Teaching Health and Physical Education in Australian Schools

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For millions of primary school students all over the world physical education and health studies provide them with critical learning outcomes that if internalized will have a profound impact on one’s health and well-being well into adulthood. The key to having students make the principles and practices an integral part of their attitudes and beliefs as adults is to follow the framework of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Ottawa Charter and install have a Health Promoting School (HPS) that acts not only as a place of knowledge and information but a place that contributes holistically to their wellbeing. This paper identifies and discusses aspects in which an HPS through their conduits both teachers and the wider community, can create and foster an atmosphere where primary school students have access a wide array of tools and resources. Essentially, if primary students and their parents are aware and armed with the knowledge and strategies for health and wellbeing, the likelihood that the preventable disease of obesity that plagues many young people today will be easier to avoid. A three part teaching lesson plan that meets VELS level 4 learning standards is presented to make students aware of the social, emotional and physical ramifications of obesity including the marketing of junk food and the various lights in which celebrities are perceived.

Part 1: Discussion

In the book Teaching Health and Physical Education In Australian Schools, Richard Tinning provides a reflection on the logic and benefits of an Health Promoting School (HPS) to the community as he explains that the health of our children and youth is part of a national health problem. The school is one of the key institutional influences on children and youth (the others are family and media) and a key site for education about healthy lifestyles. A HPS is in the national and individual interest (Tinning 2006, p.8) Tinning explains that while health discourses have played a...
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