Health Education: discussing an integral pedagogical practice with young people at risk

This article aims at analyzing the theoretical and methodological fundamentals of an integral educational experience of practice in health promoted by an NGO with youngsters at personal and social risk. In-depth interviews were conducted with six participants, as well as systematic observation in educational activities and research in documents, reports and videos on the institutional blog. Articulating different methods, this educational activity promotes dialogue and a dynamics of questioning, working in cooperative groups and strengthening horizontal relationships between youngsters and educators. Results indicate that health education induced the formation of a reflexive stance that allowed young people to reframe taboos and myths about health issues, and a better understanding of themselves. Information's critical analysis seems to be essential to establish a relationship between knowledge and its value for life and for health. The meaning built through this analysis is a parameter for choices and engines actions of self-care. By creating conditions for the young to reflect and explore concepts and procedures in society and regarding health, the methodology adopted nurtures the development of meanings for health and being healthy. It is concluded that analytical capacity, discernment and decision support helps the youngsters to organize and conduct their personal and collective life, in a more critical, autonomous and participatory way.

Youth; Health Education; Methodology for teaching and learning; Human Development


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br