ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH EDUCATION INSTRUCTION WITH EARLY CHILDHOOD PRESERVICE TEACHERS

D. Airado-Rodríguez1, A.M. Cordovilla-Moreno2, M.D. Víctor-Ortega3

1University of Jaén (SPAIN)
2Hospital de Poniente - Almería (SPAIN)
3University of Granada (SPAIN)
Health education plays a key role on Early Childhood Education. In this sense, health education programs are currently being carried out in the Spanish compulsory school as recommendations and guidelines. However, such approach has proved to be of limited effectiveness since at this school level the children lack the scientific knowledge required to understand and share the educational message. In this scenario it is a must to develop educational interventions with Early Childhood preservice teachers in order to promote in them positive attitudes towards health education.
In the present research work, nutritional education is addressed. Specifically, Early Childhood education preservice teachers were asked about their nutrition habits and a very interesting feedback was collected when they were asked to judge their own habits, with base on the received instruction. The considered sample consisted on 207 Early Childhood Education preservice teachers. Participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire containing questions like “Do you consider that the developed activities about the diet were useful?”, “Do you consider these concepts must be worked in the Early Childhood Education Degree?” and “Do you think that the concepts worked in terms of food will be useful in your future performance as a teacher?”. The tool Google Forms was employed for questionnaire implementation.
Promising results are shown also about the perception of students about the importance of health education in Early Childhood Education and the utility of the worked nutrition concepts on their future performance as early Childhood Education teachers. Namely, 64.4 % of the sample consider useful the developed activities about the diet and 84.4 % of the sample consider a must the inclusion of the worked concepts in the Early Childhood Education Degree. Following the same line, 71.2 % of the sample consider that the worked concepts related to food will be useful in their future performance as teachers.