Dr Janet Currie is Associate Professor in Health & Physical Education and currently Deputy Head, School of International Studies & Education. Janet has a background in school teaching, university lecturing, the fitness industry, community health promotion and health policy. Her research interests focus on investigating the perceived benefits of participation in leisure and physical activity, health promotion policy, marketing and promotion of healthy lifestyles and social and emotional well-being. Janet has special interest in researching the exercise class experience and has published numerous journal articles, plus designed numerous educational materials in the area of health promotion and exercise including books, videos, and community resources. She has been a practising group exercise class leader for 36 years and created the highly successful Stroll Your Way to Well-Being pramwalking program and book for new mothers. She is currently researching the perceived benefits of exercise for groups with special needs. Janet recently published the books, Managing Motherhood and Radical Leisure. She is also the original author of the first edition of Dream, Believe, Achieve, a teaching resource developed with the National Rugby League of Australia as a tool to deliver effective health education messages, especially for young males, using sport as the key focus. Janet published the two textbooks, Teaching PE in the Primary School and Teaching HPE in Secondary School, as key resources for teacher education, with the Australian Council for Educational Research. Janet won the Australian Teacher Educator of the Year Award in 2018. She is a past National President, Vice-President and State representative of the Australian Health Promotion Association, and past Director of Health Education and Promotion International. She was awarded the Outstanding Community Engagement Award (Australian Catholic University) in 2003, and is a member of the Advisory Board, Health, Wellness & Society Research Network. Janet has been a national-level representative in netball, athletics and rowing.
Dr Currie has served as past National President, Vice-President and State representative of the Australian Health Promotion Association; Chair of Health Promotion and Education International; and Director of UTS Union Ltd.
She is a member of the Advisory Board for the International Health, Wellness and Society Network.
Can supervise: YES
Janet's research interests focus on investigating the nature of how we experience subjective health, health promoting experiences, the perceived benefits of participation in physical activity, health promotion policy, marketing and promotion of healthy lifestyles, and social and emotional well-being.
She is author of Managing Motherhood. A new wellness perspective, published by Springer, and
Radical Leisure. How Mothers Gain Well-Being and Control through Participation in Exercise Classes.
Dr Currie lectures in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education for the primary curriculum and is Subject Coordinator for PDHPE. Janet has qualifications in Education and Health Promotion in addition to holding professional certifications in adult learning, fitness, personal training and aerobic instruction.
Currie, J 2018, Managing Motherhood A New Wellness Perspective, Springer, Singapore.
This book asserts that women attain higher levels of health in the mothering role when they achieve increased control over their own health, lifestyle and environment. Reflecting the philosophy of health promotion, it explores the meaning of the positive coping experience for new mothers, identifying the essential features of resilience in a new coping model based on ground-breaking analytical techniques. Further, the book discusses preventative strategies for building resilience and quality of life during the period of new motherhood, opening new horizons and dialogues related to what 'coping' can actually mean when underpinned by a well-being paradigm.
Currie, JL 2018, Radical Leisure: How Mothers Gain Well-Being and Control through Participation in Exercise Classes, Common Ground Research Networks, Champaign, Illinois, USA.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
'Normal' or 'good' mothers adhere as closely as possible to the ideology of motherhood. This involves a normative standard of a socially constructed role of someone who devotes her personal time, energy and resources to attending to the needs and welfare of her children and family. As part of the ethic of care surrounding motherhood, mothers don't feel justified in taking time out from their daily routine. It is therefore not surprising that lack of leisure, lack of time to self and poor mental health are health
issues commonly experienced by working mothers. Using Foucault's poststructuralist notions of the concepts of power, discourse and resistance, this book suggests that exercise classes taken at a mother's leisure offer her an outlet to challenge some aspects of her subordination. In her book, Radical Leisure, Dr. Janet Currie documents the rich accounts
provided by mothers who, by participating in exercise classes, resist to find a space of their own and take control over their own lifestyle.
In Radical Leisure, Janet explains how mothers engaging in exercise classes may gain mental wellbeing and ease stress levels. When mothers participate in exercise classes, they can also feel in greater control of their body shape, but may use the classes in an attempt to shape and discipline their bodies to look a certain way. Mothers can choose what the classes mean to them, liberating or constraining. However, the sense of freedom and stress relief mothers gain from exercise class participation is well worth the effort.
The Australian Curriculum presents a new, nationally consistent approach to teaching Health and Physical Education (HPE) in secondary schools, with a focus on developing the capacities and skills of students in health and movement. Teaching Health and Physical Education in Secondary School, by Dr Janet L Currie, is designed to assist pre-service and practising teachers in understanding HPE and how students learn about the influences of health, physical activity and optimisation of wellbeing. Teaching Health and Physical Education in Secondary School addresses key topics, including: -the key learning ideas of the HPE subject -understanding the important links between physical activity, health and wellbeing -the development of health literacy and the benefit of healthy, active lifestyles -developing students competence, confidence and motivation -current health issues in the context of HPE. This strengths-based approach to the curriculum shifts the focus from the `medical model of health to a health-promoting view of health and wellbeing. Combined with its companion resource, Teaching Physical Education in Primary School, this thorough guide supports secondary teachers in delivering HPE to a diverse range of students needs.
Currie, JL 2013, Teaching Physical Education in Primary School: an integrated health perspective., 1, ACER Press, Camberwell, Melbourne, Victoria.
