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A medicine education web site was developed during a research project in 2002–2004 to help teachers in primary and junior secondary schools to teach children the proper…
A medicine education web site was developed during a research project in 2002–2004 to help teachers in primary and junior secondary schools to teach children the proper use of medicines. However, there was a need to develop further the assignments for the youngest schoolchildren. The aim of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of three medicine education assignments created for seven to nine year‐old children, and to describe how children experienced them.
Triangulation of two methods was used: ten observed lessons and eight focus group discussions (FGD) with children (n=46). Two researchers observed medicine education lessons given by four primary school teachers. After these lessons, the children were interviewed in focus group discussions.
Teachers used the assignments in various ways. It became clear in the observations that the children enjoyed the assignments and that they did not feel embarrassed about the topics discussed. During the FGDs, they discussed topics related to learning objectives generally in a good and extensive way. Moreover, the children remembered the main messages to be learnt.
The medicine education assignments developed for seven to nine year‐old children are useful and feasible, and furthermore, they are flexible and can be used in different situations with different groups of children.
– The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the development of medicine education by examining pupils’ perceptions of medicines and medicine use.
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the development of medicine education by examining pupils’ perceptions of medicines and medicine use.
Fourth graders’ (n=51, aged 10-11) perceptions about medicines and their use were collected in one school through mixed-methods using a questionnaire, a drawing and discussions.
Listing several over-the-counter medicines, pupils most frequently perceived that medicines are meant for treating headaches, wounds or temporarily when they are sick or have some pain, and that medicines help to ease symptoms and speed recovery. Pupils mentioned getting information about medicines from the pharmacist, the internet, the physician, as well as from medical packages.
This study was carried out in one school context and is therefore not necessarily generalizable, it does, however, bring an awareness of concrete pedagogical needs to the debate on health education and was conducted using methods that, to some extent, can be transferred to any school setting.
These results show that medicine education should already be started in primary school, along with critical thinking skills related to use of the internet.
The development of medicine education may help improve the wellbeing of pupils.
The triangulation of data used in the paper are in the authors’ awareness unique in the context of medicine education. The results particularly highlight the role of the internet in medicine education, thus suggesting the importance of critical thinking.