Exploring the ‘everyday philosophies’ of generalist primary school teacher delivery of health literacy education

Vaughan Cruickshank, Shane Pill, John Williams, Rosie Nash, Casey Peter Mainsbridge, Abbey MacDonald, Shandell Elmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The enactment of the Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education (AC:HPE) is intended to be informed by five ‘propositions’ or Key Ideas, one of which is ‘Develop Health Literacy’. Our study occurred at four Tasmanian primary schools and was conducted by a research team consisting of public health and education academics. This team composition reflects the nature of the HealthLit4Kids program as a university and community grant-funded study intervention. We examined inter-dependent networks, of teachers and children, to investigate Health Literacy (HL) teaching. Data were collected from 30 primary teacher participants and figurational sociology was our theoretical framework. While our program increased teacher awareness about health education, participants demonstrated limited HL knowledge with their teaching largely informed by ‘everyday philosophies’. While increasing health awareness is a welcome first step with the potential to broadly influence students’ adult behaviours, the teachers’ ideas about HL were largely fantastical. This finding was supported by a latent data theme showing a restricted connection between teacher HL knowledge and the AC:HPE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-222
Number of pages16
JournalCurriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education
Issue number2
Early online date2 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Health education
  • health literacy
  • figurational sociology
  • teachers
  • primary school


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