Kindergarten teachers’ health literacy: understanding, significance and improvement aspects

VINCENTAS LAMANAUSKAS, DALIA AUGIENĖ

Abstract

One can claim that one of the main ambitions of every society is to assure children’s healthy life start and their further development creating a favourable environment for this. Preschool education institution is a favourable context to take care of children’s health, shape healthy lifestyle skills, develop various health care activities taking into account the child’s development peculiarities. However, more and more research show that children’s health has a tendency to become worse, regardless of various carried out health care programmes and/or projects. In this respect, kindergarten teachers’ health literacy becomes a cornerstone. However, very little is known about kindergarten teachers’ health literacy and this undoubtedly makes a research problem. A qualitative research was carried out in the months March to May 2019, participating 105 kindergarten teachers. Applying a research instrument of 5 open ended questions, the gathered verbal data array was analysed using a quantitative content analysis. The findings show that kindergarten teachers’ health literacy understanding is more focused on the knowledge about health than on practical health education aspects, e.g., health promotion, disease prevention and prophylaxis. Health literacy promotion is basically identified with various educational events. The support of preschool education institutions themselves in this field is not considered important. Health promotion, knowledge conveyance, practical behaviour are poorly expressed in health literacy understanding. It is obvious that this can influence children’s health competence education. Therefore, it is very important that kindergarten teachers’ health literacy does not become an obstacle for children’s health education implementation. Further research is urgent and necessary, seeking to ascertain how kindergarten teachers’ health literacy understanding influences their practical activity educating children’s health competence, forming children’s healthy lifestyle demand.

Keywords

Health literacy, kindergarten teacher, qualitative research, content analysis

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References

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/rev.3207

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