HealthTeacher is a US health curriculum for K-12 teachers at the elementary school, middle school and high school levels. HealthTeacher targets teachers in a classroom setting, and in home schooling, community-based health and mental health centers, and other health education venues. The curriculum was created in 1999 and launched January 20, 2000.
The HealthTeacher curriculum is consistent with the Assessment Framework and National Health Education Standards for each grade level. It can stand alone as a school's only health curriculum, or it can support an existing curriculum.
HealthTeacher addresses the top six health risk behaviors identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Tobacco use
- Physical inactivity
- Inadequate nutrition
- Actions that result in intentional or unintentional injury
- Sexual activity that can cause unwanted pregnancies or infection with HIV or other STDs
Psychological, developmental and learning theories and models that form the basis of the HealthTeacher curriculum are:
- Jean Piaget: stages of cognitive development
- Lawrence Kohlberg: stages of moral development
- Erik Erikson: stages of the life cycle
- Albert Bandura: self-efficacy theory and cognitive learning theory
- Wallston: locus of control
- Julian Rotter: social learning theory
- Lawrence Green: Precede-Proceed Model
- Godfrey Hochbaum: Health Belief Model based on Kurt Lewin's level of aspiration theory
- To build health literacy among those who teach health education.
- To address the health and behavioral issues facing today's youth.
- To help teachers overcome the constraints that now limit the provision of comprehensive and sequential health education in the school setting. Prepared lesson guides can reduce preparation-time constraints for teachers. The lower cost of Internet-based compared to print-based curriculum can lessen cost constraints and help teachers maintain an up-to-date resource for classroom education.
Originators of the idea to place a comprehensive K-12 health education curriculum for teachers based on national standards on the Internet presented the idea to leaders in the health education community. The developers established an Advisory Board to advise the project's development and implementation and hired a publishing firm experienced in developing health education materials to lead in writing the curriculum. Focus groups of teachers reviewed the lesson plans.
The Advisory Board guided the development of the project so it would meet the needs of health educators, students, and administrators.
Members of the initial National Advisory Board were:
- American Association for Health Education - Becky J. Smith, Executive Director
- American Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development - Janis Tomlinson, Health and Education Initiative Director
- American Cancer Society - Mary Waters, School Health Division
- American School Health Association - Susan Wooley, Executive Director
- Cable in the Classroom - Donelle Blubaugh, Director of Curriculum
- ToucanEd Publications - Kathleen Middleton, Assessment Consultant
-  Business.NashvillePost.com, "HealthTeacher Gets Minnesota Deal," by Erin Lawley; July 22, 2010.
-  EON.BusinessWire.com, "Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Coordinated School Health and HealthTeacher Expand Partnership through Child Wellness Intervention Project Grant Program"; May 11, 2010.
-  HealthTeacher.com: Our Story; July 29, 2010.