18 SES 06 A, Developing Critical Digital Health Pedagogies for Teachers of Physical Education
DigiHealthPE is a UNA Europe seed funding research project which involves six researchers from four European Countries (Finland, Italy, UK, Spain). This project aims to explore and pilot strategies co-created with PE teachers to promote a critical understanding and use of digital health technologies for healthy lifestyles among young people. This symposium will report on the preliminary work and findings of the project.
Previous research has shown how digital health technologies are ‘instructive’ in nature, playing a pedagogic role in how young people learn about their bodies and health (Rich, 2019). This learning that usually occurs beyond formal schooling (as ‘public pedagogies’, Rich& Miah, 2014), raises important questions for physical education (PE) teachers. They are increasingly using digital technologies for teaching, although instrumental approaches prevail. At European level, educational policies have been recently developed to provide teachers with professional learning opportunities to help their students become digitally competent. Health policy approaches are also trying to improve the digital health literacy of citizens.
Although relevant, these approaches tend to ignore important social, contextual and cultural factors that may impact upon the individuals’ health knowledge and behaviours. They also neglect the human, embodied and (inter)active ways in which people learn, something that is at the heart of teaching and learning in PE. Therefore, our project aims to address this gap by working with pre-service and in-service PE teachers to co-develop and evaluate critical digital health pedagogies that will enable young people to engage with digital health technologies in critical, meaningful and embodied ways.
The symposium will start with a brief overview of the UNA Europe project including the research purposes and methods we aim to implement, as well as the nature of our collaborative work. This overview will be followed by three presentations from researching academics of the four partnership universities in the project. Each will be focused on different empirically and theoretically rich insights to co-develop critical digital health pedagogies with PE teachers. At the conclusion, we will present the future direction and intended goals of our project as we are moving towards a broader European collaboration. Finally, the discussant will reflect on the work presented and invite the audience to share their observations and questions.
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