The Status of Health Education in Iranian Elementary School Books



Background: Health is one of the blessings gifted to humans by God. Humans have to take care of their well-being, especially in the current era when machine life has become predominant. Therefore, having a healthy society requires the provision of health education. The aim of this study was to perform a content analysis of the elementary school books of Iran according to health education components. Methods: This study used Shannon entropy as a method of content analysis. Units of analysis were 3467 pages containing text, questions, practices, and figures. Three components of skin hygiene, exercise and physical activity, and nutrition and water were evaluated. The samples under study were seven titles including Farsi (reading), Farsi (writing), science, religious studies, religious studies (workbook), Quran, and social education in the academic year of 2009-10. Results: Exercise and physical education had received more attention. In contrast, the least attention was paid to nutrition and water. The components had not been considered equally and the books did not cover all components of health education. Conclusion: Our findings showed the necessity of increasing all components of health education in Iranian elementary school textbooks.