HEALTH EDUCATION INITIATIVES - SHAPING HEALTH LITERACY IN THE SCHOOL TEAMS
1 Moscow City University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2 University of Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Health Literacy (HL), as one of the founding stones of the global education agenda, became crucial since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. We review some Russian practices and initiatives that were helpful during the pandemic and may be helpful for Health Education (HE) in general.
Russian national educational system is primarily responsible for HL promotion amongst younger groups of the population. HE in Russia encompasses regulatory, educational, and environmental dimensions. Traditionally, authorities pay the most attention to the regulations, as compliance with sanitary standards: hygiene, constant temperature, lighting, air supply at schools. Less attention is paid to organizational and pedagogical requirements, as study scheduling, suitable physical activity conditions. The least attention is paid to the environmental dimension: the organization of a safe, healthy, and friendly school space that may enhance wellbeing. Alas, many educational organizations lack in-school health culture and traditions. Some teachers introduce health standards or discuss health-related themes by their private initiative. Often, they do not have the support of school authorities or other teachers. But without teamwork, it is almost impossible to achieve lasting positive results in HE.
We believe that the school teams, including subject teachers, class supervisors, school psychologists and tutors, social and medical workers, and school authorities, сan provide high-quality HE in their project work with the students. School teams have a horizontal structure, where every member contributes to the common goal of HL promotion and disease prevention regardless of their status, using their professional experience. Teachers also benefit from participating in school teams. Joint work with students and other team members may contribute to their research, methodical, and project work skills, following corporate training principles.
We relied on the system-action approach of Leontiev and Rubinstein with Vygotsky’s theory and competency-based pedagogy while developing the school team concept.
On the personal level, school teams aim:
• to motivate and prepare teachers for HE;
• to improve their skills in health promotion and preservation;
• to reconsider teacher's values and positions towards their health.
The aims of school teams at an organizational level are:
• to ensure collaboration of professionals in the educational system;
• to provide room for initiative and self-management in the school teams.
The work scheme of a school team includes four stages:
• Identification of demands (interesting, important, unclear, or contradictory health-related themes)
• Project research of the selected theme
• Public presentation of the project research
• Practical implementation and assessment of the research project results.
This approach enables us: to analyze established educational practices from within the educational organization; explore the health issues relevant to this educational organization; encourage teachers and students to practice self-care; cultivate project skills in custom-made HE and disease prevention programs. Our presentation may be interesting to school authorities, teachers, educational psychologists, social workers, and all the practitioners involved in the education and interested in the health-development practices, including scholars, politicians, and parents.
Keywords: Health literacy, COVID-19, health education, school teams.