Health education is a planned, sequential, pre K-12 curriculum and program that addresses the physical, mental and emotional, and social dimensions of health. The activities of the curriculum and program are integrated into the daily life of the students and designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop and demonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. The curriculum and program include a variety of topics such as personal health, family health, community health, consumer health, environmental health, family living, mental and emotional health, injury prevention and safety, CPR, nutrition, prevention and control of disease and substance use and abuse. Qualified professionals such as health educators, teachers, school counselors, school health nurses, registered dietitians, and community health care professionals provide health education.
Key Elements of a Comprehensive Health Education Program*
Lifetime Wellness is a holistic approach to health and physical education in Tennessee high schools. The course addresses Nutrition, Substance Use and Abuse, Mental Health, Human Growth and Development, First Aid and Safety, and Personal Fitness and Related Skills. Each content area is addressed in a classroom setting while allowing opportunity to explore how one content area affects and is affected by other content areas. Students participate in cooperative learning instructional methods and physical activities that can be practiced throughout a person’s lifespan. Instruction emphasizes prevention as well as intervention with regard to the health practices of students.
The following are key elements of comprehensive health education, which itself are part of an overall coordinated school health program:
1. A documented, planned, and sequential program of health instruction for students in grades kindergarten through twelve.
2. A curriculum that addresses and integrates education about a range of categorical health problems and issues at developmentally appropriate ages.
3. Activities that help young people develop the skills they need to avoid: tobacco use; dietary patterns that contribute to disease; sedentary lifestyle; sexual behaviors that result in HIV infection, other STDs and unintended pregnancy; alcohol and other drug use; and behaviors that result in unintentional and intentional injuries.
4. Instruction provided for a prescribed amount of time at each grade level.
5. Management and coordination by an education professional trained to implement the program.
6. Instruction from teachers who are trained to teach the subject.
7. Involvement of parents, health professionals, and other concerned community members.
8. Periodic evaluation, updating, and improvement.
*Source: CDC, Coordinated School Health Program, www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/about/
Michigan Model - The Model for Healthy Kids!
Sumner County Coordinated School Health supports the use of Michigan Model Comprehensive Health Education curriculum. We have provided all schools K-12 with a copy of the curriculum and have addiitonal materials available to checkout through our Lending Library.
Related Resources & Links
- Health Education Standards
- Definition of Comprehensive Health Education
- We Can! Initiative
- CDC – Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum
- Nemours Foundation – Health Education Lesson Plans and Teacher’s Guide