Date of Publication

5-16-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Public Health and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Fegley, Assistant Professor

Abstract

Background: The importance of school health education has become well-known in the past two decades, however, there is limited research surrounding the perceptions and attitudes of classroom teachers and school health. The purpose of this study was to understand classroom teachers’ perceptions of health education at the elementary school level, so that policy makers might have a clearer understanding of the state of health in today’s classrooms.

Methods: Public Elementary School Teachers, located in Western New York, participated in a qualitative online survey consisting of 10 questions. The survey focused on their perceptions of health education and promotion. Participant’s answers were then analyzed by researchers, using an open coding process, classifying teachers results into major themes and topics.

Results: The majority of teachers who responded were passionate about creating healthy classrooms, yet felt limited due to the lack of accessible resources and scope of practice. Many teachers understood the importance of school health and would attempt to incorporate aspects of health education into various moments throughout the day.

Conclusions: Despite a wide range of student health issues and a lack of resources, classroom teachers are passionate about creating healthy classrooms and healthy students.

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