Formal, structured health education consists of any combination of planned learning experiences that provide the opportunity to acquire information and the skills students need to make quality health decisions.
When provided by qualified, trained teachers, health education helps students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promoting the health of others.
Comprehensive school health education includes curricula and instruction for students in pre-K through grade 12 that address a variety of topics such as alcohol and other drug use and abuse, healthy eating/nutrition, mental and emotional health, personal health and wellness, physical activity, safety and injury prevention, sexual health, tobacco use, and violence prevention.
Health education curricula and instruction should address the National Health Education Standards (NHES) and incorporate the characteristics of an effective health education curriculum. Health education, based on an assessment of student health needs and planned in collaboration with the community, ensures reinforcement of health messages that are relevant for students and meet community needs.
Students might also acquire health information through education that occurs as part of a patient visit with a school nurse, through posters or public service announcements, or through conversations with family and peers.
Health Education Resources:
- SPARK has selected Healthy Lifestyle Choices (HLC) as our Health Education partner for grades PreK-8. HLC is a cross-curricular program with a behavioral focus that has been proven to significantly increase health knowledge and positively impact youth behaviors. Click Here to learn more.
- In addition, SPARK has partnered with ETR to provide the High School HealthSmart program for grades 9-12. High School HealthSmart is a comprehensive health education program that meets the National Health Education Standards, reflects the characteristics of effective health education curricula, and incorporates key knowledge and skill expectations detailed in the CDC’s Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) for each grade level. Click Here to learn more.
- SPARK also provides free recorded webinars on SPARKecademy.org (create a free account to access the webinar library) and offers these archived health education webinars:
- Tools 2 Engage Students in the Health Classroom, presented by Andy Milne, the 2016 Illinois Health Teacher of the Year, and Andy Horne, the 2015 SHAPE America National Health Education Teacher of the Year
- Lesson Planning for Health Education Addressing Standards, Outcomes and Available Time, presented by ETR HealthSmart
- Ignite YOUR Health Education, presented by Amy Prior, 2014 SHAPE Southern District Health Education Teacher of the Year
- The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health & Education in the School Setting
- National Health Education Standards- CDC
- National Health Education Standards, 2nd Edition PDF
- Effective Practices – Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula
- Health Education Theory
- Oregon Department of Education – Age/Developmentally Appropriate, Comprehensive Sexuality Education Topic Guidelines
- TECHsex USA – Youth Sexuality and Reproductive Health in the Digital Age