In primary schools today, children are expected to participate in regular, safe, fun and engaging movement and physical activity as part of the national curriculum. Not surprisingly, teaching staff are also being encouraged to update their training and expand their expertise in the field. Teaching Physical Education in Primary School, by Dr Janet L. Currie, is designed to convey, in a highly practical and accessible manner, the underpinning research and theory for both pre-service and practising teachers. Replete with over 30 illustrations, this essential resource reflects current evidence that a physically active child is also a more engaged learner. Taking a strengths-based, holistic approach Teaching Physical Education in Primary School addresses key topics including: * the individual childs needs and readiness for physical activity * skill development and acquisition of core principles * safety and legal considerations for childrens participation * planning, design and implementation of effective practice sessions * the most up-to-date health and nutrition information. Managing student behaviour in an outdoor setting is an important focus, and clear guidelines for effective instruction, feedback and communication are also provided. With this concise yet thorough guide, primary school teachers will be supported in delivering physical education that caters to a diverse range of childrens needs.
Currie, JL 2011, Dream, Believe, Achieve. Lower Secondary Teaching Resource., 1, National Rugby League (NRL), Sydney.
The program is a teaching resource suitable for the high school curriculum in personal development and health.
Currie, JL 2011, Dream, Believe, Achieve. Middle Secondary Teaching Resource., 1, National Rugby League (NRL), Sydney.
The program is a teaching resource suitable for the high school curriculum in personal development and health (Years 9-10). Students are encouraged to build healthy lifestyles and positive ways to find and achieve their dreams.
Currie, JL 2008, HELP: Help and encouragement for learner drivers and parents, Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils, Sydney, Australia.
Exercise has long been recommended as an excellent way for mothers to increase health and wellbeing. However, research still points to lack of participation and effective antecedents to increase engagement. The creation of supportive environments will do much to assist mothers in their quest for leisure. Addressing the barriers to exercise participation for this group can have a greater influence compared with simply promoting the benefits of physical activity. This article discusses the principles of best–practice, moral approaches to health promotion of community–based exercise programs designed for mothers. To best understand and design mothers' active leisure programs, we must do so by adopting a holistic approach acknowledging the complexities and structural impediments that exist in their lives. This means policymakers must take into account class, gender, social and agency constraints. The most effectively designed programs will help participants overcome such barriers caused by wider social and environmental determinants of health status.
Coping with a new child can represent a period of great stress and change for a mother, however has important consequences for perceptions of wellbeing. This qualitative, exploratory study explores the meaning of coping for mothers of young children who identify as well. Five mothers (mean age = 34.2 years) working full-time at home with an average of 2 children (mean age = 21.5 months or 1 ¾ years), took part in a series of two in-depth, qualitative interviews.The data were content-analyzed for themes. When attempting to define what coping meant to mothers of young children, the qualitative findings revealed two main themes (a) feeling in control, and (b) degrees of coping: higher and lower levels of coping. The findings supported the notion of coping being a health promoting concept in that it is equivalent to feeling in greater control. It would be worthwhile for the study to be replicated incorporating a range of methodologies and to research implications for healthcare. It might be worthwhile in future to possibly incorporate or integrate quantitative methods or validate coping inventories against subjective perceptions of coping.
Currie, J 2019, ''Getting into Shape': An Illustrative Case Study of Mothers' Key Motivation for Participation in an Exercise Program, Sydney, Australia', International Journal of Gender and Women‟s Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Analysis of a community-based, illustrative case study investigating women's main reason for exercise class participation accessed through qualitative data, revealed how intended goals of body shape improvement and loss of weight motivated them into taking part. Ninety-percent of participants joined the program because they were attempting to improve their body shape and lose weight. According to the respondents, when exercise classes are perceived as helping to improve body shape, respondents receive positive comments from others, feel body tone, notice weight loss, perceive a better personal appearance and body image satisfaction. When exercise classes are considered as not helping with body shape improvement, women notice that body tone remains flabby, no weight loss occurs, or the classes are rated as not focusing enough on problem body part areas. A theoretical model is recommended illustrating three possibilities across a continuum of individual body image. Those people in psychological harmony with their physical bodies are considered the healthiest.
Objective: The importance of women accessing physical activity has been shown in the literature as being even more critical for wellbeing following birth of a child. As there is scant research available specifically purporting the mental health benefits of exercise classes, this paper examines the anxiolytic or anxiety-reducing benefits gained from involvement in a 3-month, twice-weekly group low-impact exercise class program for a group of mothers (n=21).
Method: Quantitative data were obtained by measuring acute pre and post-changes (or pre and post-60 minutes interval for the exercise group and a non-exercising control) in the level of state anxiety (i.e. how you feel 'right now'), through the Spielberger et al. State Anxiety Inventory (STAI).
Results: The mean state anxiety levels experienced pre and post-activity showed a significant change (decrease) in exercising mothers as compared to non–exercising mothers at both Week 1 (Measurement A) and at 12–weeks (Measurement B) (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Mothers are able to experience a decrease in acute anxiety following participation in exercise classes. Further strategies that allow for enhanced access and the continuation of care of children or relatives by others while the mother takes time out for health promoting exercise for leisure will need to be developed.
Effective coping requires an individual to utilise strategies which help them solve and overcome the perceived problem. Women often say coping with the new period of motherhood can be a stressful time due to the lifestyle changes, challenges and tiredness created through caring for the new baby. However, while most mothers in the general population identify as feeling well during this period, the bulk of the coping research literature actually deals with minority groups, illness and the unhealthy process of 'not coping'. In fact, coping has been characterised as tolerating or 'putting up' with situations, not something we can necessarily gain health and wellbeing from. In this article, I argue for a new wellness model of coping to represent healthy coping.
