Curriculum Guideline

Community Development and Health Promotion

Effective Date:
Course Code
THRT 3601
Community Development and Health Promotion
Therapeutic Recreation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture/discussion
  • Involvement in community development group processes simulated in the classroom
  • Community service learning
  • Student debates
  • Student presentations
Course Description
In this course we apply an ecological perspective to explore the nature and process of community systems and approaches to planning. Experientially we explore meanings of community, capacity building, social capital, engagement, and social change. Through active involvement in class discussions and engagement with community organizations, we examine various approaches to community development in the contexts of health promotion, recreation and therapeutic recreation.
Course Content

Definitions and theories of community

  • Ways of understanding community

Ecological Frameworks and System Theory

  • Foundations of community development
  • Examples of application

Fundamental Planning Approaches and Models

  • Community development – introduction to assets based community development
  • Social marketing
  • Social planning
  • Advocacy and social change
  • Theoretical underpinnings, applications and examples of each approach

Assets Based Community Development (ABCD)

  • Needs maps versus assets maps (John McKnight)
  • Initiating ABCD – moving from discovering “care” to taking action

The role of the community developer

  • Consciousness raising and conscientization (Paulo Freire)
  • Reflexivity – the “power flower”
  • Insider and outsider roles
  • Dealing with power issues

Concepts linked to community development

  • Capacity building
  • Communities of practice
  • Networks
  • Social capital (Robert Putnam)

Community Development and Health Promotion

  • Health communities
  • Population health approaches

Community Development and Therapeutic Recreation

  • Community development through leisure education
  • Serious leisure and project leisure
  • Applying community development concepts and approaches to various client groups and contexts

Participatory Evaluation

  • Links to community development and participatory research
  • Roles and reasons for evaluation
  • Collaborative and participatory approaches
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. compare and contrast definitions, descriptions, and theories of community;
  2. understand the four fundamental approaches to planning and be capable of identifying them in practice;
  3. compare and contrast models of community development;
  4. understand and experience the process of assets based community development (ABCD);
  5. discuss the links between community development and health promotion, recreation and therapeutic recreation;
  6. engage actively and appropriately with community organizations to better understand the realities of community development in various contexts.
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Tests
  • Written assignments
  • Leadership presentation

This is a letter graded course.

Textbook Materials


Which Prerequisite