Creating an understanding of the UV Index amongst pre-service teachers

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


School of Education




Barwood, D., Brady, D., Jones, A., Strickland & Blane, S. (2017). Creating an understanding of the UV Index amongst pre-service teachers. Paper presented at the 30th ACHPER International Conference. Participation in an Active and Healthy Life: Valuing the Participant Voice, Canberra, Australia, 16-18 January, 2017. pp. 46-53. Paper Available here.


In Australia, the Ultra Violet (UV) Index is used as a measure of solar ultra violet intensity and is advertised locally, through various media outlets to promote sun safe behaviour. Despite this availability, skin cancer remains the most common cancer in Australia and the most significant cancer for the age range of 15-24 years. Research indicates that the UV Index is not well understood, especially that it is unrelated to temperature. In conjunction with the Cancer Council of Western Australia (WA), this study critically examined the UV knowledge and sun safe behaviours of pre-service teachers of health education (HE) preparing for employment in WA secondary schools. It utilised pre and post-intervention data to measure any change in the pre-service teachers’ understandings of UV knowledge and willingness to adopt sun safe behaviours. Additionally, this study examined three HE lesson plans prepared by the pre-service teachers to account for their ability to utilise the UV concept in the development of lessons. Insights from this study identified particular sun-safe concepts and behaviours needed to improve pre- service teachers’ understandings of the UV Index and teaching and learning of sun safety in secondary schools.

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