Health and education are inextricably linked. Health promotion sits somewhat uncomfortably within schools, often remaining a marginal aspect of teachers’ work. The purpose of this paper is to examine the compatibility of an HP-initiative with teacher professional identity.
A qualitative research design was adopted consisting of semi-structured interviews. In total, 49 teachers in two school districts in the Auvergne region in central France were interviewed in depth post having completed three years’ involvement in a health promoting schools initiative called “Learning to Live Better Together” (“Apprendre a Mieux Vivre Ensemble”).
Teachers in the study had a broad conceptualisation of their role in health promotion. In keeping with international trends, there was more success at classroom than at whole school level. While generally teachers can be reluctant to engage with health promotion, the teachers in this study identified having little difficulty in understanding their professional identity as health promoters and identified strong compatibility with the HP-initiative.
Teachers generally viewed professional development in health promotion in a positive light when its underlying values were commensurate with their own and when the context was seen as compatible with the school mission. The promotion of health in schools needs to be sensitive to professional identity and be tailored specifically to blend more successfully with current teacher identity and practice.
The promotion of health in schools needs to be sensitive to professional identity and be tailored specifically to blend more successfully with current teacher identity and practice.
Jourdan, D., Simar, C., Deasy, C., Carvalho, G.S. and Mannix McNamara, P. (2016), "School health promotion and teacher professional identity", Health Education, Vol. 116 No. 2, pp. 106-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-07-2014-0078Download as .RIS
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