08 SES 11, Coherence, Collaboration and Partnerships in Health Education
Many official and guiding documents, provided by a number of organizations, emphasize the importance of both home and school in bringing up and educating children. However, research has demonstrated that there is some confusion about roles and expectations among teachers and parents who have diverging goals, demands, values and competencies (Kellaghan, 2001; Tveit, 2009). Similarly, the topic of parental responsibility occasionally raises public discussion (Böök and Perälä-Littunen, 2008; Izbicki, 2010), and teachers’ high workload is frequently described in literature (e.g., Sormunen et al., 2011; Philipp & Kunter, 2013).
Previous findings from Finland indicate that professional educators view their responsibility for children’s upbringing differently from parents, and consider that they have too much responsibility over children (Seppälä 2000; Alasuutari 2003). Controversially, there are also findings that emphasize the idea of shared responsibility between home and school by teachers and parents (Åman-Back and Björkvist, 2007), or, alternatively, either mutual responsibility or a greater share of parents’ responsibility, as described by parents (Sormunen et al., 2013).
As comparable data on the roles of home and school in children’s health education and guidance is sparse, this study explores both parents’ and teachers’ perceptions. The international perspective has been added to find out whether there are cultural issues regarding children’s health education. This study, therefore, explores how parents of 10–11-year-old children and school teachers in the Republic of Karelia (Russia) and in North Karelia (Finland) define their roles in children’s health education.
The research questions are:
- What are the roles of teachers and parents in children’s health education in the Republic of Karelia and North Karelia?
- Are there any culture-specific factors that emerge from the data?
Alasuutari M. (2003) Kuka lasta kasvattaa? Vanhemmuuden ja yhteiskunnallisen kasvatuksen suhde vanhempien puheessa. [Who is raising the child? Mothers and fathers constructing the role of parents and professionals in child development]. Gaudeamus, Helsinki. Böök ML. & Perälä-Littunen S. (2008) ‘Children need their parents more than a pizza in the fridge!’: Parental responsibility in a Finnish newspaper. Childhood, 15, 74–88. Izbicki J. (2010) Parental responsibility. Education Journal, 121, 26. Kellaghan T. (2001) Family and schooling. In Smelser, N. J. and Baltes, P. B. (eds), International Encyclopedia of the Social and the Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier Science Ltd. Philipp A & Kunter M. (2013) How do teachers spend their time? A study of teachers’ strategies of selection, optimization, and compensation over their career cycle. Teaching and Teacher Education 35, 1-12. Seppälä N. (2000) Perhebarometri 2000. Yhteispelillä lasten parhaaksi [Family Barometer 2000: Together for the best interests of the child], Väestöntutkimuslaitos, katsauksia E9/2000. Väestöliitto (Family Federation of Finland), Helsinki. Sormunen M, Tossavainen K & Turunen H. (2011). Home-school collaboration in the view of fourth-grade pupils, parents, teachers, and principals in the Finnish education system. The School Community Journal 21(2): 185-212. Sormunen M, Tossavainen K & Turunen H. (2013). Parental perceptions of the role of home and school in elementary school children health education in Finland. Health Promotion International 28(2): 244-256. Tveit AD. (2009) A parental voice: parents as equal and dependent – rhetoric about parents, teachers, and their conversations. Educational Review, 61, 289–300.
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