SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Junior school

46

34

Although air pollution’s short-term effects are well understood to be marked and preventable, its acute neuropsychological effects have, to our knowledge, not yet been studied. We aim to examine the association between daily variation in traffic-related air pollution and attention.

Concepts: School terminology, Junior school, School, Primary education, Primary school

28

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the primary school environment in terms of being conducive to good nutrition practices, sufficient physical activity and prevention of nicotine use, with the view of planning a school-based health intervention. METHODS: A sample of 100 urban and rural disadvantaged schools was randomly selected from two education districts of the Western Cape Education Department, South Africa. A situation analysis, which comprised an interview with the school principal and completion of an observation schedule of the school environment, was done at all schools. RESULTS: Schools, on average, had 560 learners and 16 educators. Principals perceived the top health priorities for learners to be an unhealthy diet (50%) and to far lesser degree, lack of physical activity (24%) and underweight (16%). They cited lack of physical activity (33%) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs; 24%) as the main health priorities for educators, while substance abuse (66%) and tobacco use (31%) were prioritised for parents. Main barriers to health promotion programmes included lack of financial resources and too little time in the time table. The most common items sold at the school tuck shops were crisps (100%), and then sweets (96%), while vendors mainly sold sweets (92%), crisps (89%), and ice lollies (38%). Very few schools (8%) had policies governing the type of food items sold at school. Twenty-six of the 100 schools that were visited had vegetable gardens. All schools reported having physical activity and physical education in their time tables, however, not all of them offered this activity outside the class room. Extramural sport offered at schools mainly included athletics, netball, and rugby, with cricket and soccer being offered less frequently. CONCLUSION: The formative findings of this study contribute to the knowledge of key environmental and policy determinants that may play a role in the health behaviour of learners, their parents and their educators. Evidently, these show that school environments are not always conducive to healthy lifestyles. To address the identified determinants relating to learners it is necessary to intervene on the various levels of influence, i.e. parents, educators, and the support systems for the school environment including the curriculum, food available at school, resources for physical activity as well as appropriate policies in this regard.

Concepts: Junior school, South Africa, Education, Cape Town, Primary education, Western Cape, School, Primary school

26

Two crucial aspects of obesity prevention are early childhood and school-based interventions. The main purpose of this systematic review wass to evaluate the efficacy and the feasibility of school-based interventions performed in primary schools.

Concepts: Intervention, Junior school, School, Primary education, Childhood, Primary school

26

This article improves our understanding of the causal processes driving the dynamic behavior of education systems using a System Dynamics approach. The model presented here has three state variables: Population, Population in Primary School, and Primary School Graduates whose values are calibrated for the case of Nicaragua. It also includes nonlinear complex interactions between critical factors, e.g., the state of the economy, the state of the education system, and population literacy that affect the system’s transition rates -intake, repetition, dropout, and promotion- which therefore influence the dynamics of schooling outcomes. These schooling outcomes in turn affect population literacy and economic progress in the country thus generating aggregate patterns that continuously change (and are changed by) the inputs that endogenously determine them, which could potentially explain why educational systems exhibit persistently good or bad outcomes. Simulation runs show a strong correspondence with observed data and additionally the model provides meaningful insights to guide policy making in educational reform, such as the ability to reveal the presence of ‘ghost students’. This paper concludes that complex dynamic systems modeling and simulation can facilitate forecasting of school system behavior and the detection of policy inconsistencies, something conventional modeling cannot do.

Concepts: Junior school, Kindergarten, Primary education, Primary school, Gymnasium, Teacher, Education, School

23

This paper examines socioeconomic inequalities in mental health at school entry and explores changes in these inequalities over the first 3 years of school.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Junior school, Cohort study, Primary education, School, Primary school

17

Studies investigating the feasibility and impact of mindfulness programs on emotional well-being when delivered by school teachers in pre-adolescence are scarce. This study reports the findings of a controlled feasibility pilot which assessed acceptability and emotional well-being outcomes of an 8-week mindfulness program (Paws b) for children aged 7-9 years. The program was delivered by school teachers within a regular school curriculum. Emotional well-being was measured using self-report questionnaires at baseline, post-training and 3 months follow-up, and informant reports were collected at baseline and follow-up. Seventy one participants aged 7-9 years were recruited from three primary schools in the UK (training group n = 33; control group n = 38). Acceptability of the program was high with 76% of children in the training group reporting ‘liking’ practicing mindfulness at school, with a strong link to wanting to continue practicing mindfulness at school (p < 0.001). Self-report comparisons revealed that relative to controls, the training group showed significant decreases in negative affect at follow-up, with a large effect size (p = 0.010, d = 0.84). Teacher reports (but not parental ratings) of meta-cognition also showed significant improvements at follow-up with a large effect size (p = 0.002, d = 1.08). Additionally, significant negative correlations were found between changes in mindfulness and emotion regulation scores from baseline to post-training (p = 0.038) and baseline to follow-up (p = 0.033). Findings from this study provide initial evidence that the Paws b program in children aged 7-9 years (a) can be feasibly delivered by primary school teachers as part of the regular curriculum, (b) is acceptable to the majority of children, and

Concepts: Affect, Teacher, Junior school, Primary education, Primary school, Education, Emotion, School

9

There are no prospective studies that would have compared the relationships of different types of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) with academic skills among children. We therefore investigated the associations of different types of PA and SB with reading and arithmetic skills in a follow-up study among children.

Concepts: Cultural studies, Academia, College, Junior school, Primary education, Primary school, School

8

Increasing physical activity in children is a health priority. The Healthy Active Peaceful Playgrounds for Youth (HAPPY) study aimed to examine a multi-component playground intervention designed to increase the proportion of physical activity during recess and lunch of primary school students.

Concepts: Playground, Junior school, Weight loss, School terminology, Personal life, Primary education, Primary school, School

8

Behavior change communication for improving handwashing with soap can be labor and resource intensive, yet quality results are difficult to achieve. Nudges are environmental cues engaging unconscious decision-making processes to prompt behavior change. In this proof-of-concept study, we developed an inexpensive set of nudges to encourage handwashing with soap after toilet use in two primary schools in rural Bangladesh. We completed direct observation of behaviors at baseline, after providing traditional handwashing infrastructure, and at multiple time periods following targeted handwashing nudges (1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks). No additional handwashing education or motivational messages were completed. Handwashing with soap among school children was low at baseline (4%), increasing to 68% the day after nudges were completed and 74% at both 2 weeks and 6 weeks post intervention. Results indicate that nudge-based interventions have the potential to improve handwashing with soap among school-aged children in Bangladesh and specific areas of further inquiry are discussed.

Concepts: Elementary school, Gymnasium, Education, United Kingdom, Junior school, Primary education, Primary school, School