Integrating Cross Curriculum Priorities

In my subject EDH1150 it has been beneficial to understand what it means to include cross-curriculum priorities. Below is an extract from an assignment that I recently completed.

Educators based in Australia are now expected to utilise a national curriculum which is taught across all states and territories. This curriculum is based around the recommendations made within the Melbourne Declaration (2008), this document identified three key areas that need to be addressed for the benefit of individuals and Australia as a whole. One of these areas (cross curriculum priorities) is the delivery and engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (ACARA, 2016). In the Health and Physical Education sector of the curriculum students are engaged with activities that allow them to appreciate and celebrate the beauty of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. In this subject the teacher has the capacity to make strong connections between cultures and identities and to engage with and appreciate the lived experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Sport and recreation are integral in understanding ‘culture’ within Indigenous communities, as well as highlighting the culture within which sport and recreation operate (AECG, 1995) a way to teach future generations about the importance of acceptance and respect of different cultures.

Engaging in activities and learning experiences that incorporate aspects of Indigenous Australian culture is not only embedded in the Australian Curriculum but is also connected to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). The national standards created by the AITSL were a crucial milestone in the national education reforms of Australia (AISTL, 2011). With Standard 1 requiring teachers to demonstrate a board knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic backgrounds on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds (AISTL, 2011).  As an educator, the work conducted in the classroom, on the sporting fields and in the playground provides a way to examine and transform personal understanding of other cultures and histories. Allowing time for reflection and the opportunity not only to change perceptions, but also change lives (Price, 2012).  As a nation Australia values the central role of education in building a democratic, equitable and just society- a society that is prosperous, cohesive and culturally diverse, and that values Australia’s Indigenous cultures as a key part of the nation’s history, present and future (MCEECDYA, 2008, p. 4).

Visit the Australian curriculum for further information and Maggie’s blog for more interesting reading.

Advertisements

Creating authentic learning experiences…

Teachers are challenged to adopt practices that facilitate the development of “necessary” skills and strategies for learners. For many, however, what is required in policy and curricula is increasingly obscured and even confusing as teachers are bombarded with jargon prescribing seemingly similar (yet apparently different) approaches such as “rich tasks”, “big questions” and “fertile questions” that are to be “relevant”, “authentic” and “engaging” for the learner. Barton and Hamilton (2000) argue that literacy learning should take the learner beyond the transmission of technical skills in the classroom to an understanding of its role within a community’s cultural practices. These literacy practices (Street, 1995) are mediated by literacy events (Heath, 1983) and it is engagement with these events and their diverse demands that allows learners to make strong connections to their own literacy practices.

Herrington and Oliver (2000) define authentic learning experiences as those that incorporate a number of principles in their design. Learning experiences that incorporate these principles can be described as authentic in that they aim to demonstrate the knowledge and skill within a real setting and allow the learner to make connections between the school setting and the demands of their broader communities. Authentic learning experiences: – Provide authentic contexts that reflect the way the knowledge will be used in real life – Provide opportunities for exploration; they will be complex and ill defined, as they occur in real life – Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes – Provide multiple roles and perspectives – Support collaborative construction of knowledge – Promote reflection to enable abstractions to be formed – Promote articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit – Provide coaching by the teacher at critical times, and scaffolding and fading of teacher support – Provide for authentic, integrated assessment of learning within the tasks (Herrington & Oliver, 2000, p. 26). The principles of authentic learning emerged from reviews of literature and research conducted with participants engaging with technology based learning environments (Herrington & Herrington, 2006). The focus in these previous inquiries of authentic learning was primarily on the role of technology in creating the learning environment. However, we argue they have much to offer primary teachers in understanding what “authentic” means in planning for literacy learning in the primary classroom. As such, the principles of authentic learning experiences are further focused in this inquiry through the theories of literacy practices and literacy events.

What is good feedback?

Feedback is any response made in relation to students’ work or performance. It can be given by a teacher, an external assessor or a student peer. It is usually spoken or written.

Feedback is … most effective when it is timely, perceived as relevant, meaningful and encouraging, and offers suggestions for improvement that are within a student’s grasp (Brown, Bull, & Pendlebury, 1997).

