Youth wellness and Torres Strait Islander girls: Challenges facing teachers in the Torres Strait

Whatman, Susan L. (2000) Youth wellness and Torres Strait Islander girls: Challenges facing teachers in the Torres Strait. The ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 47(3-4), pp. 5-9.

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Australians have spent decades researching the health status of Indigenous Australians: Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. Latest health status reviews of Indigenous Australians still acknowledge their position as the 'unhealthiest' group of people in Australia, indicating that past interventionist, pedagogic and health promotion strategies have not vastly improved their situation.

Much of the research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health has indicated the importance of appropriate health education as a strategy for improving wellness. This paper focuses upon a particularly vulnerable youth population: Torres Strait Islander girls. Their exposure to health education learning experiences through mainstream high school curricula has been critiqued with a view to highlighting the challenges facing high school health education teachers in their pedagogic practice. Strategies for providing useful, relevant and culturally appropriate learning experiences for Torres Strait Islander girls are presented as a means for redressing the challenges in improving the health and wellness of Torres Strait Islander youth.

Case study methodology, following critically ethnographic traditions, was chosen as the most appropriate means to investigate Torres Strait Islander girls' exposure to health education learning experiences and the pedagogic practice of their teachers. The case study method enabled the research questions to be answered with respect to strict Torres Strait Islander community research protocols that were fundamental to the successful completion of this project.

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ID Code: 7329
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Health Education, Physical Education, Indigenous education, Torres Strait Islander education, teacher professional development
ISSN: 1321-0394
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation Inc
Copyright Statement: : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
: This journal is available online
Deposited On: 02 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:40

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