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Professional development in health education for primary school teachers: a systematised review of the literature


Otten, C and Nash, R and Patterson, K, Professional development in health education for primary school teachers: a systematised review of the literature, Professional Development in Education pp. 1-23. ISSN 1941-5257 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 International Professional Development Association (IPDA).


Professional development can be used as a tool to increase teacher confidence and competence. Consequently, it may improve the quality of education available to students. Previous research suggests that many teachers lack the confidence to teach health despite it being an area that they are expected to teach. This paper locates and considers the health specific professional development opportunities that exists for primary school teachers internationally. The authors brainstormed a list of search terms and followed the PRISMA guidelines to search EBSCO databases. The findings were screened and sorted. The review found that educators who value and understand health are more likely to teach health related topics. Professional development related to health that was most effective was characterised as being (1) multidimensional, (2) integrated, (3) adaptable, (4) modelled, (5) collaborative, (6) supported by school leadership, and (6) valued. Despite the importance of health, the review found a lack of professional development for teachers. This may in turn create a barrier to students accessing health education. Thus, professional development programmes for teachers that aim to improve their confidence and competence to teach health in the classroom are urgently required.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:professional development, education, health, teacher, competence, confidence
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Primary education
UTAS Author:Otten, C (Miss Claire Otten)
UTAS Author:Nash, R (Dr Rosie Nash)
UTAS Author:Patterson, K (Dr Kira Patterson)
ID Code:151053
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-07-14
Last Modified:2022-09-30

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