Feedback is intended to acknowledge the progress students have made towards achieving the learning outcomes of a unit. Good feedback is also constructive, and identifies ways in which students can improve their learning and achievement. Providing a mark or a grade only, even with a brief comment like “good work” or “you need to improve” is rarely helpful.

Good feedback is focused and students have an opportunity to act on it (Hillocks, 1986). It is well developed and text specific, for example, “What’s your main point here? If it’s that you disagree, put that idea up front and explain” (Lunsford, 1997). It also provides clear direction to the student, for example, “Consider integrating these ideas” and “Be more specific. Say where and when” (Chamberlain, Dison & Button, 1998).

Feedback needs to be timely: given early in a unit or promptly after assessment tasks, so that students have sufficient opportunity to use the feedback for improving subsequent performance.

When approaching the point of feedback, (mentally) ask three things of the student and use these to frame your feedback:

  • What were you trying to do?
  • How did you do it?
  • Why did you do it that way?

 

For thoughts on reflection visit Anna’s blog. 

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Questioning

The goal of classroom questioning is not to determine whether students have learned something (as would be the case in tests, quizzes, and exams), but rather to guide students to help them learn necessary information and material. Questions should be used to teach students rather than to just test students!

Although questions are widely used and serve many functions, teachers tend to overuse factual questions such as “What is the capital of California?” Not surprising, many teachers ask upward of 400 questions each and every school day. And approximately 80 percent of all the questions teachers ask tend to be factual, literal, or knowledge-based questions. The result is a classroom in which there is little creative thinking taking place.

Many years ago, an educator named Benjamin Bloom developed a classification system we now refer to as Bloom’s Taxonomy to assist teachers in recognizing their various levels of question-asking (among other things). The system contains six levels, which are arranged in hierarchical form, moving from the lowest level of cognition (thinking) to the highest level of cognition (or from the least complex to the most complex):

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

Lower Order

Knowledge (Remembering)
These types of questions test the students’ ability to memorize and to recall terms, facts and details without necessarily understanding the concept.
Key Words: Memorize, Define, Identify, Repeat, Recall, State, Write, List & Name
Examples of questions:

  • “What is…?”
  • “How would you describe…?”
  • “Why did…?
  • “How would your show…?”

Comprehension (Understanding)
These questions test the students’ ability to summarize and describe in their own words without necessarily relating it to anything.
Key Words: Describe, Distinguish, Explain, Interpret, Predict, Recognize & Summarize
Examples of questions:

  • “What facts or ideas show…?”
  • “How would you compare…?”
  • “How would your classify…?
  • “Can you explain what is happening…?”

Higher Order

Application (Transferring)
Application questions encourage students to apply or transfer learning to their own life or to a context different than one in which it was learned.
Key Words: Apply, Compare, Contrast, Demonstrate, Examine, Relate, Solve & Use
Examples of questions:

  • “What would result if…?”
  • “What facts would you select to show…?”
  • “What approach would you use to…?”
  • “How would you use…?”

 

Analysis (Relating)
These questions encourage students to break material into parts, describe patterns and relationships among parts, to subdivide information and to show how it is put together.
Key Words: Analyze, Differentiate, Distinguish, Explain, Infer, Relate, Research & Separate
Examples of questions:

  • “What inference can you make…?”
  • “What is the relationship between…?”
  • “What evidence can you find…?”
  • “What things justify…?”

Synthesis (Creating)
These questions encourage students create something new by using a combination of ideas from different sources to form a new whole.
Key Words: Arrange, Combine, Create, Design, Develop Formulate, Integrate & Organize
Examples of questions:

  • “What could be changed to improve…?”
  • “How would you test…?”
  • “What way would you design…?”
  • “What outcome would you predict for…?”

 

Evaluation (Judging)
Evaluation questions encourage students to develop opinions and make value decisions about issues based on specific criteria.
Key Words: Assess, Critique, Determine, Evaluate, Judge, Justify, Measure & Recommend
Examples of questions:

  • “How could you select…?”
  • “How could you prove…?”
  • “How would you prioritize…?”
  • “What information would you use to support…?”

Creating authentic assessment

Authentic assessments require the transfer of knowledge and skills into real-world situations to both measure and motivate student learning. When students are bored with the work they are asked to do, they superficially read texts, casually execute procedures, and cursorily explain their thinking. This detachment makes it increasingly difficult for students to retain learning after the lesson, unit, or year is over and harder for teachers to improve student performance.

