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“You’ll feel fat and no one will want to marry you”: Responding to children’s ideas about health

Marg Cosgriff , Lisette Burrows and Kirsten Petrie, with Shane Keown, Joel Devcich, Joanne Naera and Deirdre Duggan


Investigating children’s ideas about and experiences of health and physical activity, and Health and Physical Education (HPE), is a valuable step for teachers to take when designing programmes that are responsive to the needs of diverse learners. This article reports on a 2-year research project in HPE that took this step. Understanding their own students’ perspectives was a watershed moment for the four teachers in the study, propelling them to reconsider the nature of HPE as well as their pedagogical practices. In practice, reimagining HPE meant moving beyond one-size approaches to teaching and learning to emphasise the inclusion, wellbeing, needs, and interests of all learners.

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