Perspect Nurs Sci.  2019 Apr;16(1):1-11. 10.16952/pns.2019.16.1.1.

Elementary School Teachers' Awareness of Forest Welfare Services and Promotion of Strategies for School-based Health Promotion Programs Using the Forest

Affiliations
  • 1Associate Professor, Department of Health Administration, Seoul Cyber University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Professor, College of Nursing · The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. ksbang@snu.ac.kr
  • 3Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Kyung-In Women's University, Incheon, Korea.
  • 4Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Chungwoon University, Hongseong, Korea.
  • 5Graduate Student, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Graduate Student, Graduate Department of Forest Therapy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study was conducted to identify the perceptions toward school forest programs related to forest welfare services in elementary schools and suggest strategies to activate new programs.
METHODS
A mixed method research was performed. Four teachers and one forest therapist participated in a focus group interview; 162 teachers answered a survey.
RESULTS
The teachers were aware of the effects of the forest program, but there were some barriers, including the question of whether there was an accessible forest, school forest management problems, the risk of teachers' work overload, and the lack of program diversification for elementary students. Solutions included the expansion of school forests and forest facilities available to students, development of a variety of programs, provision of appropriate information on available facilities, and cooperation with educational institutions for institutionalization and increased effectiveness of school-based forest utilization programs. In addition, a scientific basis for data accumulation is needed.
CONCLUSION
The Ministry of Forestry is cooperating with the Ministry of Education and local education offices to activate a forest-use health promotion program for elementary school students. Additionally, to utilize the forests in regular education courses, teachers should strive to spread positive awareness of forests.

Keyword

Forests; Schools; Child; Health promotion
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