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Wellness as higher education curriculum: A comprehensive framework for health education and promotion

Goss, Halima B. & Cuddihy, Thomas F. (2009) Wellness as higher education curriculum: A comprehensive framework for health education and promotion. In Cuddihy, Thomas F. & Brymer, Eric (Eds.) Edited Proceedings of the 26th ACHPER International Conference: Creating Active Futures, School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia., Brisbane, Australia, pp. 319-332.

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Abstract

A number of studies in relation to the place, impact and purpose of Wellness curricula provide insight into the perceived benefits of Wellness education in university environments. Of particular note is the recommendation by many authors that curriculum design fosters personal experiences, reflective practice and active self-managed learning approaches in order to legitimise (give permission for) the adoption of wellness as a personal lifestyle approach in the frenetic pace of student life. From a broader educational perspective, Wellness education provides opportunities for students to engage in learning self regulation skills both within and beyond the context of the Wellness construct.To realise the suggested potential of Wellness education in higher learning, it is necessary that curricula overlay the principles from the domains of both self-regulation and Wellness, to highlight authentic learning as a means to lifelong approaches. Currently, however, systematic development and empirical examination of the Wellness construct have received limited academic investigation. Despite having a multitude of intended purposes from the educative to the therapy oriented goals of the original authors, most wellness models appear to be limited to the “what” of Wellness. Investigations of the “how” and “why” aspects of Wellness may serve to enhance currently existing models by incorporating behaviour modification and learning approaches in order to create more comprehensive frameworks for health education and promotion.It is also important to note that none of the current Wellness models actually address the educative framework necessary for an individual to learn and thus become aware or understand and make choices about their own Wellness.The literature reviewed within this paper would suggest that learner success is optimised by giving learners authentic opportunities to develop and practice self regulation strategies. Such opportunities include learning experiences that: provide options for self determined outcomes; require skills development; recognise principles of successful learning as outlined by the APA; and are scaffolded according to learner needs rather than in generic ways. Thus, configuring a learner centred curriculum in Wellness Education would potentially benefit from overlaying principles from the domains of both SRL and Wellness to highlight authentic learning as a means to lifelong approaches, triggered by undergraduate experiences.Student perceptions are a rich and significant data base for the measurement of their experiences, activities, practices and behaviours. Wellness undergraduate education, such as the “Fitness, Health and Wellness” unit offered by Queensland University of Technology, offers a context in which to confirm possibilities suggested by the literature reviewed in this paper in a practical, Australian context.

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ID Code: 29698
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Wellness, Curriculum, Higher Education, HERN
ISBN: 978-1-74107-286-0
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Medicine Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy (130209)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology and individual authors. Copyright in each of the papers printed herein is retained by the respective authors.
Copyright Statement: This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the copyright holders.
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2010 15:40
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:03

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