Speller, Viv, Byrne, Jenny, Dewhirst, Sue, Almond, Palo, Mohebati, Lisa, Norman, Melanie, Polack, Sarah, Memon, Anjum, Grace, Marcus, Margetts, B.M. and Roderick, Paul
Developing trainee school teachers' expertise as health promoters
Health Education, 110, (6), . (doi:10.1108/09654281011087288).
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Purpose: the purpose of this paper is to report the outcome of an education and public health collaboration investigating the impact of adapted training to enhance teachers' potential role to promote child health and wellbeing.
Design/methodology/approach: the study was conducted in three phases: a survey of the health education content in universities in initial teacher training courses; a longitudinal survey at the commencement and completion of courses to capture trainees' knowledge, skills and attitudes towards health and their role in health promotion; and mapping curriculum content against qualified teacher standards and public health competencies.
Findings: training about health varies largely between institutions. Trainees' knowledge levels remained low after training; ranked importance of key health topics – nutrition, alcohol, smoking, – decreased significantly; a majority thought that teachers and schools play an important role in health promotion, but significant increases were also noted in the minority who thought health promotion is not part of their remit (Phase 2).
Originality/value: to the best of one's knowledge, similar work has not so far been reported. While teachers are in a prime position to influence child health, trainees require knowledge and skills to realise their public health potential
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