Cross, G & Currie, J 2018, 'An Investigation of Teachers' Perceived Roles and Barriers for Supporting Primary Students with Anxiety Disorders', The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1-17.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Anxiety disorders currently affect 6.9 percent of the paediatric population in Australia. While the school setting is a unique context in which early intervention and treatment of children with anxiety disorders can occur, existing research has mainly focused on simply determining the actual capabilities of teachers in identifying and referring students with anxiety disorders. In past research, teachers have been consulted about this topic only in a very limited manner, and qualitative reasons for disparity in teacher capability or perceived barriers have not been researched in- depth. Therefore, this study examined the perceptions and subjective experiences of teachers to answer the research questions: a) what are the perceptions and subjective experiences of primary school teachers in relation to the roles they play in supporting school–based approaches for children with anxiety disorders? and b) what barriers, if any, do primary school teachers perceive to exist that would inhibit their ability or prevent them from being able to support school–based approaches for children with anxiety disorders? Aligned with phenomenological methods of data collection and analysis, six teacher participants from the Sydney Metropolitan region were interviewed. In addition, three school psychologists were also interviewed to help provide additional insights into anxiety disorders in children. The main themes to emerge from the data revealing the roles teachers believe they play in supporting school-based approaches for children with anxiety disorders included: a) identification and behaviour tracking, b) communication with parents, c) referral, and d) implementing strategies and accommodations for children with anxiety disorders. The findings also provided rich insights into the barriers perceived by teachers as preventing or inhibiting them from being able to support school-based approaches for children with anxiety disorders, including: a) parents, b) lack of training, and c)...
McFarland, I & Currie, JL 2017, 'An Effective Model of Support for Student Well-Being in the Primary School: Stakeholder Perspectives of Essential Characteristics', The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 71-83.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
An effective support model for student well-being is essential in primary schools to assist students in the area of Social and Emotional Well-Being (SEW). This is especially important in view of the fact that one in five Australian children will experience a mental health issue. However, access to such universal support across the whole school community can
preventatively build resilience and connectedness for all students. Past research has focused on gauging student perspectives of those characteristics they feel help best support their SEW. Therefore, we aimed to examine and include perspectives of a broader range of stakeholders including the school principal, school counsellor, teachers, and parents.
Our research approach focused on 'participant voice.' Participant voice is when the participants are invited to speak and
be heard about their values, experiences, beliefs and opinions, creating a rich and authentic set of data. Through incorporating multiple participant voices, our study explored the research question: 'Which characteristics reflect an effective model of support for student well-being in primary schools?' Conducting a qualitative case study of model of SEW in a single-school setting (Independent K–12, Sydney, New South Wales), triangulation of methods was used to obtain data including online surveys, focus groups, and individual semi-structured interviews. Using a grounded theory approach, the content analysis revealed four main recurring themes reflecting characteristics of an effective model of SEW, including:
(a) Positive Relationships, (b) Proactive Approach, (c) Supportive Leadership Team, and (d) Easily Accessible Services. The insight gained from this study in identifying and gathering these new additional perspectives from a range of key stakeholders has proposed a more holistic model and described a more complete picture of effective support for SEW in the primary school.
This research involved a process evaluation conducted to gain teacher feedback on the implementation of a secondary health education resource kit. The resource kit was originally designed to help encourage students to build healthy lifestyles and positive ways to find and achieve their dreams. The study sought to gauge how it was used in classrooms, and how teachers felt their classes reacted to it. Key survey findings included:
1) the kit was widely used by these respondents.
2) It was favourably viewed as an inspirational tool by these respondents.
3) The activities were well received and accepted by the classroom.
4) Some gender bias was reported from girls who could not associate with footballers.
Future research could examine links between the knowledge and understanding gained from the kit, with a student's own attitudes, values, life experiences or behaviours.
When children participate in physical activity it increases their capacity for learning and promotes physical, social, and emotional well–being. 'Physical Education' (PE) is the practical component of the Health and PE primary school curriculum in NSW focusing on development of physical competence and confidence in the child and the ability to perform a range of activities. This study examined those features primary teachers believe characterise a 'good' PE lesson. A series of online surveys (n=12), lesson observations, and individual interviews was conducted with five of the
practising teachers (Kindergarten to Year 2 or Elementary) to access the data. The main themes to emerge indicated that the characteristics of a good PE lesson included: Fundamental Movement Skills, Spatial Awareness, Maximum Participation, Supportive Environment, Variety of Activities and Differentiation, and Reduced Instruction Time. The research findings provide perspectives on what is needed to create an effective PE lesson, benefiting current and future teachers with practical suggestions for improving the planning and implementation of PE lessons for K–2. Finally, all participants stated that it was clearly beneficial for students to learn fundamental skills in order to confidently participate in sport and physical activity throughout their lives in order to remain healthy. For this to occur, the authors highly recommend that regular, effective PE lessons be delivered by class teachers at a minimum of one to two times per week, with daily PE offering even greater health benefits.
