Healthy homes: Developing a teaching-learning approach for young people

Vicki Cowan, Heidi Mardon, Pamela Jones.

This project explored teaching home performance to 10-12 year olds with a school trial at Maeroa Intermediate. A Healthy Homes unit was taught using a participatory action learning approach.  A range of perspectives were included: Maori concepts provided a holistic framework; pupils considered the idea of their bodies being their first home; the habitats and homes of birds, animals and other creatures were investigated; and, hands-on activities introduced the principles of building science.

The project has illustrated the power of creating a broad-based knowledge pool to provide depth for educational practice about healthy homes.  A fortunate and unforeseen outcome was the enrichment experienced by the adults who created, liaised, financed and supported the project; Toimata Foundation, Beacon Pathway, Home Performance Advisor Programme, project team individuals, teachers and pupils.