By applying the appropriate pedagogical methods daily, teachers can most effectively develop children’s social skills, coping strategies, and life management skills, which play a crucial role in the formation of a mature, autonomous personality of the student, improving learning outcomes, reducing aggression and dropout rates, and are primary methods for preventing addictions in this age group.

The daily application of competence-based pedagogical methods in everyday pedagogical work (experiential education, project pedagogy, cooperative work organization) was defined in the National Core Curriculum in 2020. However, examining the institutional sample curricula for teacher training starting in September 2021 nationwide, it can be stated that the necessary material for these innovative pedagogical approaches appears exclusively in elective subjects in teacher training. The curriculum does not focus on the development of competencies and knowledge related to general health promotion, more specifically to mental health support, and disease prevention.

The Methodology

Within the framework of the MTA public education research development program, the MTA-PTE Innovative Health Education Research Group approaches school health development in a sustainable and complex manner, involving representatives of disciplines such as public health, pedagogy, psychology, and pediatrics, and drawing from numerous domestic and international evidence-based good practices.

The program concentrates on the prevention of addictions among children, with mental health support, social skills development, interactive phenomenon-based educational methods, and multimedia tools. The sustainability of health promotion activity is ensured by caring for the professional personality of educators. Through two 30-hour blocks of workshops, we offer educators the opportunity to gain experience and share knowledge in the following areas through first-hand, group practices:

– project pedagogy, gamification, information and communication techniques in education and school health development
– ways of interdisciplinary presentation of health promotion content
– social competence development: cooperation, boundary management, advocacy, conflict resolution, problem-solving capability
– health knowledge development: digital, smoking, alcohol addictions topics
– play library: collection of present and digital experiential educational practices, lesson outlines

The methodology is easily adaptable to other health development topics, and also contributes to the support of educators’ mental health and the prevention of burnout.

The Goal is to Ensure Long-Term Sustainability

The goal is to make attainable that knowledge and skill repertoire during teacher training, with which freshly graduated teachers can effectively carry out health promotion activities in their everyday work, and also become equipped with the conscious use of burnout preventive behaviors.