Currie, JL & Ly, J 2016, 'An Exploration Of Student Perspectives Of Primary Classroom Desk Configurations', International Online Journal of Primary Education, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-14.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Desk arrangements in primary classrooms can encourage or negatively influence learning. With no previous research reporting on student perspectives, we explored perceptions of two common desk configurations (Year 3, n=32, mean age=8 years). Qualitative data were collected by means of open-ended questionnaire, with an even spread of most preferred desk arrangements (n=16 Clusters, and n=14 Traditional Rows. Clusters were preferred for 'increased interaction with friends', clearer view of the board' and 'ease of movement/easier to get out of my seat'. The reasons given for preferring Traditional Rows were 'minimisation of peer distractions', 'familiarity', 'clearer view of board', and 'can hear the teacher'. Researcher observations were also undertaken during ten normal handwriting lessons (5 observations with Traditional Row configurations in place, and 5 observations during Cluster configurations). We observed fewer off–task behaviours during lessons held with Cluster desk configurations. Students tended to turn around more during lessons with the Traditional Row desk formation in place during completion of an individual task. Future research is needed to illuminate the impact of desk configurations incorporating a greater range of desk formations, larger sample sizes, varying socio-economic groupings, open–plan versus conventional classroom spaces and comparison of diverse technologies, student groups and lessons.
Currie, JL 2016, 'Towards a Philosophy of Teaching Physical Education in Primary School', The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 31-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
There has been little research conducted on the philosophy of teaching physical education (PE), with none exploring those specifically held by primary (elementary school) teachers. This is despite the growing trend by teacher education institutions to require that all graduating students develop a portfolio and personal statement of their own philosophy of teaching. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the philosophy of teaching PE as expressed by fifty-four final-year pre-service primary education students in a written questionnaire. Data analysis followed an inductive approach, whereby categories or dimensions of analysis emerged from the content analysis of the
responses to the open- ended question without imposing pre-existing expectations on the research setting or responses. The main themes to emerge from the data focused on the benefits for the child derived from the learning process and the creation by the teacher of a nurturing, engaging, and active learning environment.
Currie, JL & Dobrijevic, AMS 2016, 'Primary Teachers' Perceived Barriers to Delivering Effective Physical Education Lessons', Journal of Sports Pedagogy and Physical Education, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study explored primary teachers' perceived barriers to implementation of effective physical education lessons (PE) in the primary school (Kindergarten to Year 2). Qualitative data were collected from five practising primary teachers by means of an open-ended questionnaire and interviews. Responses were content-analysed with three major
themes to emerge including: cost, confidence, and time. Findings suggest that according to these respondents, it feels challenging to easily and comfortably deliver effective PE lessons. It is critical that primary teachers today feel confident in enabling their students to experience meaningful, active PE. Ensuring teachers graduate with fundamental teaching
skills may be addressed at the pre-service training level. However, for existing teachers with an already 'crowded curriculum,' it is also important that PE lessons remain scheduled as part of weekly timetables and not be pushed aside for other competing obligations.
Road injury is the leading cause of death and injury among young people aged 12–24 years in Australia and one young person dies on the road every day. Young people are at greater risk of injury and being involved in a car crash than any other age group. Unfortunately, the inexperience young people have with driving and the fact they are still developing maturity, hazard perception, and decision making skills into their 20s means that they are at greater risk of having a crash. The waste and suffering that is involved with car crashes is not only unintentional, but also on the whole largely preventable. The costs include hospitalisation, ongoing medical fees, pain and inconvenience caused by injuries, lost time from work, or lost productivity while recovering. This paper discusses the main risk factors involved in driver road crashes, and also examines the findings from a survey (n=60) of people's opinions of young drivers and road safety.
Currie, JL & Sumich, K 2014, 'Creating Stress-free Learning Environments for Sport and Physical Education', Journal of Sports Pedagogy and Physical Education, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 15-21.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Exercise participation is usually recognised for its anxiolytic properties. However, performance anxiety in physical education and sport may also be faced by those students perceiving a negative difference between their degree of competence or self-worth in terms of sporting skill, and the perceived demands of a class activity, sporting competition, or training situation. While the response to feeling anxious is not always negative, anxiety usually results in a 'fight or flight' response creating an elevated heart rate and a release of adrenaline preparing the body for action. Anxiety may serve as an in-built warning system for an individual student of their personal vulnerability in an upcoming activity, drill, or game situation. An inability to manage sporting performance anxiety can negatively impact a student's participation, enjoyment, and positive skill development, even deterring future exercise and sporting activities. The key to managing sport and exercise-related anxiety is achieving an optimal level. The teacher or coach needs to challenge students sufficiently to prepare mind and body for exercise, without an individual overextending into anxiety levels that create negative performance. Bringing together the disciplines of sport and physical education, we explore the nature of anxiety, and practical sports psychology techniques the teacher or sports coach can introduce to help students manage sports anxiety and create supportive learning environments. Helping students overcome sporting performance anxiety will assist them in performing at their best and will teach important skills they can apply for the rest of their future sporting and exercise activities.
This study explored children's perspectives of healthy lifestyles. There is a lack of research conducted focusing on children's thoughts and opinions from a high socio-demographic background. Utilising a qualitative study method guided by a phenomenological approach, a purposeful sample of nine participants completed a questionnaire, interview, and personal health journal. The main themes to emerge from the data included healthy living being associated with sporting activities and consuming healthy foods. All children were aware that a "balanced" diet and not "over eating" are important aspects of maintaining health. All but a few of the students could identify and explain the key "personal health choices" content within the local health education syllabus. A common theme to emerge was the expressed desire by
students to slow down, relax, and not feel so busy through engagement in numerous extra-curricular activities. This study highlighted the importance of listening to children's voices through the process of qualitative research. It is vital that teachers, health practitioners, programmers, policymakers, and researchers hear from, and report, from a child's point of view when attempting to better understand and communicate awareness of relevant health issues. By listening to children's perspectives of health, it will hopefully enable society to take effective action on child health in ways that are meaningful to them.
