Health as more than human: environmental attunement within school health education

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In Australia, overlapping environmental and citizen health priorities are often foregrounded in national, social, and political debate (Peterson and Lupton, 2000), yet there are few attempts to specifically address the possibilities for ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ environmental health education within Health and Physical Education (Taylor, Wright & O’Flynn, 2016). In this symposium we provocate the educative need for a greater inclusion of the health geography sub-discipline in school health education. That is, an approach to health education that engages less with critical interrogation of dominant discourses and places more emphasis on affective attunement (drawing from Massumi, 2013 and Ahmed, 2015) to subjugated health knowledges and emergent becomings (Wright, 2015). We speculate and reflect on how deliberate environmental links can: (i) help to rupture the dominant individualising ‘behaviour change’ ways of thinking about health to move beyond risk based narratives that are often played out in Australian schooling contexts (Fitzpatrick, 2014; Wright, O’Flynn & Welch, 2018); and (ii) offer rich possibility for educative approaches linked to visceral, somatic and sensory learning (Perhamus, 2010), arts-aesthetic making and responding, and socio-political collective human relationships with the natural world. While we do not propose entirely ‘new’ ideas for the field, for instance others have engaged with environments and sustainability (Elsden-Clifton, & Futter-Puati, 2015), this collection of papers respond to crossdisciplinary research and public discourses that argue for an increased recognition of the complex connections between the environment, health and wellbeing. We also highlight the theoretical utility of socio-material-political frameworks to examine these relationships between health, place and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventCritical Health Education Studies Conference 2018: New Moves in an Old Game - Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 29 May 20181 Jun 2018


ConferenceCritical Health Education Studies Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleCHESS 2018
CountryNew Zealand
Internet address

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