By Daniella Chai, Para Demosten, Sacha Raino, and Renee Pasula.
Chapter 14: Health Literacy
– What is health literacy? Individual’s ability to ACCESS, UNDERSTAND, & ACT UPON INFORMATION in order to generate change for the betterment of their health.
– The late 1980s brought reports of connection between better education and better health outcomes. This is for many reasons, i.e. better employment, better access to health care, extended insurance, more income, etc. This realization sparked more research on the issue.
Better health and quality of life is the result of actions, genetics, and social determinants.
– Examples of everyday health literacy issues: bullying, body image, food choices, high risk behaviours (smoking, drinking,…), …
– Health behaviours are learned and can be changed.
– Health literacy has lifelong benefits.
– Some barriers to health literacy are cultural beliefs, low level of education, lack of understanding, systemic barriers…
– Health is now understood as something involving prevention, rather than dealing with illness as it strikes, and something that involves ALL aspects of a persons life. “Health is a balanced state that allows individuals to achieve their full potential in life.”
– The 7 dimensions of health: emotional, environmental (work, community, country…), mental/intellectual (engagement with world around you, lifelong learning…), occupational, physical, social, spiritual (understanding one’s own beliefs leading to sense of meaning or purpose).
– Purpose of health education: Students “develop awareness of the varying components of health and wellness, and begin to assume responsibility for, and actively participate in, their own healthy decision-making.”
– Biggest health issues facing children/youth in Canada: Physical inactivity (too much daily screen time), nutrition (too much fast food, not enough fruits and veges), mental health, substance abuse, sexual activity, bullying.
– School year habits are forming, kids are more open and willing to accept positive health behaviours.
– Pillars of comprehensive school health: social and physical environment, teaching and learning, healthy school policy, partnerships and services.
– A student who is not healthy will not learn well.
– Reason for failure of some health programs in schools is that they were “piecemeal, short-term packages”. School needs to develop a complete action plan, involving the “whole” school (people, place…).
– TIP: Use the list of many amazing health websites at end of chapter.
Chapter 16: Beyond Physical Education: School-Based Physical Activity Programming
School-Based Physical Activity
– Inactivity is on the rise—there is a greater need for getting kids active in schools
– There are guidelines issued by CSEP that make recommendations for each age group
– Current guidelines (2011) recommend 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA per day
– Regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status; PA should be safe, enjoyable, and developmentally appropriate
– Schools offer a unique opportunity to provide PA to the majority of children, of which some may not have access to such facilities, equipment or coaching otherwise.
– There is a decline in quantity and quality of PE programs—PE budget decreasing or more emphasis placed on other subjects
– School setting, administration and teachers are the major influencing factors affecting PA in schools
Curricular Physical Activity:
– Curricular PA works to help students: 1. Develop competence across a spectrum of physical activities 2. Demonstrate a personal commitment to their own health and wellness 3. Develop the capacity to understand, communicate, apply and analyze different forms of movement.
– Accessible to all
– Provincial mandates: DPA (2008 in BC) will improve academic performance, readiness to learn and student behaviour
– Variety of forms that DPA takes in schools: whole school, teacher-driven and student-facilitated
– Importance of planning DPA: inclusivity, role-modeling, support, health and safety (supervision, space and equipment)
Intramural Physical Activity:
– Organized in to 4 categories: sport imitations (modified version of the sport), low organization activities, special events and clubs
– Different from curricular PA is the structure and purpose: structure is school-wide and only from one school; primary purpose is participation. – More casual, fun and inclusive; deemphasize instruction, skills, proficiency
– Traditional Model; Pick-up Model; Free play model; whole school model; leadership model
– Same considerations in terms of supervision, health and safety, equipment etc.
Interscholastic Physical Activity:
– Usually a combination of structured individual and team competitions: local, regional or provincial
– Voluntary, participation through try-outs
– More emphasis on competition and winning
– Elementary model; Secondary Model
– Role of the teacher; supervision, equipment, facilities
Discussion Questions, Ch. 14:
1. What do you consider to be some of the challenges for providing and promoting health education in schools today? What do you believe are some of the challenges a physical educator faces when it comes to health education?
2. When planning, what could you do in terms of classroom environment, teaching strategies, use of technology, and other methods to give students the chance to become truly health-literate individuals? How can you involve parents in comprehensive school health planning? What personnel would be needed to develop an action plan for comprehensive school health? Why?
Discussion Questions, Chapter 16:
1. What kind of DPA models/methods have you seen or been exposed to (in your practicum school or from your own schooling experiences) and which methods do you find most effective? Do you have ideas for how you would like to organize or implement DPA when you start teaching?