Perry, R, Currie, JL, Maher, D & Johnston, R 2014, 'Perceptions of the Hospital School Experience: Implications for Pedagogy and the use of Technology.', The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, vol. 20, pp. 9-21.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We researched stakeholder opinions of the hospital school experience and discovered key issues to be transition, professional development of educators, and technology's role in enhancing a sense of student connection.
In Australia, women are 20 percent less likely than men to achieve âsufficientâ levels of physical activity, placing them at increased risk of developing chronic disease. The purpose of my study was to explore perceived benefits associated with exercise class participation. Forty-nine women completed a written questionnaire on their perceived benefits of exercise class participation. The participants included 4 age groups spread across the lifespan, with the most common age group 60+ years. The main reasons given by participants included âde-stressingâ for women aged 18 years and under, âfun/enjoymentâ for those aged 25â49 years, âfeeling good and enjoymentâ for 50â59 years and âsocialâ reasons in the 60+ years age group. Women tend to desire enjoyment and âfeel goodâ aspects from their exercise class participation. To be more successful in attracting women to physical activity, we may promote enjoyment aspects and not just emphasise the general âintensityâ aspects of exercise programs.
Currie, JL & Ljungdahl, L 2013, 'Pre-Service Primary Teacher Perceptions of Health', The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 59-67.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper presents results of qualitative research exploring pre-service primary school teachers' (n=133) perspectives of health. Findings revealed five main themes to emerge defining health as (a) a state of health; (b) health as wellbeing; (c) components or dimensions of health; (d) lifestyle practices; and (e) health as a physical concept. As a consequence of the survey's findings and in consideration of the new national curriculum, future adjustments incorporated into our teacher training will include taking a strengths-based approach to teaching about health, recognising that all young people have particular strengths and building on these, develop positive attitudes and avoid a risk-based behaviour change model;further development of health literacy skills for selectively accessing and critically analysing health information required to help solve or find help for an identified range of health issues or problems; and increasing understanding of the social construction of health and the influence of a range of individual, interpersonal, organisational, community, environmental and policy influences. The responses have also determined that a greater emphasis will need to be placed on prevention and the reduction of health inequalities in the promotion of health.
This study provides a unique insight into a range of HPS activities and efforts occurring across a number of metropolitan primary schools, in Sydney, Australia.
Hagarty, D & Currie, JL 2012, 'The Exercise Class Experience: An Opportunity to Promote Student Wellbeing During the HSC', The Journal of Student Wellbeing, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-17.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This study explores the experiences among a group of female HSC students regarding their involvement in a once per week, 8 week exercise class program. Each participant reported at least one perceived benefit relating to their involvement, including a perceived increased level of access to physical activity. After taking part in the program, reductions in individual subjective stress, increased social interaction, improved self esteem and improved mood states were all identified by the participants as perceived benefits of exercise class participation.
Currie, JL & Oates-Wilding, S 2012, 'Reflections on a dream: towards an understanding of factors Olympic coaches attribute to their success', Reflective Practice, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 425-438.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper identifies the most significant factors eight Olympic coaches attribute to their own success and fulfilment of goals. Analysis revealed that having a passion and commitment to wanting to succeed, past experience as an athlete, learning from other coaches/mentors, focusing on the needs of the athlete and a need to contribute were the key factors identified as helping them reach their dream of becoming an Olympic coach.
A group of HSC students in Sydney, Australia, average age 18 years participated in a 10 week pilot program of community-based exercise classes. The data revealed that for the students, the main reasons for attending included to gain mental and physical fitness benefits. Students mentioned feeling more focused and able to study following the class. The findings suggest that taking part in exercise classes may offer a simple and effective strategy in assisting HSC students to cope more effectively with exam stress.
Currie, JL 2010, 'Having a Happy, Healthy HSC: Supporting students' wellbeing during senior year exams', Education Connect, vol. 16, pp. 3-5.
Article explores factors contributing to student stress and how students can enhance their coping strategies and care for their wellbeing during this time.
Currie, JL 2009, 'The relationship between sport and children's mental health.', Education Connect, vol. 14, no. -, pp. 14-15.
Occasional papers about social and emotional wellbeing in education.
Currie, JL 2009, 'Managing Motherhood: Strategies Used by New Mothers to Maintain Perceptions of Wellness', Health Care for Women International, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 655-670.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Strategies used to manage early period of motherhood, health promotion, healthy lifestyle, mental health and coping, qualitative research, grounded theory.
Currie, J 2009, 'Managing motherhood: strategies used by new mothers to maintain perceptions of wellness.', Health care for women international, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 655-670.
The first year or so of motherhood can represent a transitional lifestyle change; however, experiences are not well understood from the mother's own perspective. In a series of interviews, nine mothers related their beliefs and ideas about strategies utilized to maintain a perceived sense of wellness. The mothers used three main strategies: (a) obtaining help, (b) having a plan, and (c) taking time-out. Discovery of a successful strategy lead to a mother feeling greater confidence in the efficacy of her selected method, calmer, and in greater control. In order to achieve a true sense of increasing control over her own health, however, it is recommended a mother prioritize strategies to meet her own personal needs in addition to meeting the needs of others.
