Title: Health and sustainable behaviours: a pedagogical and didactic experiment in preschool teaching

Authors: Maria Eduarda Ferreira; Catarina Caires; Rui Pitarma

Addresses: Research Unit for Inland Development (UDI) – Polytechnic, Institute of Guarda (IPG), Rua Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, No. 50, 6300-559 Guarda, Portugal ' Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (IPG), Rua Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, No. 50, 6300-559 Guarda, Portugal ' Research Unit for Inland Development (UDI) – Polytechnic, Institute of Guarda (IPG), Rua Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, No. 50, 6300-559 Guarda, Portugal

Abstract: This pedagogical and didactic experiment comes under the scope of the experimental sciences and it belongs to the environmental education and health field. The methodology used with a group of 15 preschool children was project work, and it took place in a nursery school in the central inland region of Portugal. The research theme was "My behaviour is healthy and environmentally friendly" and its purpose was to foster the understanding of the sustainability vs. health interrelationship. It was designed in three phases: to motivate the discovery by manipulation, to stimulate the desire to seek knowledge and to systematise learning. Children experimented, their curiosity was stimulated, their conceptions were valued and their individual learning paces respected. The results led us to believe that this methodological choice, with these children, was conducive to raising awareness about environmental sustainability behaviours and their relationship to health. In other words, it endorsed a values-based education.

Keywords: preschool children; project work; child motivation; sustainable behaviours; sustainability; child health; preschool teaching; environmental education; nursery schools; Portugal; environmental sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKL.2015.073462

International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, 2015 Vol.10 No.3, pp.238 - 257

Received: 21 Mar 2014
Accepted: 05 Apr 2015

Published online: 09 Dec 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article