Hreyfing í fortíð, nútíð og framtíð: Yfirlit og vangaveltur um þróun og stöðu íþrótta- og heilsufræða innan Háskóla Íslands

Kristján Þór Magnússon


The aim of presenting our readers with these four Perspectives articles is to shine a light on matters concerning sports education and sports sciences conducted in Iceland. In the introduction and the first article of these reflections, Kristjan Thor Magnusson, assistant professor at University of Iceland, argues that we should emphasize more heavily the promotion of physical activity at all levels of education. With increasingly stronger scientific evidence for various health benefits of physical activity he states that this important behavior should be a daily experience of students of all ages via closer integration of physical activity into the curriculum. Those who embark upon studies within the field of sports, exercise and health sciences are at the forefront of the proposed development towards more activity oriented school settings. Following the introduction, Sigurbjorn Arni Arngrimsson, professor at the University of Iceland, briefly outlines the history and development of sports education and sports sciences in the country. For the past 80 years or so Laugarvatn, a small municipality about 80 km east of the capital, has been the cradle of both Icelandic sports education and sports sciences. Sigurbjorn Arni outlines the transformation sports teacher education has undergone, from mere 9 months of studies (one winter) in 1943 to the five year Master’s program of both academic and practical training the University of Iceland offers its students today. The third piece is written by Janus Gudlaugsson, assistant professor at the University of Iceland, who discusses the importance of the elementary school sports curriculum being integrated with the core competencies outlined in the recently proposed (2011) general curriculum. He feels it is especially important to promote sports in line with the health and well-being aspects of education rather than fixating on the competitive nature of sports as he argues the current sports curriculum draft maintains. The final Perspectives article presents professor Erlingur Johannsson’s reflections on the future roles of those who take on the challenge of becoming physical education teachers, trainers, sports coaches and physical activity advocates in our society. He believes that strengthening health education within the school settings will enable more students to make informed decisions about their health and choice of lifestyle. Further, by securing effective health education and health promotion within the school system we may better prevent the onset of lifestyle related diseases later in life. These four short articles are intended to stimulate discussion on these issues and highlight the importance of a lively debate concerning the direction we should take in promoting health within our schools.




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