There are 4 steps that I think about when creating an authentic assessment task:

STEP 1 – Standards

An assignment should always be formed with standards and objectives in mind (backwards design). In order to create a task for students to complete, you must first ask yourself, “what should my students know following this lesson and assignment“. This will give an educator a starting point for creating varoius ideas for assessment. The teacher must first start by having the end result of the assignment in mind. Once you have decided what you want your students to get out of their task, you can move on to step 2.

STEP 2 – Authentic Tasks

In this step, a teacher will decide how they want students to portray their knowledge of the subject matter using a real-world activity or scenario. A task should be chosen for students to complete that meets the authentic assessment criteria. It should be a meaningful task that students feel they can relate to and can apply in their lives.

STEP 3 – Criteria/Measures

In step 3, a teacher will decide what the student performing the assignment or task or will look like. What would you like the end product to be? Having already chosen how they want the student to portray their knowledge through an authentic task, and the teacher must now determine what that will look like and what criteria will prove student understanding. In other words, how will you know that the student has performed well or not? Knowing what criteria you are looking for in an authentic assignment will assist the teacher in the next step – creating a rubric.

STEP 4 – Rubric

After the teacher has decided on what task they would like students to complete, and what criteria they will use to decide whether or not they have met the standards, they will create a rubric for evaluation of students. A rubric is a way for you to evaluate what level of performance the students are currently performing at. Rubrics will be discussed further in this unit.

Evolving teaching philosophy

To develop as an educator it is essential that I understand my personal developing philosophy of education. This philosophy is one that has been influenced by reflection on and learning from prior experiences, and will continue to develop throughout my career as an educator. At this point in time I believe that the purpose of education in this framework is to challenge children, equipping them with the knowledge and understandings required to be successful in modern society, by creating an environment in which they are able to learn in their own way. The aim of education is to develop a well-rounded person, providing them with the knowledge needed to ensure that they have a strong foundation for learning and evolving in all aspects of their life. I also believe through experiences and investigation that students will continue to move forward in their education and emotional development. It is my belief that the teacher is a guide in the class environment; facilitating the students learning and encouraging them to ascertain an understanding. When doing this the teacher must acknowledge that each student is an individual. The role of the learner is to understand and appreciate themselves and others, being active participants in the learning process. I believe that a dialogical teaching method is the best approach to accomplish these aims and roles. Justification of my personal philosophy will be provided, with references to five different theorists John Dewey, Parker J. Palmer, John Locke and Matthew Lipman, as well as demonstrating the contrast between my personal philosophy and that of both Burrhus Frederic Skinner and Plato.

 

 

 

Aims of Education

 

Education is about providing children with the skills and abilities to appreciate life. It is about developing children and establishing solid foundations; such as good virtues, morals, values and ethics in order to be well-rounded, healthy individuals in the future; individuals that will contribute significantly within their community and assist in the development of a functional society. The true purpose of education is the cultivation of the intellect rather than the accumulation of facts.

 

My philosophy of education is aligned closely to that of John Locke’s theory; when a person is born without innate ideas that their mind is a blank slate a ‘tabula rasa’ on which experience writes (Johnson, 2008a). On this view all the “materials of reason and knowledge” come from experience.  According to Locke, the ideal education would instil a strong moral sense (Kim, Wong & Wong, 1999). Locke suggests that there are four parts of education ‘virtue’, ‘wisdom’, ‘breeding’ and ‘learning; ‘Virtue’ described by Locke as a right relationship with God and others. ‘Wisdom’ according to Locke, is the ability to manage one’s business ably with foresight. ‘Breeding’, defined as the manner a person presents themselves within society whether that is in an acceptable or unacceptable manner and finally ‘learning’ depicted by Locke as the development of cognitive qualities (Johnson, 2008a).

 

 

John Dewey strongly believed that education should be for the students. Dewey’s ‘Progressive Education’ emphasised the fact that students thrive in an environment in which they are allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum; and that all students have the right to an education (Johnson, 2008b). Dewey (1916) stated that ‘all which the school can or need do for pupils, so far as their minds are concerned is to develop their ability to think. It is a concept that I have incorporated into my own personal philosophy of education. Dewey proposed that “education is about learning from experiences, past and present, using these experiences to prepare children for different situations that they may encounter in the future” (Johnson, 2008b). It is my belief that as an educator (teacher) I will be a guide for my students, developing their ability to think critically by providing the support and assistance needed. Through experiences and investigation, it is my hope that the students in my classroom will continue to develop both emotionally and educationally.

