The development of a nutrition teaching programme for foundation phase learners in rural schools
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Healthy nutrition is indispensable for the advancement and maintenance of an individual's health during the whole life cycle. A huge percentage of young and developing children in South Africa are subjected to undernourishment and malnourishment. Malnourishment and undernourishment can signify permanent negative consequences for the physical, intellectual and psycho-social development of the child. The aim of the research was to: • ascertain to which extent provision is made for nutrition education in the various learning areas of the National Curriculum Statement for learners in the Foundation Phase; • ascertain to which extent Foundation Phase teachers in rural schools are on the Curriculum guidelines for nutrition; • ascertain how knowledgeable Foundation Phase teachers in rural schools are on the basic aspects of nutrition; • to ascertain to which extent these teachers address aspects of nutrition education in the various Learning Areas; • to investigate the teaching strategies used by teachers when teaching aspects related to nutrition; • to ascertain whether these teachers have the necessary knowledge and skills to develop a nutrition teaching programme for Ground Phase learners in rural schools; and • to develop a nutrition teaching programme for Ground Phase learners in rural schools. Qualitative research methods were used in the empirical research. Data was collected by means of structured interviews and classroom observations at four farm schools which were identified by the Department of Education (North-West Province) to take part in the research project on nutrition in rural areas. The following findings emerged from the research: • The National Curriculum Statement provides for nutrition outcomes in the Learning Area Life Orientation, but the assessment standards are too vague and general. • All educators knew that nutrition education would form a part of the Learning Area Life Orientation. • Although teachers are trained on how to implement the National Curriculum Statement, some of them were uncertain on what was expected from them when teaching a nutrition lesson. • The basic nutritional knowledge of the teachers was good and they knew that nutrition can be taught in all three Learning Areas of the Foundation Phase. • Teachers in the four farm schools did not use different teaching strategies in presenting their lessons. • The educators in the four farm schools did not have the necessary knowledge and skills to develop a nutrition teaching programme for rural learners in the Foundation Phase. On the basis of the findings of the research the researcher has developed a nutrition education programme for educators in rural schools with a view to be able to offer more effective nutrition education for Foundation Phase learners.
- Education