THE SCOPE AND FORMS OF HEALTH EDUCATION IMPLEMENTATION IN SELECTED POLISH KINDERGARTENS

S. Nazaruk, E. Tokarewicz

Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education (POLAND)
In Poland, kindergarten is an educational institution which implements childcare and educational activities for children from age 3 to the commencement of schooling. Preschool education can be characterized by a holistic approach to child development and includes not only moral, religious, mental and physical aspects of instruction, but also health education which is nowadays referred to as preschool health education. This type of instruction focuses not only on the implementation of the issues related to physical condition but also on social and mental health. Furthermore, it strives to shape health-oriented attitudes which can have lifelong consequences.

It is an undeniable fact that health is one of the most essential values in human life. It is a resource which enables individuals to thrive, reach their full potential and take on new exciting challenges and activities. However, in order to live a healthy life and appreciate its importance, health education should be introduced as early as possible. Education specialists claim that preschool age is an ideal time for teaching children about health and for establishing health-oriented attitudes and behavior. Taking into consideration the significance of encouraging and shaping pro-health attitudes among preschool children, attention should be paid to the importance of teachers’ work in this field. Therefore, a diagnostic survey was performed in the number of selected kindergartens situated in Biała Podlaska District, Lublin province, in order to identify pro-health education activities provided by kindergartens. Based on the research results, conclusions were drawn and, consequently, made available to the institutions participating in the research. The scope of health education activities implemented by kindergartens is very broad. These institutions often go beyond the existing educational curricula and standard methods of teaching. Such activities will certainly contribute to the process of encouraging and shaping pro-health attitudes and a healthy lifestyle among preschoolers.