Health promotion in pre‐service teacher education

Jenny Byrne (School of Education, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Viv Speller (School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Sue Dewhirst (School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Paul Roderick (School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Palo Almond (Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Fulbourn, UK)
Marcus Grace (School of Education, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Anjum Memon (Division of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK and Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust, Brighton, UK)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 12 October 2012



The purpose of this paper is to discuss a curriculum change in the provision of health promotion in pre‐service teacher education in a one‐year postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) secondary course in one Higher Education Institution (HEI) in England.


The paper describes the iterative development process, from an initial survey and mapping of the existing pre‐service teacher training programme, which provided an evidence base for the piloting of a new health promotion component in the curriculum, and its subsequent evaluation. Changes to the health promotion element of the curriculum reflect the programme philosophy which balances the requirements of a competency based curriculum with a more liberal approach to education and training in which pre‐service teachers are expected to critically reflect on, and evaluate their practice. This work adopts a socio‐constructivist approach to teacher education, in which teachers develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes by interacting with others through dialogue, and learning from more knowledgeable others in a cooperative and scaffolded manner.


The paper presents the results of these changes and discusses implications for their sustainability. The changes made to the health promotion component of the programme and their implementation would not have been possible without the inter‐professional collaboration that took place over three years.


To the authors’ knowledge similar work involving a multi‐disciplinary collaborative approach to the development of a health education component of a pre‐service teacher education curriculum has not been employed or reported.



Jenny Byrne, Viv Speller, Sue Dewhirst, Paul Roderick, Palo Almond, Marcus Grace and Anjum Memon (2012) "Health promotion in pre‐service teacher education", Health Education, Vol. 112 No. 6, pp. 525-542

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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