Currie, JL 2008, 'Conditions Affecting Perceived Coping for New Mothers: Analysis of a pilot study, Sydney, Australia.', The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 34-41.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Much of the existing research on women's mental health has not clarified the nature of the coping experience, nor taken a grounded theory approach using the participant's own words and meanings to describe the experience. Nine mothers ( age = 34.2 years), working full-time at home with an average of 2 children ( age = 21.5 months or 1 Â¾ years), identifying as well participated in a series of two unstructured, in-depth interviews to help uncover their perceived coping experiences. For the mothers in this study, coping includes efforts to manage stressful, challenging or difficult events, however is affected by lifestyle changes experienced since the birth of a child, general difficulty of the mothering role and social pressures to succeed in that role. The longer you have been a mother, persistence, and lack of stressors encountered in the home setting ('context') were all nominated as conditions affecting perceptions of coping.
Currie, JL 2005, 'Family influences on the critical window of health related behaviour after school.', Journal Of Science And Medicine In Sport, vol. 8, no. 4, Supplem, pp. 128-128.
Watson, N, Milat, AJ, Thomas, M & Currie, JL 2005, 'The feasibility and effectiveness of pram walking groups for postpartum women in western Sydney.', Health Promotion Journal of Australia, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 93-99.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Women with children under five are the least physically active population group. We provided postpartum women living in western Sydney with the opportunity to participate in weekly pram walking groups and evaluated the effect of the intervention on self-reported physical activity, mental health and social indicators. METHODS: Mothers living in the intervention area (Blacktown LGA) and control area (Holroyd and Parramatta LGAs) completed a baseline questionnaire. Women in the intervention community were invited to participate in a pram walking group starting in the next month. The control group (n = 60) were also invited to participate in a pram walking group starting six months later. A follow-up questionnaire was completed by all mothers. RESULTS: There was no significant increase in the proportion of mothers in the intervention or control groups engaging in adequate physical activity from baseline to follow-up. However, intervention mothers increased their sessions of vigorous exercise and control mothers increased the amount of time spent walking. There were no significant differences at baseline or follow-up between the intervention and control groups in frequency of social contact or size of social networks. Nor was there a significant difference in satisfaction with social contact at baseline between the two groups. However, at follow-up women in the intervention group were more satisfied with the quality of their social contacts than the controls. CONCLUSIONS: Providing organised, community-based pram walking was not sufficient to increase overall physical activity levels among this group of postpartum women. The results suggest that the friendships formed in the pram walking group boosted mothers' satisfaction with social contact and possibly their mental health.
Otter, L & Currie, J 2004, 'A long time getting home: Vietnam Veterans' experiences in a community exercise rehabilitation programme', DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 27-34.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lack of leisure and time to self have been found to be major stressors for mothers. This paper examines perceived stress-relieving benefits gained from involvement in a 12 week exercise class program by a group of mothers (n = 30, _̄xt age = 37.3 years). Qualitative data indicated that exercise classes had the capacity to reduce perceived stress levels. The exercising mothers reported greater feelings of well-being mainly due to gaining a space of their own, time-out from busy schedules and the burden of childcare, and the feeling of doing something to improve their physical appearance. The negative or constraining aspects of exercise class participation included normalisation and self examination of women's bodies, and self-surveillance rather than freedom of choice. The conclusions of this paper suggest that exercise classes can provide one avenue for mothers to take more control over their own health and lifestyle. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Currie, J & Rich, M 2004, 'Fit and well: Maintaining women's participation in pre- and postnatal exercise', ACSMS HEALTH & FITNESS JOURNAL, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 12-15.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Rich, M, Currie, J & McMahon, C 2004, 'Physical exercise and the lactating woman: a qualitative pilot study of mothers' perceptions and experiences.', Breastfeeding review : professional publication of the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 11-17.
This study aimed to explore the lactating woman's perceptions and experiences of physical exercise. Utilising quantitative and qualitative measures, six lactating women (average age = 31.6 years) who had recently given birth and were engaging in regular exercise, took part in open-ended, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires which focused on their individual experiences. The mothers also completed inventories measuring self-esteem, the presence of postnatal depression, and a retrospective survey gauging their preconception, prenatal and current participation in physical activity. The main themes to emerge from teh content analysis of the qualitative data included perceived well-being from improved energy and stress levels, and weight control. Some of the mothers stated that exercise affected their breastfeeding in a negative way by possibly reducing their breastmilk supply. All mothers confirmed exercise as enhancing the maternal-infant relationship. It is recommended that future research be conducted into the exercise prescription guidelines for women to enhance breastfeeding success.
Video has long been used in health education and promotion as a motivational tool and educational teaching aid. The production of a video by the health educator requires a series of well-planned and well-executed steps, including locating a producer, creating a storyboard, developing a script, inviting any interviewees, arranging any venues, filming, narration, editing, and distribution. © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Currie, JL & Develin, E 2002, 'Stroll your way to well-being: A survey of the perceived benefits, barriers, community support, and stigma associated with pram walking groups designed for new mothers, Sydney, Australia', Health Care for Women International, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. 882-893.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In our survey of 500 mothers with children 0-5 years involving telephone interviews (n = 450) and focus groups (M = 50), we showed that 87% of mothers telephone surveyed used a pram for incidental activities, whilst 47% used the pram specifically for exercise. Factors preventing mothers exercising more included poor weather, lack of time, and poor quality paths. Ninety-two percent of mothers believed that pram walking would increase mental well-being, and 87% felt that it would help to reduce postnatal depression (PND). However, feedback from focus groups expressed less confidence in the program's ability to potentially benefit mothers with PND. Programs will have to be marketed carefully to avoid the stigma associated with PND and successfully target mothers at risk. Copyright © 2002 Taylor & Francis.
