School health education

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School Health Education see also: Health Promotion is the process of transferring health knowledge during a student's school years (K-12). Its uses are in general classified as Public Health Education and School Health Education.

What is School Health Education?[edit]

With the myriads of powerful theories and ideas surrounding the words school, health, and education; it is imperative first to define school health education, its targets and general practice. The definition of school health education has evolved much throughout the 21st century. In general, it is regarded as teaching on the subject of health/hygiene in a k-12 school. The major trend regarding changing definitions of school health education surrounds the ever increasing notion that school education influences adult behavior. In the 70’s health education was viewed mostly as a means of communicating healthy medical practices to those who should be practicing them; “Health education attempts to close the gap between what is known about optimum health practice and that which is actually practiced.[1]” In the 80’s definitions began to incorporate the understanding that education is a means of empowerment for the individual, allowing the individual to make educated health decisions. Health education then became “the process of assisting individuals… to make informed decisions about matters affecting their personal health and the health of others.”[2] This definition also spawned during the year of the first national-scale investigation of health education in schools, which eventually led to a much more aggressive approach to educating the nation’s youth on matters of health. In the late 1990's the World Health Organization, launched a Global Health Initiative which aimed at developing "health-promoting schools," which would enhance school health programs at all levels including: local, regional, national, and global level.[3] Today school health education is seen as a ‘comprehensive health curricula.’ It is a blend of community, schools, and patient care practice; “Health education covers the continuum from disease prevention and promotion of optimal health to the detection of illness to treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care.”[4] This concept is recently prescribed in current scientific literature as ‘health promotion’, a phrase that is used interchangeably with health education, although health promotion is broader in focus.


  1. ^ Griffiths, W. “Health Education Definitions, Problems, and Philosophies.” Health Education Monographs, 1972, 31, 12-14.
  2. ^ National Task Force on the Preparation and Practice of Health Educators. A Framework for the Development of Competency-Based Curricula. New York: national Task Force, Inc., 1985.
  3. ^ "WHO | Global school health initiative". Retrieved 2018-02-06. 
  4. ^ Glanz, Karen, Barbara K. Rimer, and Frances Marcus Lewis. Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.