Body Image and the Alberta Physical Education and Wellness Curriculum

By Stephen G Hurley

Host Stephen Hurley scans the education ecosystem, looking for the people and ideas that are starting to change the way we think about teaching, learning, schools and communities

What could be so contentious about a draft Physical Health and Wellness Curriculum? Well, our guests today on In Conversation point to many issues with the proposed curriculum changes in the province of Alberta. In fact, Shelly Russell-Mayhew and her team at the Body Image Lab, University of Calgary, have taken their concerns to Alberta parents in an open letter that outlines their concerns with the way that the draft curriculum seems to ignore concerns around body image, weight bias and a rather dichotomous view of food choices.

Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew is a Professor in the Werklund School of Education and Director of the Body Image Lab at the University of Calgary.

Lisa Taylor: Physical Education and PhD student at Werklund School of Education; member of the team in the Body Image Lab

Dr. Maxine Myre is a Post-Doc Scholar in the Body Image Lab. Maxine’s current research focuses on the implementation and impact of weight-neutral health promotion.

For a copy of “An Open Letter to all Alberta Parents of School-Aged Children – Kindergarten to Grade 6 Curriculum” visit https://werklund.ucalgary.ca/research/body-image-lab/open-letter-all-alberta-parents-school-aged-children

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Author

Stephen G. Hurley
Chief Catalyst, voicEd Radio Canada

Stephen Hurley has spent nearly 40 years as an educator. He has experience as a classroom teacher, a curriculum consultant, a teacher educator and a policy observer.

He has a strong relationship with the EdCan Network (formerly the Canadian Education Association), an organization that inspired the launch and evolution of voicEd Radio Canada.

Hurley believes that stronger connections between education research, practice and policy are essential to the type of change that will be necessary in Canada's public education systems moving forward.