Teachers’ experiences of teaching the Australian Health and Physical Education Health Benefits of Physical Activity curriculum and the need for greater reality congruence

John Williams, Michael Davies, Brendan SueSee, Dylan Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

TThe paper’s purpose was to understand how Australian Capital Territory primary school Year 5/6 teachers deliver the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (AC: HPE) (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2016) Health Benefits of Physical Activity (HBPA) Focus Area. Our research questions were as follows: (1) ‘How do ACT Year 5/6 primary teachers understand the AC: HPE HBPA Focus Area?’ and (2) ‘What enablers and constraints exist for teaching this Focus Area?’ A qualitative approach was adopted with 15 participants who were specialists or generalist teachers of Physical Education/Health and Physical Education (HPE). Data were collected using three semi-structured group interviews which were recorded and transcribed. The resulting transcripts were interpreted using figurational sociology and the relevant literature. Participants were found to understand and teach HBPA in limited ways through privileging fitness, fitness testing and considering the students as individuals who were predominantly responsible for their own physical health.
In contrast, the HBPA Focus Area requires teachers to connect with community social and emotional health and well-being and acknowledge individual physical health is influenced by others, as well as broader societal issues. Participant passion for teaching physical activity was identified as a possible enabler for teaching HBPA. However, participant capacity for teaching this Focus Area was affected by historical ways of teaching and a range of imposed constraints. Traditional teaching and constraints characterised by social power relationships that included the participants and educational management, if addressed, could lead to HBPA being taught in what we describe as more reality-congruent ways
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalCurriculum Perspectives
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021

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