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Why study health education, physical education, and home economics?

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Nelson Mandela

Learning in health education, physical education, and home economics helps students grow as ‘confident, connected and involved’ lifelong learners, ready to contribute to their world. It embodies the New Zealand curriculum’s vision for our young people. It enables them to develop the knowledge, values, and competencies to live full and active lives.

Students learn through interactive and practical activities that draw on their own experiences and needs, current and future. As they actively explore challenging situations, students increase their knowledge and skills and develop understandings about themselves, others, and society.

They learn to:

  • develop knowledge and skills to take action to promote positive well-being for self, others, and society
  • engage in a range of movement experiences that promote and support the development of knowledge and skills that contribute to well-being
  • develop confidence, and competence, to enhance well-being. This relates to the dimensions of hauora: taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, and taha whānau. Learn more at Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum: Well-being, hauora.
  • minimise risk and develop protective factors to become more resilient (They develop meaningful ways of coping with adversity. They can access support for themselves and use strategies to support others.)
  • explore attitudes and values, and develop understanding of behaviours that encourage equity, respect, care and concern for others, and social justice
  • think critically to develop understanding of well-being related situations
  • think creatively to develop constructive solutions that support and enhance well-being.

Connections with other learning areas

Health education, physical education, and home economics support and are supported by other curriculum areas. Synergies are created particularly with the sciences and social sciences. For example:

  • Students may explore the ways gender expectations impact on well-being by carrying out a historical investigation into past laws and policies related to the participation and roles of men and women in sport, family, employment, or social situations.
  • The socio-cultural aspects of participating in sport can be reinforced through the study of history, sociology, media studies, and psychology.
  • Students of home economics, chemistry, and biology can bring different perspectives to the study of such topics as genetically modified food or the reproduction of organisms, such as yeast and bacteria that can impact on food safety.

Last updated May 9, 2022