Teachers‘ Knowledge of Health and Healthy Lifestyle as a Precondition for the Development of the Healthy Life Style of Pupils

Vida Gudžinskienė, Jūratė Česnavičienė

Abstract


Implementation of the development of the healthy lifestyle of Lithuanian pupils is defined in the main documents regulating education in comprehensive schools. It is pursued that every school should implement health-promoting programmes, which would help the learner acquire competences ensuring their healthy lifestyle. However, the findings of a number of investigations show that health education receives insufficient attention. The past years have seen a shortage of scientific research, contributory to revealing teachers’ knowledge as one of the preconditions of the development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle.
The aim of the research is to identify teachers’ self-assessment of their knowledge about health and a healthy lifestyle. The objectives of the research are as follow: 1) to define the theoretical preconditions of the (self-)development of the pupils’ healthy lifestyle and to reveal the teachers’ role in the development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle; 2) to explore the teachers’ assessment of their knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle. The following research questions are raised: what are the theoretical preconditions of the development and self-development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle? what is the role of teachers in the development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle? how do teachers assess their knowledge as a precondition of pupils’ healthy lifestyle? The object of the research is teachers’ selfassessment of their knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle. Having summarized the research results, the following conclusions are drawn: 1) it is very important that the school should become an initiator of the self-development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle, help them acquire knowledge and skills of emotion management, a positive attitude towards oneself, their own activities and that of others, other people and events, and a healthy lifestyle; as well as develop resistance towards the negative factors of the environment, a strong negative attitude towards harmful and unhealthy habits, and intolerance to iniquity. The researchers note that teachers’ competence of health education is a significant factor influencing the (self-) development of pupils’ healthy lifestyle. The teacher’s role in the development of the pupils’ healthy lifestyle is reflected in their ability to create the conditions appropriate for the learners’ overall physical, psychological, spiritual and social development, to develop awareness of a healthy lifestyle, as well as to develop the skills and habits of a healthy lifestyle and value-based dispositions towards own and others’ health; 2) having conducted an analysis of the self-assessment of knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle, it has been determined that a) less than a half of research participants believe they are ready to develop pupils’ healthy lifestyle; b) their self-assessment of their knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle is dependent of their experience in pedagogical work; the teachers, whose working experience exceeds 15 years, more often evaluate their knowledge on certain health topics, such as interrelationships and communication, the impact of the environment on health, personal and mouth hygiene, prevention from accidents, prevention from smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, healthy eating, a child’s growth and development, as sufficient; c) almost half of research participants acknowledge that they lack sufficient knowledge on the issues of the prevention of allergies, cancer and heart diseases.

Keywords


schoolteacher; knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle; comprehensive education school; learners

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789