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Fourth graders personal health and hygiene perceptions

Katja Zupančič (2022) Fourth graders personal health and hygiene perceptions. MSc thesis.

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    Human health is highly valued personal and social value amongst people as it affects all aspects of our lives. In addition to family, schools also have fundamental influence on health education and related behaviors. That is why learning goals related to personal health and hygiene are integrated into the curricula of various subjects in Slovenian primary schools. The latter is complemented by non-formal education in the form of preventive health care, taken care by NIJZ, which implements the Health Education program. The importance of health and related information is encountered by children outside and inside educational institutions first in the pre-school period, and later in primary schools. In that time they form individual health related conceptions, some of which are also wrong (misconceptions). By educating and actively involving students in the construction of their knowledge, we can improve students' perceptions of personal health and hygiene. The aim of the research was to find out what perceptions students in the fourth grade of Slovenian primary schools have about personal health and hygiene and whether they are influenced by factors such as gender, teachers’ confidence in teaching science and teachers' competence to teach about human health. The research was based on selected tasks solved by fourth grade primary school students from all over Slovenia who participated in the International Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2015. We analyzed the answers of 1879 Slovenian fourth graders. Part of the research was also based on the answers of 251 teachers who filled in the TIMSS questionnaire for teachers within the TIMSS 2015 survey. Research has shown that students mostly have correct notions about personal health and hygiene. These are mainly related to data or knowledge with which students have personal experiences with and/or often and continuously appear in formal and non-formal forms of education. Incomplete perceptions or misconceptions occur mainly in connection with the transmission of infectious diseases and the importance of fluid intake in our body. The latter are mainly related to facts that are more abstract and difficult for students to imagine and/or have no concrete experience with – e.g. how the transmission of diseases by microbes occurs, the consequence of poor skin care is skin cancer, why is it important to get enough fluid into our body etc. The study also found links between gender and students’ responses. We found out that girls had slightly more correct perceptions of health and hygiene than boys. The connection between teachers' confidence in teaching science and students' answers was found in only two answers, but due to the uneven distribution of the sample of teachers, no connection was found between teachers' competence to teach health and hygiene and students' answers.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: TIMSS, personal health, hygiene, science knowledge, health education, NIJZ, perceptions, misconceptions
    Number of Pages: 60
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Gregor TorkarMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/113915907
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7250
    Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2022 07:36
    Last Modified: 06 Jul 2022 07:36
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7250

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