Blurring the Lines: Cross-Curricular Health & Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing are universally understood concepts. While their specifics and definitions can be dissonant and intimately unique (not to mention everchanging) to the eye of the beholder, there are many commonalities that can be found between even the most diverse approaches to healthiness/wellness. These commonalities often form the basis of Health and Wellbeing education within learning institutes around the globe.

Generally speaking, education looks to prepare the young as they transition into society and (hopefully) towards having a positive impact on the world around them. Their own health and wellness are crucial factors in how effectively they can do so. Unpacking the ways that they can stay healthy within their mind, body, communities and ideologies therefore form an important cornerstone of learning. We have seen all too many times the tragedies that can occur to and from individuals that haven’t received the necessary guidance to identify what makes them simply feel good within themselves.This begs the question, with the exponentially important role of Health and Wellbeing Education in modern society, why limit their understanding to the confines of Health, Physical Education and other traditionally relevant or connected curriculum areas? Why not promote wellness wherever possible?

One of the real perks of teaching in the Primary (elementary) sector as a holistic health and wellbeing enthusiast is having the opportunity to see where else these crucial learnings fit across the entire curriculum. While the need to isolate curriculum areas makes sense as teaching and learning becomes more complex and specialised, the fact remains that you don’t need to be a health teacher to be an advocate for the health and wellness of your students. Here are just a couple of examples:
Social Sciences:
Any learning based on social sciences and humanities are brilliant opportunities to showcase how individual and collective choice can be detrimental to the wellness of others within a community. Promoting and instilling positive values is and should always be at the forefront of this type of learning. Cultural identity and inner cultural dissonance is also a growing factor related to wellbeing as the world becomes even more diverse. Interestingly enough, it is within culture itself that some of the most difficult questions can be answered. It may just be time that we listened a bit more from each other! Ethnic or cultural models of wellness are everywhere, from the holistic approach of New Zealand’s Te Whāre Tapa Whā, the African theory of connectivity in “Ubuntu”, Buddhist teachings of the unselfish joy in others fortune through “Mudita” just to name a few.

Mathematics, Statistics & Economics:
Economic health, though on a very different plane, can also bring up important links towards the concept of health and how individual or collective input into a functioning community can come in many shapes and forms. In fact, economic and socioeconomic status can be some of the most impactful factors to the physical health of individuals. Outside of the heavier concept discussions that may only be applicable to older students, there are so many simple ways to bring movement aspects into the mathematics domain. Sports science/physical movement and mathematics/statistics are considerably compatible, not to mention incredibly engaging.

The possibilities are endless, but this is Microblog month after all. Simply put, health and wellness are crucial to the personal development of an individual and can be inserted into any type of learning with a bit of thinking. It doesn’t even require a purposefully cross-curricular approach, just the willingness to identify teaching and learning that promotes wellness of individuals or communities.

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Tom Hobbs, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

You can also check out Tom’s own site here.

Pair this blog post with the following:

Ubuntu in Education: Conflict & Compromise by Tom Hobbs

Te Whare Tapa Whā by Georgia Dougherty

Can Health Education Reduce Crime? by Michelle Rawcliffe

One thought on “Blurring the Lines: Cross-Curricular Health & Wellbeing

  1. Monica

    This post was such a good read! I think when teachers hear the words, “cross curricular”, they get nervous. And as important as Health is, it is not subject you hear admin asking teachers to implement into other subjects often. I loved when you said, “It doesn’t even require a purposefully cross-curricular approach, just the willingness to identify teaching and learning that promotes wellness of individuals or communities.” It does not have to be scary or hard to implement health topics into other subjects but it is a very important part of a student’s life and should be talked about within every subject.

    Like

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