Pre-Service Primary Teacher Perceptions of Health

Common Ground Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, 2013, 19 (1), pp. 59 - 67
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This paper presents results of qualitative research exploring pre-service primary school teachers' (n=133) perspectives of health. Findings revealed five main themes to emerge defining health as (a) a state of health; (b) health as wellbeing; (c) components or dimensions of health; (d) lifestyle practices; and (e) health as a physical concept. As a consequence of the survey's findings and in consideration of the new national curriculum, future adjustments incorporated into our teacher training will include taking a strengths-based approach to teaching about health, recognising that all young people have particular strengths and building on these, develop positive attitudes and avoid a risk-based behaviour change model;further development of health literacy skills for selectively accessing and critically analysing health information required to help solve or find help for an identified range of health issues or problems; and increasing understanding of the social construction of health and the influence of a range of individual, interpersonal, organisational, community, environmental and policy influences. The responses have also determined that a greater emphasis will need to be placed on prevention and the reduction of health inequalities in the promotion of health.
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