The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze three aspects of the relationship between general pedagogy and Health education.
Two different doctoral dissertations on Health education, claimed to be written from different scientific positions (hermeneutic and positivistic), were analyzed from science--philosophical, knowledge-theoretical and methodological points of view.
The analysis showed that none of the dissertations contained any deeper discussion on science-philosophical or knowledge-theoretical issues and that both of the dissertations were written mainly in the hermeneutic tradition.
The reason for this is probably that Health education, especially promotive Health education, handles divergent questions that seldom, or never, can be handled with positivistic methods.
One consequence of this is that the results of research on promotive Health education rarely, or never, are normative and can tell how to teach about health in a specific educational situation. Instead the results can be used as a background for didactic reflection whey planning and realizing Health education initiatives.
Another consequence is that the present trend with demand for evidence based Health education, can be questioned! Because promotive Health education is so heavily loaded with divergent questions, and because pedagogical research, according to Habermas, has an emancipatory or critical “knowledge interest”. Research can explain what is going on in one situation but not predict what will happen in a similar, but other situation! Therefore this paper argues that the idea of evidence based, promotive health education is hard, or impossible, to realize.
2012. Vol. 1, no 1, 53-60 p.