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Learning about health through physical education and youth sport

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posted on 2013-01-08, 14:12 authored by Lorraine CaleLorraine Cale, Jo Harris
“Learning about health is crucial for the youth of today. If we can believe what we hear and read in the media, then most youngsters these days are unhealthy, inactive, overweight, and certainly less healthy, active and much fatter now than when we were young. They must be storing up a whole host of health problems. The thing is there are so many more opportunities for young people growing up today to be unhealthy and sedentary, what with the internet, computer games, fast food and all that. It‟s only right that we take the issues seriously and educate young people about health and healthy, active lifestyles. Besides, the National Curriculum requires us to.” (Head of Physical Education in a secondary school) The concerns and views expressed by the Head of Department here are typical of those of many physical education (PE) teachers today and they offer a convincing argument for teaching young people about health through PE and youth sport. At the same time, it is important to recognize that much of what is reported in the media about young people‟s health, activity and obesity levels is inaccurate, exaggerated and, therefore, misleading. This point is well made in the following chapter on „Critical Health Pedagogies‟ and highlights the need to adopt a critical and cautious attitude towards contemporary health issues and messages. This is not to argue though that the very real health issues facing some young people can be ignored.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


CALE, L. and HARRIS, J., 2011. Learning about health through physical education and youth sport. IN: Armour K. (ed.). Sport Pedagogy: An Introduction for Teaching and Coaching. Harlow: Pearson Education, pp. 53 - 64


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