education.govt.nz

Mental health education resource for busy teachers

Issue: Volume 97, Number 21

Posted: 22 November 2018
Reference #: 1H9onA

A comprehensive book on mental health education launched this month is a practical ‘pick up and go’ resource to support busy teachers to deliver health education.

Mental health education and hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing spans the field of mental health, including learning and strategies for individuals, as well as interpersonal skills, group strategies and community social action.

While specifically designed to fit within The New Zealand Curriculum for Years 7 to 11, the lesson plans in the book can also be adapted for senior high school students. The lessons incorporate hauora, a holistic model that reflects a Māori world view. 

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Lead authors Dr Katie Fitzpatrick (left) and Kat Wells.

“This resource acknowledges that health is more than biomedical – it’s social, spiritual and physical, as well as mental and emotional,” says Associate Professor Katie Fitzpatrick, one of the lead researchers and an internationally recognised authority in health education from the University of Auckland.

The book was developed with the input of five experts in the fields of health education, Māori education, social and emotional learning, positive psychology and wellbeing. It also draws on and updates some content from the textbook Taking Action: Life Skills in Health Education. 

“We’re so grateful to have received Beeby Fellowship funding from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, which enabled Kat Wells from Lynfield College and me to take time out of our busy lives to focus on this book,” says Katie.

“Our resource supports teachers to plan and deliver lessons that will help students develop knowledge about their identity and wellbeing, their relationships and communication, about social issues and social justice, and about health promotion and action.

“We’ve tested some of the lesson plans in classrooms and in workshops with teachers to ensure our content is hitting the mark, and feedback has enabled us to hone the activities we have developed.”

While acknowledging that New Zealand has excellent policy and resources for health education, Katie has found during her research that few schools dedicate enough time to teaching this important area.

“One of the key barriers is lack of time. To make an impact, we need health education to be timetabled in all schools for at least two lessons per week.”

Mental health education and hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing is available from NZCER Press for $85.

 

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Sponsor organisations of the Beeby Fellowship congratulate the authors of the publication. From left: Graham Cosslett, Director NZCER, Dr Rachel Riedel, Kat Wells, Dr Gillian Tasker, Robyn Baker, Chair NZ National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Katie Fitzpatrick.

About the Beeby Award

Mental health education and hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing was funded by a Beeby Fellowship (now the Beeby Award). Now in its 20th year, the award is funded by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to facilitate innovative educational research. 

The 2018 recipient is Dr Pip Arnold from Karekare Education, who will develop an innovative resource for statistics teaching and learning. 

For more information about this biannual award, visit NZCER – Beeby Awards(external link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 11:24 am, 22 November 2018

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