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PHSE551 Teaching Physical Education and Health

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

A critical examination of teaching, learning and curriculum in school-based physical education and health.

We all know something about teaching Health and Physical Education because we have all been taught at some stage or another! In this paper, you draw on your 'lived' knowledge of teaching/learning, together with an impressive scholarly literature in the area, to develop a rich understanding of curriculum and pedagogy in Physical Education and Health.
You will explore the production and implementation of contemporary curriculum documents, philosophical bases for health/physical education practice and the lives and work of teachers/students, and you will evaluate your own and others' beliefs about "what's worth doing" in school-based health and physical education. You will be encouraged to read teacher/student narratives, analyse pedagogical research and curriculum policy and examine a range of theoretical positions used to study teaching/learning and curriculum to facilitate your understanding of the complexity of teaching/learning processes in school institutions.

Paper title Teaching Physical Education and Health
Paper code PHSE551
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,590.98
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,357.07

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PHSE 322
Limited to
BPhEd(Hons), PGDipOE, PGDipPE, MDanceSt, MPhEd
Suitable for students with a sociological bent and an interest in teaching health, physical education and/or outdoor education in schools.
Some knowledge of educational theory would be helpful.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Professor Lisette Burrows
Paper Structure
  • To understand and critique contemporary New Zealand Health and Physical Education curriculum policy initiatives
  • To consolidate a personal philosophy of health and/or physical education
  • To analyse discourses of teaching, learning and curriculum in school physical education and health
  • To analyse the impact of wider socio-cultural, political and economic factors on health and physical education teachers'/students' lives and work
Text books are not required for this paper.
A reading list will be provided on Blackboard, with regular updates in class (as new knowledge is emerging all the time).
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this paper students should be able to:
  • Identify and describe major research orientations within the spectrum of available scholarship on health and physical education teaching/learning and curriculum
  • Be familiar with and critically review research-based literature on physical education and/or health teaching and curriculum
  • Have a critical appreciation of the ways teacher/student subjectivities are constructed amidst political/economic/cultural discourses and material conditions within which they work
  • Understand the philosophy and framework of the New Zealand Curriculum and the potential issues these raise for teachers and students in physical education and health
  • Analyse dominant discourses in physical education and health teaching
  • Articulate a personally preferred philosophy of health and physical education

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41