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A Curriculum of Wellness

Reconceptualizing Physical Education


Michelle Kilborn

A Curriculum of Wellness seeks to encourage a deeper discussion about teaching our children how to be healthy and live well. It makes a significant contribution to the field of education as it features influential curriculum concepts nuanced with action research principles in a unified, intimate, and deeply relational inquiry into physical education teacher practice. This work presents a very practical yet complex and wisdom-guided way to transform teaching practices that follow more holistic understandings of wellness. A new mode of curriculum inquiry, wisdom-guided inquiry, is presented, providing an opportunity to open up a fresh avenue to understand curriculum and become engaged in discussions that concern teaching, learning, and public education. An outstanding feature of this book is its transdisciplinarity. While the story is situated within physical education discipline, this book has implications for all teachers and teacher educators because it provides insights that encourage us to consider more carefully the subjective insights of teachers and to understand these as central to being and becoming a teacher. A Curriculum of Wellness is essential reading for curriculum and pedagogy scholars, teacher educators, teachers, and other health-related professionals to think differently about curriculum and pedagogy – making it a great option for many related graduate and undergraduate courses.
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Chapter 1: Setting the Stage for Wellness


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Tune into the process and flux of life with all its uncertainties, vicissitudes, inconsistencies, and ambiguities…. They reach the subjective realities, pull in the historic and contextualize the present within the total framework of individual lives.

— PETER WOODS, 1985 (CITED IN BRITZMAN, 1991, P. 67)

I first met Kim many years ago when I was a curriculum manager for the provincial department of education. She had come to the department to advocate for her Holistic Health Option physical education course to be recognized as a provincial course. Ironically, due to policy restrictions and procedures, we turned her down. But her passion and ideas made an impression and several years later when I was pondering the notion of wellness in physical education, her spirit and vision once again found its way to my consciousness. I immediately contacted her, and over coffee we discussed my desire to inquire into a curriculum of wellness.

Kim was a graduate of the University of Alberta teacher education program and I was intrigued when my supervisor told me about her success as a varsity athlete and later on a provincial club coach and varsity assistant coach. I wondered about her story and how she came to teach a holistic health course when she was previously focused on winning provincial championships and appeared to be teaching in a traditional physical education setting. Did she experience the same type of...

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