Whilst in recent decades there have been international concerns regarding the health of school students, there have been concurrent, paradoxical challenges to the status of PDHPE and SS. This study provides empirical evidence to enhance understanding of the position of PDHPE and SS in schools by examining three aspects of curriculum implementation through the lens of the ecological paradigm; investigating (I) the logistics of ‘how’ PDHPE and SS are delivered, (II) the process and product of curriculum implementation, and (III) the status of this curriculum area. A survey of a proportional stratified sample investigated 556 government schools across NSW, representing almost 30% of the total population, collected both quantitative and qualitative data via an online questionnaire. In the absence of routine government evaluation, this study is the first to document disparities between relevant curriculum and policy and the implementation and enactment of PDHPE and SS across schools, with little assurance of quality. Amongst a plethora of findings, six key issues are highlighted. Schools report that (1) stakeholders all deem PDHPE to have a lower status than other curriculum areas; this is confirmed through the hidden curriculum. Low status may be exacerbated by the fact that, surprisingly, (2) non-specialists tend to be in charge of teaching PDHPE and SS, and most schools outsource programs and staff (87%). Low status also contributes to (3) the low prioritisation of time allocation to PDHPE, with schools falling short of mandates. Other findings highlight poor equity in provision, with (4) frequent student exclusion practices; and differentiation of curriculum implementation according to (5) school socio-educational status and (6) geographical location. This exploratory study uncovered a range of complex issues, particularly relating to the status and equity of provision in this important educational domain, that need further research and should spark new discussions.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|