Developing wellbeing in first year pre-service teachers: Reflections on a personal approach to professional education.


  • Zali Yager



Health Education, Teacher Preparation


The general health of Australians is a growing concern, particularly with the current focus on reducing the prevalence of preventable risk factors for disease and overweight in children and adults. Schools are becoming increasingly responsible for health promotion, and educating young people about healthy lifestyle behaviours, yet there has not been an increase in required health education training for primary school teachers. The likely place for training future teachers to adapt to the demands of a changing curriculum is during their pre service training, but the health of university students is a concern in itself. The transition to university and the university environment, with its increase in personal responsibility and culture of alcohol consumption; and the focus on competition and success in personal and academic areas can place students at risk of a multitude of health problems. In addition these students are typically at an age where risk taking is common and they rarely know or care about the consequences for their health in the future. To address these issues, a first year undergraduate health education subject was developed and delivered to all Bachelor of Education students at the Bendigo campus of La Trobe University in Australia. This subject was designed to utilise behaviour change theory and best practice in pre-service teacher preparation to focus on improving student’s personal health behaviours in order to prepare them for teaching about such health issues in schools. Program details, staff reflection and student feedback are discussed and suggestions for application in teacher education are also given.