A case study on how public primary schools promote health

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013


Supervisor: HANİFE AKAR


The main drive of this study is to investigate how urban public primary schools promote health in Turkey with a qualitative study conducted in a middle-sized urban school, in Ankara. The current health promotion practices in Turkish urban public primary schools were examined through a case study utilizing semi-structured interviews conducted with 9 classroom teachers, 2 school administrators, 2 parents that are parent-teacher association members and 2 canteen operators. In addition, a classroom activity was done with 252 primary school students to obtain data to understand their nutrition habits. The findings of this case study suggest that the policies and programs executed in the school studied to promote health are inadequate. The classroom teachers are found to be poorly educated and empowered to promote the health of their students. The school administration does not have sufficient monetary and political resources and the physical condition of the school is not appropriate in terms of infrastructure and service for a health promoting school. Also, the parents are thought to be poorly educated and motivated to promote their children’s health. The parent-teacher association is found not to be effective in terms of evoking the families, teachers and administrators to promote health. This case study yields data and implications that can assist social policy makers to develop and implement new policies and programs required to promote health in urban public primary schools that are located in neighbourhoods with low socio-economic status, and whose populations consist of internal migrants from rural areas.