 

 

Lipman believed that education should be centred on the development of a child’s capacity to reason, solve problems, think critically and reflect. He acknowledged that by directing children to a philosophical chain of thought, thinking would be conceived of as the possession of cognitive, emotional, intuitive, aesthetical, ethical and argumentative characteristics, to improve one’s thinking, was to deal with each of the qualities (Johnson, 2008h). Lipman’s model has influenced my personal philosophical view of education in respect to his ‘philosophy for children in the classroom’ where a large emphasis is placed on the use of talk to enhance thought, through student ideas and interests. It is important as an educator to understand and become familiar with an inquiry-based approach to the content that is to be taught to ensure critical thinking is promoted in students.

 

 

My personal philosophy correlates quite closely to Palmer’s theory; the concept of paradoxes. It is Palmers belief that individuals learn through complex concepts and processes; achieving the best results when they are actively engaged in the learning process. A good teacher is able to guide their students to their own discoveries of principles when starting from a concrete example (Johnson, 2008d). I believe that it is important for a student to have a natural, inherent propensity towards collecting excitement and gaining motivation from leaning

 

My personal philosophy is strongly contrasted by that of B. F. Skinner. He takes on a behaviourist approach that addresses the outcome on behaviour set by external forces; both neglecting and diminishing the needs and the importance of the individual. Skinner theorised that “education is to be seen as not simply providing people with information but as a governing influence over people’s lives” (Ozman & Craver, 2008). Skinner theorised that the teacher controls whilst the student are controlled, is yet another point of disagreement with regards to my personal philosophy. Bringing to light a recurring concern of who controls the controller” (Ozman & Craver, 2008). I believe that each individual’s needs are important and that they should be acknowledged and catered for; it is also my belief that education should be more than a controlling influence over people’s lives.

 

Plato theorised that the knowledge we learn in our present life is merely knowledge that we have acquired from a past life,that we learn by recollecting facts that the soul already knows, for the soul already has all knowledge (Gutek, 2011b). I disagree with this theory. As Locke, I believe that everyone is born a blank state and that one obtains knowledge through different life experiences, the use of one’s senses and rational.

 

Upon further investigation of Plato’s theories of education I found yet another point of difference to that of my personal philosophy. I found myself in strong disagreement with his belief that a child belongs to the state and its education is the responsibility of the state. “He believed that children should be removed from their family and raised in state-operated nursery schools from birth to age six. Plato abolishes the family as guardians in the hopes to avoid nepotism creating a situation in which children would learn the right predispositions” (Gutek, 2011, p45). I believe that an integral part of a child’s development is the influence of family and friends. A child begins to form ideas early on about the community they live in. Their family nucleus is the starting point for establishing these ideas for the child.

 

 

 

Role of the Teacher/Method of Education

 

           

            As previously suggested in the research above in accordance with different theorists philosophies of education, the development of character, morals, ethics and values are vital aspects of good education. I believe that teachers share a significant responsibility in preparing young people to lead successful and productive lives. It is important as teachers to model behaviours that are reflective of these qualities. A teacher should consider it his duty to educate and train his students and should feel responsible for it. In today’s world a teacher’s role is a multifaceted profession; they are more accountable for students learning.  As suggested by Palmer, ‘the goal of education is for each individual to develop his or her authentic self” (Johnson, 2008, p292). It is important for teachers to be authentic, to understand who they are as a person and be comfortable with that knowledge. “Good teachers join self and subject and students in the fabric of life.  Weaving together complex connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students may learn to do so this for themselves” (Johnson, 2008, p292).

 

 

 

Dewey believed that it was imperative that students were not mere receptacles of knowledge that their teachers’ deposit in, but rather that teachers facilitate a classroom environment that allows students to play a role in creating their own knowledge (Johnson, 2008e). Knowledge is constructed through one’s own personal experiences and interactions with the outside world; taking new information and giving it meaning using prior attitudes, beliefs, and experiences as references (Stavredes, 2011). Each student is a unique individual whose past experiences affects readiness to learn and understanding of the requirements involved whether it is culturally, emotionally, or cognitively. It can be a daunting thought individualising and teaching different programs to each student, however, understanding how different individuals learn assists in planning a learning experience that each student might in engage in. I believe that as a teacher my main objective is to create an environment where students feel comfortable to pursue inquiries and express themselves; facilitating the learning process but allowing the students to take responsibility for their own learning.