New modes of exercise need to be developed to encourage more mothers to engage in regular exercise following the birth of a child. This study contains results of a survey of mothers' (n=37) exercise behaviors and attitudes toward pramwalking. Community health practitioners wishing to optimize program design and encourage participation could consider enjoyment, fitness, and child care factors. © 2001 Taylor and Francis Group, Ltd.
Currie, J, Boxer, E & Devlin, E 2001, 'Pramwalking as postnatal exercise and support: an evaluation of the Stroll Your Way To Well-Being program and supporting resources in terms of individual participation rates and community group formation.', Australian journal of midwifery : professional journal of the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 21-25.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Stroll Your Way To Well Being is a community pramwalking program designed to increase access by mothers to sociable postnatal exercise. This study evaluated the program in terms of long-term adherence rates by mothers to walking, and the effectiveness of kits distributed to providers in assisting them to set up their own groups. Approximately one quarter of information kit recipients established a pramwalking group. Reasons for non-initiation included lack of time or a perceived lack of priority. Mothers reported program benefits to be the opportunity to exercise, socialize and share information about baby issues. 70% of mothers were still walking 16 months after the program's commencement. Reasons for mothers ceasing participation in pramwalking included lack of interest, no group leader available or their baby was too old. Future studies need to focus on the prevention and treatment of postnatal depression through exercise.
Currie, JL & Oates-Wilding, S 2014, 'Reflections on a dream: Towards an understanding of factors Olympic coaches attribute to their success.' in Lee, S, Dixon, M & Ghaye, T (eds), Coaching for Performance: Realising the Olympic Dream, Routledge, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 99-112.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When coaches watch our athletes in the Olympic Games competing as the best in the world, we fill with pride in what we have nurtured and produced as a nation. However, often less visible, yet no less integral to this success is the Olympic Coach. While defining what it means to be an effective coach is quite difficult and controversial, most would agree that to have reached Olympic coaching level is to have reached the pinnacle or ultimate level of your sport. What sets these coaches apart enabling them to be the best in the World, emerging to become leaders in their chosen field? This paper fills a gap in the current literature by identifying the most significant factors eight Olympic coaches attribute to their own success and fulfilment of goals. Analysis revealed that having a passion and commitment to wanting to succeed, past experience as an athlete, learning from other coaches/mentors, focusing on the needs of the athlete and a need to contribute were the key factors identified as helping them reach their dream of becoming an Olympic coach.
Currie, JL 2018, 'Building a Positive Philosophy for Teaching Physical Education.', 2018 ATEA & TEFANZ Conference: Teacher Education in and for Uncertain Times, Australian Teacher Education Association, ATEA, Melbourne, pp. 60-61.
Currie, JL 2018, 'Radical Leisure or Simple Healthy Pleasure? The efficacy of exercise classes for mothers' stress management.', Eighth International Conference on Health, Wellness & Society, 2018 Special Focus: Health and Wellness at the Speed of Life, Imperial College, London.
It is not surprising that lack of leisure, lack of time to self and poor mental health are health issues commonly experienced by working mothers. This presentation examines the perceived stress–relieving benefits a group of mothers state they gained from involvement in a 3–month exercise class program. To validate its efficacy, consistency of findings were also examined through the triangulated quantitative method of measuring acute pre– and post–changes (or pre– and post–60 minutes interval for the exercise group and non-exercising control) in the level of state anxiety (i.e. how you feel 'right now'), via the Spielberger et al. (1983) State Anxiety Inventory (STAI). All but 2 of the exercising women overwhelmingly agreed that class participation decreased their stress levels, explained by them as being due to the break away from normal stressors, and the classes forming a 'release valve' for tensions. These subjective findings compared positively with the mean STAI changes, revealed to be significant at the .05 level of confidence (one tailed t–test). The findings of this study illustrate how mothers engaging in exercise classes may gain mental wellbeing and ease stress levels, with the resulting sense of freedom making it well worth the effort.
Currie, JL & Sumich, K 2013, 'Managing student performance anxiety in Sport and Physical Education environments.', A Defining Time in Health and Physical Education: Proceedings of the 28th ACHPER International Conference., ACHPER International Conference, A Defining Time, Health, Physical Education, Sport & Recreation., Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), Melbourne and Monash Universities, Melbourne., pp. 33-37.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Bringing together the disciplines of sport and physical education, we explore the nature of anxiety, and practical sports psychology techniques the teacher or sports coach can introduce to help students manage sports anxiety, and create supportive learning environments.
Currie, JL & Ljungdahl, L 2012, 'Pre-Service Teacher Perceptions of Health Literacy.', 19th International Conference on Learning., London, UK.
The development of usable, realistic health and living skills education programs is essential in today's world. These programs are imperative for the health, well-being and personal development of all school aged children. One objective of teacher training in health education is to develop the knowledge and skills required for the planning and implementation of effective school programs. However what are the beliefs, values and behaviours of the student pre-service teacher regarding her/his notions of physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual health? While it is expected that through future classroom teachers have sound health literacy skills relating to the knowledge, attitudes and skills required to maintain health, little research has been undertaken. Therefore this paper explores perceptions of pre-service primary school teachers regarding aspects of health literacy in relation to current curriculum.
Currie, JL 2012, 'Perceived Benefits of Womenâs Participation in Exercise Classes.', Third International Conference on Sport and Society., London, UK.
