Claremont Teachers College
Place of Publication
Claremont, Western Australia
Health education is a process which effects changes in the health practices of people and in the knowledge and attitudes related to such changes. Education is an internal process for the individual concerned. He educates himself, even though his education is assisted by such means as contacts with health workers, appeals directed to him, information made available, clarification of issues, alternatives, and consequences as a basis for a rational choice. Education thus places responsibility on the individual and is essentially different from a compliance approach. It involves motivation, communication and decision-making. Planned education must take into account the relevant knowledge and attitudes of persons whose practices are to be affected, as Hell as their motives, needs, goals, values, their cultural milieu, and patterns of influence, communication and decision-making.
Increased understanding of human behaviour, of the education process, and of the nature of current and oncoming health problems which require personal or community action for their solution has made the educational approach essential to the attainment of modern public health goals. This approach, moreover, is consistent with democratic philosophy which does not "order" the individual.