Health education is the process of learning on health literacy and teaching people to develop life skills, which is applied to an individual’s health or the health of a community. The scope of areas which encompasses health education expands into basically everything in life that deals with health, such as environmental health, physical health, social health, emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health.
Since health is life, education for health must begin with people, because of the fact that we must be responsible for our health to live a longer, beneficial life, and when people are educated about their health, it will motivate them to do something constructive to improve their living conditions.
Health education is not just teaching about the basic health knowledge, but is helps people understand what everyday habits of people with unhealthy lifestyles in developing countries can do to their health, and, thus, health education is also about teaching people on prevention of ill-health.
Because of the value of health education, schools have integrated health education in their curriculum for students to learn about positive attitudes on health, how to improve and maintain health, prevent disease and learn to make healthy choices, and learn skills to reduce risky behaviors, such as depression, stress, eating disorders, drug abuse, etc.
For health education to succeed in school, in terms of allowing the students to apply what they have learned about health, disease, and prevention, it is the responsibility of schools to provide training and development of skills to their health educators, so they are able to impart what they have acquired to teach and train, too, their students on everything that is related to health, including medical updates on health information and health trends.
To ensure that health education does not only focus on teaching the content knowledge on health, but more on teaching skills, schools have promoted the following strategies on this concern, and they are: have one or more person to oversee or coordinate on health education; involve parents and families on health education by providing health information through education materials and involving them in school-sponsored activities; review and evaluate the health education curriculum once every two years; provide opportunities for health educators to coordinate instruction with teachers of other subjects and integrate Health into their subject content areas, such as Science, Physical Education, etc.
School administrators must also be updated on trends on health education curriculum, such that the following tools can be useful for this concern: Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HCAT), which help schools conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National health Education Standards and Center for Disease Control’s Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula; and Health, Mental Health and Safety Guidelines for Schools, which is a guide for administrators and policymakers from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other public health organizations.
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