 

Through observation of student behaviours and personality traits, the teacher is able to build upon the knowledge, personal experiences, language, strategies, and culture that students bring to the learning situation, creating a situation in which they are able to learn about themselves and the community they live in. It is my goals as an educator to encourage students to think critically so that they may form their own opinions, make meaning of these opinions and encourage them to take responsibility of their own learning experience. As Dewey stated the teacher’s responsibility is simply to determine the basis of larger experience and riper wisdom, how the discipline of life shall come to the child to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences and not to impose certain ideas or form certain habits in the child (Johnson, 2008e, p106).

 

Palmer and Lipman both believed that “the classroom should be thought of as a pluralistic community, centred on dialogue and collaborative activity, in which all of its members have an active and equitable share” (Cam, 2006, p. 8) Opposing the ‘banking’ system of education,  recommending that  a more creative and dialogical approach be taken toward teaching. The “banking” educational system excludes any opportunity for students to be creative.  Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits; “the capability of banking education to minimise or annul the student’s creative power” (Johnson, 2008h). As a teacher I will strive to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; utilizing inquiry-based techniques and guidance, challenging students to use their higher order thinking when investigating. Education is about encouraging children to pursue lifelong learning. Meaningful teaching is about providing the tools to do so. Guiding the student’s allowing them to ascertain their own answers, encouraging them to divulge deeper, discovering more significant questions or issues to explore, so that they may own and maintain their learning environment (Johnson, 2008h).

 

As Locke, I believe that it is important to consider others and reflect on how the learner would like to be treated so that foundation of fairness and diplomacy may be laid (Johnson, 2008a, p 66). Locke believed that if one was virtuous one treated people with respect, dignity and care (Johnson, 2008a). This is a strong reflection of my personal philosophy.

 

Palmer theorised that the ‘space’ in which students learn is as important as what the students learn. When Palmer spoke about space he was not only talking about the physical space that the students work in, but also of a number of other complex factors including; physical arrangement, conceptual framework and the feeling within the room (Johnson, 2008c, p 302). This concept of creating ‘space’ for the students closely relates to my personal philosophy. Palmer suggests we look at our “gifts” (our strengths and capacities) along with our “failings” and to “use paradox to transform a litany of failings into a deeper understanding of the identity from which teaching comes. Palmer further explains the principle of the six paradoxical tensions that he builds into the teaching and learning space. He states that these are “neither prescriptive nor exhaustive” clarifying that the principle of paradox offers no clear cut fix for teaching. But if it fits who you are, it offers guidance on any level of education and with any field of study (Johnsonc, 2008, p308). This is an important aspect of my personal philosophy in regards to the teaching methods. I believe that each student has a unique way of learning; some will work best independently in silence while others thrive in engaging interactive activities in group environments. As a beginning teacher my priority is to create a safe space where students feel that they are able to speak freely, illustrating to them that everyone has the right to an opinion, that it important to respect those opinions, challenging them to go beyond their comfort zone.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The aim of education is to provide young people with opportunity to develop as a ‘whole’; it should be about more than just the teaching or passing on of information, facts and figures. It is important as a future educator that I understand the value and consider the individual needs of the student’s; their strengths, weaknesses, interests and natural abilities, providing links between each of these elements and the learning experiences that the students encounter. Good teaching comes from identity, not technique, but if I allow my identity to guide me toward an integral technique that technique can help me express my identity more fully and education is about creating a positive impact on the student’s development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HPE is important

 

                      Health and Physical Education (HPE) is a necessary component in the development of a student’s health and physical literacy skills for life and is an essential part of the school curriculum. The HPE not only offers a curriculum that is engaging, enjoyable, developmentally appropriate and relevant to the students, the HPE curriculum also focuses and examines the development of the physical, social, emotional, mental, spiritual wellbeing and personal development of the student in question (ACARA, 2012). The HPE curriculum is a unique course unto its own in the way that it offers such a significant area of learning that incorporates skills that are relative to various areas within a student’s life in and out of school.

