Health Education

Essay by 26677College, UndergraduateB+, December 2008

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Health Education, a field whose goal is to help people live zestful and productive lives in an environment that is as free as possible of threatening or damaging conditions. As a discipline health education draws content from the physical, biological, medical, and behavioral sciences. Since it is concerned with mental and social, as well as physiological, well-being, health education is a broader field than physical education.

Health education in the sense of information on how to keep well is being spread constantly. Families and communities pass along traditions and attitudes. In many countries, radio, television, magazines, newspapers, books, and other media bombard the public with advice on what to eat, what to avoid eating, how to care for the teeth, how to relax, how to be more alert, and so on. While some recommendations come from authoritative sources, there is no guarantee that all the advice is sound or that much of it applies to every individual.

There is a need for the formal programs of health education given in the schools and by specialized agencies. These programs present information and attempt to influence attitudes and promote action for the sake of improving the health of individuals, families, and communities.

The Place of Health Education in the Curriculum. In U.S. public schools, health instruction has been achieved through a variety of organizational patterns. One method is to include facts on health in content areas such as biology, social studies, or home economics. Units of health related to these areas have been included in the regular classroom instruction. However, the most successful method of accomplishing the aims and objectives of health education is that of direct instruction whereby health instruction is considered a distinct part of the total school curriculum.

At the elementary school level health instruction is organized and conducted...