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New shape for Australian health and physical education

New shape for Australian health and physical education
July 12, 2013

A University of Queensland (UQ) professor has helped shape the development of Australia's national health and physical education curriculum with work to standardise content and achievement guidelines.

UQ School of Human Movement Studies Head Professor Doune Macdonald, is the lead writer of a paper designed to guide consistent teaching and standards across Health and Physical Education (HPE) classes.

Professor Macdonald said the curriculum will be the first of its kind to actually be implemented and is focused on building students' knowledge, understanding and skills to help them lead healthy, safe and active lives.

He explained "the new HPE curriculum operates from a strengths-based approach that shifts the balance from risk factors, disease, ill-health, and inactivity toward building on personal and community assets that support health and wellbeing.

"This curriculum is exciting because it is future-focused and recognises that HPE will provide students with opportunities for personal interaction in learning environments increasingly dominated by screen-based technologies.

"UQ's School of Human Movement Studies hosted a forum on the issue last month to discuss strategies for implementation of the new curriculum.

"The forum attracted more than 60 people and, for the first time in decades, leaders in the fields of education, health and sport have agreed on a way forward to support Australian HPE Curriculum implementation."

The curriculum is to be considered for approval by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and State Education Ministers this year.

ACARA Curriculum Manager Phil Lambert told the forum that a wide range of stakeholders supported the development of the new HPE curriculum, adding "it has been so rewarding to see the enthusiasm, passion, expertise and commitment that stakeholders have brought to the process.

"This type of contribution has added significantly to the quality and richness of the Health and Physical Education curriculum as it currently stands."

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