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A Health Promotion Initiative In French Primary Schools Based On Teacher Training And Support: Mixed Methods’ Contribution And First Results

Abstract : Even thought, in the official texts, especially in the last one published relating to the educational health policy (1), health is presented as a component of the mission of all the professionals working within the school setting,, schools set a low priority on health promotion (HP) (2) andprofessionals in the workplace are not always aware of their HP role (3;4). A HP initiative was designed specifically for this context to address these issues and enable the school staff to implement an HP policy (5;6). This initiative aimed to promote children’s social, emotional and physical health by contributing to children’s well-being at school. Its objective was to develop sustainable HP projects in school settings by the empowerment of local actors. The main strategy was the development of teachers’ health promoting practices and school’s health promoting environment. The initiative was implemented in 115 primary schools in 6 French regions. The project started in 2007. In each region, a steering committee was created, composed of school board representatives, parent representatives, other regionally relevant actors, and a support team (teacher trainers, pedagogical advisers, members of HP services and members of local HP non-governmental organizations). This team was in charge of the program implementation. These six support teams, one per region, were trained to deliver training and support to the teachers and the schools concerning the principles, values, resources and evaluation of the HP program. Pedagogical resources were also provided to each school. The project was supervised by a scientific committee formed of health and educational experts and practitioners. The research part of this project is based on a realistic approach (7) and aimed at contributing to answer the main following research questions: 1. What are the mechanisms and contextual factors that allow the regional team to develop a HP approach in their region? 2. How do the strategies developed through the HP program influence the development of teachers’ HP practices and the schools’ health promoting environment? How do these practices influence children’s perception of their life in school? The objective of this paper is to present the methodological issues as well as the first results concerning the mechanisms and the contextual factors that allow the development of such program and to present the first results of the factors that influence children’s’ perception of school well-being. Method Mixed methods (MM) and methodological pluralism are more and more often used within the HP field (8;9). Using more than one method within a research project produces a more complete picture of the phenomena being studied (10). The complete protocol of this research using realistic and MM approaches has already been published (11). Different sources of data were used: -four questionnaires were drawn up: •children’s questionnaire, to collect data on children’s perception of their life in school; •teachers’ questionnaire, to collect data on teachers’ attitudes to HP, on their own practices and factors that might influence them, as well as on their perception of the climate in their school; • families’ questionnaire, to collect data on how the families perceived life at the school and their relationships with the school; •and, school communities’ questionnaire, to collect data on the local community’s attitudes to HP, on HP activities implemented in schools on how schools can be considered an HP environment; -two forms were designed to collect contextual information; - documents produce by the national and regional teams during the implementation stage of the program were collected; -and, semi-directed interviews were also conducted with the regional teams Expected Outcomes The first results show the main contextual issues favourable to the development of such program are the support of academic inspector and of the health department and public health local agencies. Training allowed the development of a health education approach by teachers and had an impact on the evolution of teachers’ representation of health education as well as an impact on their perception of their everyday life in the school setting. Children had rather positive perceptions of their life at school and they were influenced by the school size, by the link between school and families and to the teachers’ perceptions of their role as health educators. The type of results obtained and the practical interest of research approaches using mixed methods as well as their potential implication for policy development will be discussed.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 22, 2014 - 6:35:10 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01098110, version 1


Jeanine Pommier, Marie-Renée Guével, Didier Jourdan. A Health Promotion Initiative In French Primary Schools Based On Teacher Training And Support: Mixed Methods’ Contribution And First Results. ECER 2012, The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All, Sep 2012, Cadiz, Spain. ⟨hal-01098110⟩



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