Health Education

Health education provides students with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promoting the health of others. Comprehensive school health education includes courses of study (curricula) 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 Curriculum Support

2009 Health Education Standards- The 2009 Health Education Standard replace the previous 1997 Standard. The 2009 Health Education Standard should have been fully implemented by Arizona schools as of the 2010-2011 school year. 

National Health Education Standards (NHES)The National Health Education Standards (NHES) were developed to establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels—from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. The NHES provide a framework for teachers, administrators, and policy makers in designing or selecting curricula, allocating instructional resources, and assessing student achievement and progress. Importantly, the standards provide students, families and communities with concrete expectations for health education.

Characteristics of an Effective Health Education CurriculumToday’s state-of-the-art health education curricula reflect the growing body of research that emphasizes

  • Teaching functional health information (essential knowledge)
  • Shaping personal values and beliefs that support healthy behaviors
  • Shaping group norms that value a healthy lifestyle
  • Developing the essential health skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviors.

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) can help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curriculum.