In Australia, women are 20 percent less likely than men to achieve âsufficientâ levelsof physical activity, placing them at increased risk of developing chronic disease. The purpose of my study was to explore perceived benefits associated with exercise class participation. Forty nine women completed a written questionnaire on their perceived benefits of exercise class participation. The participants included 4 age groups spread across the lifespan, with the most common age group 60+ years. The main reasons given by participants included âde-stressingâ for women aged 18 years and under, âfun/enjoymentâ for those aged 25â49 years, âfeeling good and enjoymentâ for 50â59 years and âsocialâ reasons in the 60+ years age group. Women tend to desire enjoyment and âfeel goodâ aspects from their exercise class participation. To be more successful in attracting women to physical activity, we may promote enjoyment aspects and not just emphasise the general âintensityâ aspects of exercise programs.
Ljungdahl, L, Maher, D, Buchanan, JD, Currie, JL & Staveley, RM 2012, 'Swimming for new horizons: targeting retention and success for future teachers.', New Horizons. 15th International First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) Conference., The International First Year in Higher Education Conference. New Horizons. 15th International FYHE Conference 2012., First Year in Higher Education., Brisbane, pp. 91-91.
Strategies to maximise success and retention of first year pre-service teachers.
Currie, JL 2011, 'Characteristics of Health Promoting School Spaces', Second International Conference on Spaces & Flows., Prato, Italy.
Health promoting schools (HPSs) are school spaces which aspire to in everything they do or say, promote the health of the whole school community and place. This study provides a unique insight into a range of HPS activities and efforts occurring across a number of metropolitan primary schools, in Sydney, Australia. The general ethos or âintangible atmosphereâ was considered to be a particularly strong aspect of a space supportive of health promotion. All but a few schools demonstrated positive opportunities for improving social relations or connectedness, physical activity and sun protection. Additional features of a school space considered to be supportive of whole-school well-being included supportive policies and those acting to develop effective partnerships between school and home or community. The findings help provide a âsnapshotâ that has been missing through the wider research of the extent to which various aspects of the HPS concept are exhibited in school spaces.
Maher, D, Perry, RM, Currie, JL & Johnston, RR 2011, 'Kids Continually Connected: An exploration of education, social interaction, and transition support for students in Australian hospital schools.', H.E.L.P. Health, educators, learners and practitioners. Inaugural Australasian H. E. L. P. Conference., Coogee, Sydney.
Kids Continually Connected grew from a desire to support students who are dislocated from their peer groups and home schools through extended periods of illness or treatment. An understanding of online âspacesâ (academic and social) was considered crucial in helping students to overcome the isolation some of them feel when removed from their peer groups for extended periods of time. To ensure adequate understanding of the key issues, technological accessibility and needs of students, their families and teachers within the hospital schools, a small background study was developed as an effective first step and potential springboard into a more detailed and focused future study. This paper presents the initial findings from the background study involving teachers, families and students in three Australian and one New Zealand hospital school. Teachersâ, studentsâ and familiesâ perspectives were explored regarding transition issues, spaces for interaction and available technology, with data presented alongside recent research in the area and suggestions for ways forward.
Currie, JL 2010, 'Perceived Benefits of Exercise Class Participation for Female HSC Students.', First International Sport and Society Conference., Vancouver, Canada.
Currie, JL 2010, 'Women's Perceptions of Exercise Class Participation: A lifespan approach.', 5th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport. Play, Think, Change., IWG Sydney 2010. Women: Play, Think, Change., International Working Group on Women and Sport, Sydney, pp. 60-60.
Reported experiences of the benefits of participation in exercise by a range of women across the lifespan.
Currie, JL 2010, 'Social Marketing Designed for Young People in the Twenty First Century: Health Promotion Meets the Arts.', Fifth International Conference on Arts and Society., Sydney.
Hagarty, D & Currie, JL 2010, 'Exercise as Therapy for HSC Stress: Who, What, Where, When and How?', The 11th International Mental Health Conference, Depression & Anxiety: Who, What, Where, When and How? Conference Handbook., The 11th International Mental Health Conference, Depression & Anxiety: Who, What, Where, When and How?, ANZMH Association, Gold Coast, Queensland, pp. 24-24.
Set of Sporting themed materials including The 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' schools DVD features NRL players delivering motivating health messages for young people, goal-setting advice and how to strive to achieve your dreams.
Currie, JL The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council 2014, A Crown for Australia. Striving for the Best in Our Sporting Nation. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference., Australian Catholic Bishops' Social Justice Statement 2014-2015., no. 2014-15, pp. 7-7, Sydney.
My contribution provided informed evidence-based discussion on three key benefits or values that may be gained from involvement in sport, examples of how sport has fallen short of the more admirable of values and virtues, and proposed strategies (e.g. by governments, local communities, churches etc.) viewed as important ways forward to restore and strengthen the individual and community-building aspects of sport.
Currie, JL 2013, 'Foreword to "Coaching Children. Sports Science Essentials".', Australian Council for Educational Research Press., Camberwell, Victoria, pp. iii-v.
This is the contributing foreword to "Coaching Children", the first book published in Australia specifically aimed at helping community coaches and fitness professionals design safe and effective training programs for children. As obesity rates soar and levels of physical activity decline, this timely resource provides guidance for enhancing children's engagement in sport, developing their motor skills and managing performance anxiety. It provides straightforward research-based advice on nutrition and explains in clear terms how to tailor exercise to address children's social, physical and psychological needs.