Health education standards are designed to establish, promote, and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels (CDC, 2023). These learning standards have been updated or are currently being revised by multiple professional organizations in school health. Standards and their performance indicators are available at SHAPE America and National Consensus for School Health Education.
Skills-based health education is defined as: A planned, sequential, comprehensive and relevant set of learning experiences implemented through socio-ecological and socio-cultural perspectives and participatory methods to support the development of skills, attitudes, and functional knowledge needed to maintain, enhance, or promote health and well-being of self and others across multiple dimensions of wellness. Simply put, skills-based health education is an approach to teaching health that prioritizes teaching relevant and practical health skills over memorizing and reciting content.
Comprehensive (K-12), skills-based health education programs support students’ health literacy and are a critical part of a well-rounded education. The National Health Education Standards (NHES), which serve as the foundation for skills-based health education, are also directly connected to social and emotional learning (SEL) and align with the DoDEA Blueprint and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) initiative.
The National Health Education Standards (NHES) were developed by the Joint Committee (American Public Health Association, American School Health Association and SHAPE America) on National Health Education Standards to establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.
The NHES are written expectations for what students should know and be able to do by grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to promote personal, family, and community health. The standards provide a framework for curriculum development and selection, instruction, and student assessment in health education. DoDEA adopted the NHES in SY 16/17. To view the standards and all grade level performance indicators please visit SHAPE America or National Consensus for School Health Education.
- Standard 1
- Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
- Standard 2
- Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
- Standard 3
- Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.
- Standard 4
- Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
- Standard 5
- Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.
- Standard 6
- Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.
- Standard 7
- Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
- Standard 8
- Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.