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Refresh.ED: An Online food and nutrition teaching resource for WA school children

Nutrition is a single area in a crowded health curriculum taught in Australian schools and teachers may not have the necessary skill set or time to learn contemporary nutrition science to teach to students. As a response to this challenge, ECU has developed Refresh.ED, which is an online nutrition  teaching resource for school children in Western Australia.

The research

Teachers reported that Refresh.ED units gave structure to their food and nutrition lessons, and were especially helpful for new or practicum teachers. Many teachers reported being time poor, and thus having relevant material to provide information to add to discussions and activities in class was of  value to them.

The Refresh.ED team is seeking opportunities to develop a transformational game to be used alongside Refresh.ED to consolidate learning in food and nutrition in schoolchildren. To find out more see www.refreshedschools.health.wa.gov.au.

IMPACT INFO BOX:

Responses from 143 Refresh.ED users (88% in Western Australia, 65% in Government schools and 57% being secondary school teachers) indicated that nutrition education was critical for improved student health and should be incorporated into the curriculum. Refresh.ED users reported that:

  • Refresh.ED provided content knowledge, confidence and skills for teaching healthy eating
  • Healthy food and nutrition was not a high priority in schools
  • Many participants used one or more modules in classes (predominantly secondary schools)
  • Most participants agreed that Refresh.ED had improved food and nutrition lessons
  • Most found that Refresh.ED had increased classroom activities related to food choice, nutrition and the impact of food on health
  • Most found their confidence to encourage children’s healthy eating had increased.

“I love what Refresh are doing for teachers and truly believe that all educators must have a role in educating our kids about healthy eating” - Christine Williamson (Teacher)

Partners

  • Refresh.ED industry partners include the Department of Health and the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Healthway).

Researchers

Professor Amanda Devine
Mrs Margaret Miller
Mrs Samantha Baker

Student Projects

What motivates and supports primary school teachers to teach nutrition?
Margaret Miller (PHD Candidate)

Integrating student engagement and best practice pedagogy relevant to Year 7-8 students in a nutrition education (life skills) context: A conceptual framework approach Samantha Baker (Master of Public Health by Research)

Validation of a teacher nutrition questionnaire
Margaret Miller (PHD Candidate) and Amanda Devine

Transformational Game: A way to engage adolescent in nutrition education. Supported by Healthways.
M Miller, J Boston, M Masek, S Baker, A Devine, D Barwood, S Menagh

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