Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Fuxi Fang,
Ge Fang,
Institute of Psychology Chinese Academy of Sciences,


Mental health education (MHE) has just begun in Chinese schools. The broad masses of teachers and parents have already recognized that MHE is not only a good way to help children developing their mental function but also could help children to deal with the mental disturbance that occurred in the childhood and adolescence. However how to implement MHD in school? What are its objectives, contents and methods? A great number of Chinese psychologists combined with teachers have been making an effort to explore those issues. A MHE program designed by authors and presented here is one of numerous explorations in Chinese elementary schools. An outline of the program is introduced as following.

Objectives: The purpose of the program was to apply the modern psychological knowledge in educational practice based on the best ways of children’s understand for promoting children’s cognitive and creative abilities, developing their good personality, positive emotion and the skills of social intercourse, helping children understanding themselves and others, well adapting to school life as well as social life in future.

Contents: The contents of the program was to help children to learn how to learn, how to live in harmony with others, how to handle affairs and finally how to survive him/herself in the environment (that is learning four hows).

Method: There were four ways in implementing the program:

  • Combined the school subjects’ teaching with helping children to learn the ‘four hows’;
  • Establishing a new class in Activities of Mental-Guidance once a week for grade one to grade six in elementary schools in which children were guided to learn the ‘four hows’ by means of a wide variety of vivid activities organized by the teachers;
  • Training the chief teachers to learn the modern psychological knowledge, to learn how to organize the activities of mental health guidance in classroom settings and how to guide individual child to deal with the trouble of mental disturbance;
  • Establishing parents’ school in which parents were taught to learn child psychology and how to manage the child’s behaviors problems.

Materials: A set of textbooks with six volumes was named ‘Mental-health-education for pupils’ had been compiled by the authors. One volume was for one grade in elementary school. The themes for activities of mental guidance in the form of stories with pictures were described by the books to help pupils with learning four hows. A guiding book for leading teachers to conduct educational activities in class was also compiled. The objectives and sub-objectives for helping pupils of low-middle-high grades to learn the four hows were established in the book. The teaching plans were illustrated as well.

Results: The indices of evaluating the results of the experiments showed that the implement of program not only promoted the mental health levels and academic achievement in students but also promoted the mental qualities of teachers as well as parents.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev