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Curriculum (Ireland) or Cross Curricular Approach (France) for Developing Health Promotion in School: Comparison of Primary Teacher Practice Determinant

Abstract : Health promotion can assist schools in meeting their targets in educational attainment and their social aims; young people that attend school having a better chance of good health and are likely to have better learning outcomes. Six essential components have been identified to develop health promoting schools (St Leger & coll., 2007): healthy school policies, the school’s physical environment, the school’s social environment, individual health skills and action competencies, community links and health services. Among the determinants of child health, the role of teaching practices was pinpointed. Moreover, the influence of other determinants has been highlighted, such as the presence of a specific time allocated to these questions or the prescription status as defined in school curricula. Indeed, the status of health promotion in schools varies depending on the culture of each country. Health promotion can be considered as a subject (e.g. Ireland) or in a cross-curricular approach (linked to citizenship, e.g. France) or both (e.g. Québec). But whatever the status of health education in the educational system, there are “differences” or a “lag” between the prescription and teacher practices (Jourdan, Piec, Aublet-Cuvelier, Berger, Lejeune et Laquet-Riffaud, 2002; O'Higgins, Galvin et Kennedy, 2007; SPHE, 2004; Tjomsland, Iversen et Wold, 2009). How does the status of HE influence teacher’s task redefinition in HE? This communication aims at providing knowledge on the process which conducts a teacher to take health promotion issues into account in their teaching practices. To understand this lag, we used tools from work analysis, especially ergonomics tools (Leplat, 1997) with which teacher activity could be defined as a succession of redefinitions: from prescription perceived as the Institution / to teacher's conception of the prescription / to activity conducted in class. The objectives are the following: to analyze the gap between the prescription and practices, to identify the aims underlying the teacher’s redefinitions and to identify the factors behind teacher’s redefinitions. Method A qualitative approach has been chosen, based on interviews and observations. Schools were selected on location (disadvantaged; middle) and size (<4 class, 4-7 class, > 7 classes). Teacher participation was voluntary. In the first study, 22 interviews have been done in 5 French schools; where as in the second one, 16 interviews in 4 Irish schools. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009. Interviews have been analyzed in reference to content analysis (Bardin, 2001). Expected Outcomes The results allow us to provide information about the lag between the prescription defined by the educational minister and the task perceived by interviewed teachers. Potentials and barriers of task redefinition performed by teachers could be specific or common to the two countries depending on the status of HE. For example, a common barrier is linked to the location of the school especially when it is disadvantaged. Training could appear as a potential factor under certain conditions (intensity, link to the subject, etc.). The aims underlying teachers practices could be defined by reference to health, pedagogical and health education dimensions. For example, the place of the competencies development in primary teacher practices varies depending the status of HE. This study helps us to acquire knowledge on the process which conducts teacher to develop health promotion practice. Moreover, the study gives us insight on the impact of the status of health promotion on primary teacher practice. Eventually, the comparison of this two national research context may help us to provide better teacher training.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 22, 2014 - 7:17:16 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01098113, version 1



Carine Simar, Patricia Mannix Mcnamara, Didier Jourdan. Curriculum (Ireland) or Cross Curricular Approach (France) for Developing Health Promotion in School: Comparison of Primary Teacher Practice Determinant. ECER 2012, The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All, Sep 2012, Cadiz, Spain. ⟨hal-01098113⟩



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