University Of Tasmania

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HealthLit4Kids: Dilemmas associated with student health literacy development in the primary school setting

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 18:21 authored by Rose NashRose Nash, Vaughan CruickshankVaughan Cruickshank, Pill, S, Abbey MacDonaldAbbey MacDonald, Coleman, C, Shandell ElmerShandell Elmer

Objective: To ascertain teachers’ articulation and experiences of navigating dilemmas that inhibit and/or enable the fostering of health literacy in primary school settings.

Design: Qualitative analysis of teachers’ written reflections on introducing health literacy into their school and classroom.

Setting: Tasmania, Australia.

Method: Eighty-four teachers in five primary schools participated in the HealthLit4Kids programme. Teacher reflections were collected at the conclusion of the first year of the programme and assessed using Windschitl’s Dilemmas to identify recurrent themes raised by the conceptual, pedagogic, cultural and political dilemmas teachers faced.

Results: Key dilemmas faced by teachers concerned the development of a whole-of-school approach, student engagement and professional development.

Conclusion: Internationally few health literacy programmes for primary schools exist. The theory developed from the themes identified in this study will inform future health literacy programme design and implementation strategies. Purposeful consideration of each theme will guide their success, scalability and sustainability. Future research on the role of constructivist teaching styles in health literacy development in the school setting is urgently required.


Tasmanian Community Fund


Publication title

Health Education Journal








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Sage Publications Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 the authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion; Neonatal and child health