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Archives of The HEE-Journal

Even if The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education has been relaunched in 2014 as an open access and peer reviewed journal, it does have a long tradition.

Since 2008, selected manuscripts concerning Health, Environment, and Education have been published online and under free access. Earlier, the Journal was named Health, Environment, & Education (till 2013), The Electronic Journal of Health and Environment (till 2012) as well as Umwelt & Gesundheit Online (since 2008).

Most manuscripts have been derived from presentations held at the Annual Conference of the International Consortium for Interdisciplinary Education about Health and the Environment.

Current Issue

Latest manuscripts

The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education, 2016; 8, 22–26.

In contrast to biological contents, chemical contents are still underrepresented in primary schools, although they are implemented in the curricula. This problem is largely due to an inadequate education of primary school teachers and a resulting lack of positive attitudes towards chemical contents and of interest in them. Closely related is a widespread negative self-concept for chemical topics and a low self-efficacy to teach them. In order to address this problem, a university seminar for students of general studies (science and social studies at primary school level) is developed and evaluated as part of a doctoral thesis [1]. In this seminar, biological and chemical aspects of natural phenomena are examined in a near-natural environment. This combination is considered to help transferring the students’ positive attitudes towards biology also to chemistry. A combination of different methods is used to evaluate the effects of the seminar, including Own Word Mapping, a self-developed, picture based association test, the Semantic Differential, and a questionnaire with complementary oral questioning. The results indicate that the developed seminar helps students to perceive more connections between chemistry and biology and more chemical aspects in their environment. In addition, the seminar seems to have a positive influence on the unconscious attitudes towards chemistry and on the interest in chemical topics as well as on the self-efficacy concerning the teaching of chemical contents and the self-concept concerning chemistry. Thus the seminar helps to create favourable preconditions for the teaching of chemical contents in primary school as early as during university education.

The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education, 2016; 8, 22–26.

The paper opens with a sociological perspective on the doping phenomenon found in elite sports. Elite sports and its inherent logic of comparisons are consequently followed by permanent aspired enhancement that may lead to doping. Constitutive of these scientific findings, an overview of an anti-doping best practice model for young athletes is presented. Finally, the genesis of doping and the presented best practice model are correlated with each other.

The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education, 2016; 8, 14-21.

In this empirical study the risk literacy of young people in the context of nanotechnology is investigated. Therefore, a Risk Literacy Model (RLM) based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) by Petty and Cacioppo [1] is developed. The RLM differentiates between the processing of information regarding risk assessment, which is based on either a deeper cognitive analysis (central route), or on the use of peripheral cues (peripheral route). Target group are 12th Graders (N = 245) from Bremen and Lower Saxony. The prerequisites of central information processing, risk propensity and risk literacy are measured using a questionnaire with closed and open response formats. Risk propensity is measured before and after presentation of a short scientific text and several evaluative statements by institutions or fictitious individuals on nano-particles in everyday products. The results show that the adolescents’ risk literacy is very low. However, the risk propensity of the participants decrease considerably through the reception of the information presented. It is recommended that risk literacy should be more promoted in the science curriculum. 

The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education, 2016; 8, 7-13.

Although many natural phenomena are based on chemical processes, most people think that chemistry and nature are strict contrasts, with chemistry as the evil and nature as the good aspect of the scale. At the University of Siegen, we carried out different quantitative and qualitative studies to gain a detailed impression of this antagonism. To get insight into the pupils’ unconscious attitudes towards chemistry and nature we collected data with a semantic differential scale. In order to investigate the pupils’ view of chemistry and nature we used a questionnaire with open questions. The results reveal the expected antagonism and show interesting ideas of the pupils regarding their concepts of nature and chemistry.

We present an attempt to overcome this antagonistic view: Teaching chemistry in nature can be an opportunity to immediately experience and interpret chemical phenomena in order to close the gap between chemistry and nature and build a personally meaningful, exciting and motivating way to chemistry. In the discussion part, two possibilities for this kind of innovative chemistry education are presented. 

The Journal of Health, Environment, & Education, 2016; 8, 1-6.

Background and objectives: Successful diabetes self-management requires behavioral and lifestyle changes. However, low-income patients may face challenges related to poverty that make it difficult to engage in lifestyle changes. We piloted an intervention designed to help older, low-income, Hispanic, patients with diabetes access free or low-cost community resources to enhance diabetes self-management. Results from this pilot intervention are reported. Design and Methods: Patients were recruited at baseline to complete surveys assessing diabetes self-care activities, diabetes self-efficacy, and general self-efficacy. Volunteers were trained by a clinic social worker to help patients identify needs and make referrals to local community resources (e.g., housing, transportation, food, clothing, dental and prescription services, employment, or family social services). Identical surveys were administered at 3-month follow-up. Results: 28 patients were recruited at baseline and 18 patients completed the follow-up assessment. No significant changes in diabetes care and self-efficacy were detected. All patients requested at least one referral to a community resource. The most common requests were for low-cost dental clinics, food assistance, and housing support. At follow-up, nine (50%) patients contacted their given referrals. Conclusions: The need for assistance with basic social services is high in this population. The rate of referral uptake (50%) is high for a relatively low intensity intervention. Since the completion of the pilot, the program has trained 21 volunteers and helped over 220 patients in a primary care clinic. Using a volunteer model and creating connections to existing community resources is a cost-conscious way to deliver needed services to patients.