in such an uncertain and siloed university context. The method combined participant observation and semi-structured interviews (individual and focus group) with four categories of actors: learners, teachers, partners, program designers. The narratives, reflecting the perceptions of the actors, were analyzed to propose an underlying visual model of the program. The main identified features of the program point to a continuous process of mutual adjustment between actors, available means, and projected goals. The program benefitted from interactions at several levels: between students, teachers, and external partners, to create an overall mutual learning dynamic. The underlying model is interpreted as an inherently evolutive structure, not only transmitting knowledge but actively co-creating knowledge, as would take place in a transdisciplinary research process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Integration
  • One Health
  • System Thinking
  • Teaching


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