The importance of developing a student’s health and physical literacy through HPE is a valued and fundamental element within the curriculum; this subject is recognised in the national curriculum as being the third highest weighted subject in regards to the time allocated in the foundation year of learning (ACARA, 2012).  However, in this particular document it is interesting to note that Physical Education is one of only a few subject areas in which the time allocated remains constant as the student progresses through the education system this may be seen as neglectful in our modern society which is plagued with health epidemics

A key concept to the Health and Physical Education acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies is to enable the students to participate in wide range of physical activities confidently and competently (Australian Curriculum, 2013). This creates a foundation for lifelong physical activity participation and improved performance, students gain understanding of the science behind how the body moves, at the same time as developing proficiency in movement skills, physical activities and movement concepts. Through this development students are able to appreciate the significance that physical activity and outdoor recreation plays in their lives. A commitment to a quality physical education entails the belief that each student can learn and succeed, that diversity enriches everyone, that students are able to learn better through involvement, that effective learning results from collaborative efforts from everyone (Tripp, Piletic, & Babcock, 2004, pp. 32-48). Additionally HPE creates an environment in which every student is included in some manner that reflects awareness that everyone has the right to healthy and active lifestyle (VCAA, 2009). It is about embracing all students, making a commitment to do whatever it takes to create meaningful opportunities for learning and to provide a community of learning where all students have an inalienable right to belong. HPE supports the education of diverse learners offering them equal opportunity to learn, demonstrating constructive attitudes and values towards the curriculum (ACARA, 2013).

“Physical Education plays a critical role in educating the whole student; a good education is about developing the whole student, not only the mind (Amezdroz et al, 2010, p.545)”.  Physical Education creates opportunities for student development through bodily activities in which they are able to develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and morally, thus helping develop a rounded personality (Hemsworth Academy, 2012). As students mature, HPE promotes the use of critical inquiry to research and analyse the information presented about the significance that physical activity plays in both an individual’s life and wider society, it endorses lifelong participation in physical activity through the development of fine and gross motor skills, movement and coordination competence, health-related physical fitness and sports education (VCAA, 2009).

 

The development of critical thinking and problem solving abilities allows students to make their own informed decisions that may enhance the choices they make in regards to their health and wellbeing (ACARA, 2013).  “HPE provides personal development in helping students understand that their identity is shaped by individual personality traits, characteristics, experiences, social and cultural contexts, and their values and beliefs (Amezdroz et al, 2010, p.523)”. Quality Health and Physical Education programs provide opportunities for students to understand the different health literacy’s in order for them to make improved decisions about their health and wellbeing but are also important as foundations or building blocks that facilitate learning in other areas.

The Health and Physical education curriculum ensures that students are provided with learning opportunities to practice create, apply and evaluate the knowledge, understanding and skills of the learning area (Australian Curriculum, 2013). Since such a large portion of the education that a student receives while at school happens through inactive forms- classrooms and desks; computers and books; visual and verbal. Physical education provides an alternate form to this type of learning through active, interesting, participative, relational and interactive means. There is published evidence that supports a positive correlation between physical activity and academic learning. “Intelligence and skill can only function at their peak capacity when the body is healthy and strong (Masurier & Corbin, 2006)”. Furth more, there is documented evidence “acute and chronic exposure to physical activity improves cognitive function in both able-bodied and disabled children, and there are positive correlations between levels of physical activity and academic performance (Chomitz et al., 2009, p.36)”. Health and Physical Education provides students with the resources needed to live healthy and active lifestyles.

 

 

Health and Physical Education assist students in discovering their individual identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community (Amezdroz et al, 2010).  The needs of individuals are achieved through experiential learning in this subject area. The inclusion of topics that are relevant in students’ lives Health and Physical Education appeal to the interest  of all learners with contexts of social and health concerns that can be directly related to real life situations. Creating a link between ‘real life’ social situations and learning allows students the opportunity to think critically about problems and issues that may arise in their life.  Achieving this knowledge and skill allows students to form educated decisions that are vital in developing their own understanding. For lifelong learners to be created it needs to be recognised nationally that an essential part of an education is providing students with the skills needed to manage their own health.