Health literacies and pedagogies of the body

Year: 2013

Author: Wrench, Alison, Garrett, Robyne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Pedagogies of health and physical education inform ways of thinking, the acquisition of dispositions, and constitution of subjectivities. They also impact on student success and positioning in relation to societal and cultural assumptions. A key pedagogical imperative identified by ‘The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education' is responsibility of the learning area for developing health literacies in relation to health, wellbeing, safety and physical activity. Bodies, including how they move, are exercised, nourished, shaped, represented and understood, are central to this project. Implications, therefore, exist for teachers and their pedagogical practices. In this presentation we will use narratives of pre and in-service teachers to explore pedagogical practices around bodies. We attempt to analyse these pedagogical practices of the body as they relate to functional, interactive and critical health literacies. In arguing for socially critical pedagogical practices around bodies we highlight the desirability of developing critical literacies that disrupt common sense readings of ‘acceptable' and ‘desirable' bodies as lean, youthful and able-bodied. We conclude by identifying implications for pre-service teacher and in-service teacher education around the development of socially critical pedagogical practices and health literacies.