HPE ITE Summit Rationale
Access to quality HPE, physical activity and sport programs is recognised by UNESCO as a fundamental right for all young people. When appropriately organised, taught and resourced, such programs can yield a wide range of health, social, educational and economic benefits to individuals, families, communities and society at large. As valued social institutions, schools are uniquely placed to ensure fair and equitable access to this right, which is one of the reasons why the HPE learning area was included in the recently developed Australian Curriculum.
However, considerable research has demonstrated that HPE, physical activity and sport occupy a tenuous place in many schools. Such programs often experience inadequate curriculum time, low status and esteem, and inferior financial, material and human resourcing relative to other areas of the curriculum. Moreover, the broader contexts in which HPE, physical activity and sport take place are rapidly changing. These patterns of demographic, economic, technological and cultural change are altering what it might mean for schools to be responsive to the communities they serve.
High-quality initial teacher education programs are crucial to ensuring that all young people have access to the kind of relevant, engaging and developmentally appropriate HPE, physical activity and sport programs to which they are entitled and the benefits that ensue. Accordingly, as the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games approach, Griffith University’s School of Education and Professional Studies, in conjunction with a range of other key stakeholders, is staging a summit to discuss how initial teacher education programs can best prepare the health and physical educators of tomorrow. The summit will explore strategies for equipping these teachers with the knowledge, skills and values required to promote the pursuit of lifelong, healthy, active living in the varied and changing contexts of the contemporary world. In so doing, the summit seeks to use the Gold Coast’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games to stimulate interest in these goals and to enhance the visibility of these important issues.