Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better training needed to help new teachers promote healthy lifestyles to children: U.K. study

Date:
February 12, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Research suggests new teachers could be better trained to help them promote health and lifestyle issues to children in schools. A study has shown there is a lack of attention paid to public health priorities in teacher training and little consistency in helping trainees to develop the skills they need to promote positive health behaviors to students. Government public health priorities include issues such as, healthy eating, physical exercise and preventing smoking, drug and alcohol abuse.

A survey of managers of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses has shown there is a lack of attention paid to public health priorities in teacher training and little consistency in helping trainees to develop the skills they need to promote positive health behaviors to pupils. Government public health priorities include issues such as, healthy eating, physical exercise and preventing smoking, drug and alcohol abuse.

Dr Jonathan Shepherd, the study's lead researcher and Principal Research Fellow at the University's Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC), says: "Until now, there has been no clear overview of how trainee teachers are prepared during ITE in England to promote health and wellbeing to children in schools. We hope this study -- the first national, comprehensive survey into the issue -- will help address this."

Researchers from SHTAC, Southampton Education School and Medicine at the University of Southampton sent online questionnaires to 220 ITE course managers in higher education institutions and employment and school-centred courses, of which 74 returned completed forms. They also conducted in-depth interviews with 19 course managers.

Based on the survey findings, the researchers found that for new teachers there is:

* a lack of attention and little consistency in provision of adequate training to equip them with the skills they need to promote public health priorities in the classroom

* a greater emphasis is given in their training to topics perceived as being more closely relevant to a pupil's learning, such as emotional health

* the majority of ITE providers recognised the importance of inclusion of health and well-being in the teacher training curriculum in England and held a holistic perspective on education

* little use of external expertise from health professionals, such as nurses and doctors, to support trainee teachers in building their knowledge and confidence in health matters

The researchers also found that the main barrier to health promotion training was a lack of time in the ITE curriculum and a perception that health and well-being were lower priorities than other aspects of education in new government education policies.

Dr Jenny Byrne from the Southampton Education School, comments: "Our research has shown that training results in great improvements in trainee teachers' confidence and competence in dealing with certain aspects of health education. All of our teacher training courses have elements of health education and this includes a 'Health Day' that is supported and facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals.

"The public health white paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People emphasizes the role of teachers in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing risky behaviors among young people. Coupled with responsibility for public health moving from the NHS to, in part, local authorities -- communities and, in particular, schools will become even more important in addressing health needs and inequalities in their local areas."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Dewhirst, K. Pickett, V. Speller, J. Shepherd, J. Byrne, P. Almond, M. Grace, D. Hartwell, P. Roderick. Are trainee teachers being adequately prepared to promote the health and well-being of school children? A survey of current practice. Journal of Public Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdt103

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Better training needed to help new teachers promote healthy lifestyles to children: U.K. study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082005.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, February 12). Better training needed to help new teachers promote healthy lifestyles to children: U.K. study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082005.htm
University of Southampton. "Better training needed to help new teachers promote healthy lifestyles to children: U.K. study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082005.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins