THE NATURE OF CURRICULUM
Curriculum can be defined as:
- a work schedule
- Particular body of courses
- Total programmers in the school
- Body of experience that lies between objectives and teaching methods.
Curriculum consists of all those experiences of the child which the school in any way utilizes or attempts to influence. Curriculum is all the learning experiences that children have under the direction of the school.
Various Types of Curriculum Decision
The three organizations of curriculum are:
1. The subject curriculum
2. The activity curriculum
3. The core curriculum
It is a curriculum which is organized subject by subject, one topic after the other without mixture. May be taught in complete isolation from another.
Essential characteristics of subject curriculum:
(a) There is a pattern of required of elective course planned in advance.
(b) The constant subjects constitute the grater part of the common learnings or general education programmes.
(c) Requirement of subjects, does not mean identical experiences for all students, there is room for industrial differences.
(d) Individual differences interest and ability are met by elective curses and special programme
(e) Subject curriculum may or may not be given deliberate social directions since emphasis is laid on mastery of the subject.
Advantages of Subject Curriculum
(a) It constitutes logical and effective method of organizing learning and of interpreting and synthesizing new knowledge.
(b) It is most appropriate for developing the intellectual power o the individuals.
(c) It is backed by long tradition and widely accepted.
(d) It is more readily used by present day teachers
(e) It is easier and simpler in curriculum planning
(f) Evaluation of educational process is readily carried out in it.
Disadvantage of Criticisms
(a) The subject organization fragments learning, which may not be useful in actual life situation.
(b) It ignores the interest and the activities of the learner since the instruction must be directed to the mastery of the subject.
(c) It has been criticized as an inefficient arrangement of content for learning and use.
(d) It is divorced from current and persistent. Social problems.
(e) It fails to develop habits of effective thinking.
A Core Curriculum
The term core curriculum designates a plan for organizing and scheduling the programme of general education in the school.
Characteristics of Core Curriculum
(a) Core curriculum emphasis on social values.
(b) The structure of core curriculum is fixed by broad social problems or by theme of social living.
(c) The ore area are required by all students, since it is general knowledge
(d) It is organized on the basis of broad units of work.
(e) Problem solving is the dominant method of learning.
(f) The core curriculum teacher utilizes much more flexible, freer instructional method.
(g) There is provision of special needs and interest as they arise.
(h) Skills are taught as need arises.
(i) It has variety of learning experiences.
(j) Guidance of the best sort is an essential part of the activities of core teachers.
Advantages of Core Curriculum
(a) It attempts to relate to program of life problem and students interest.
(b) It focuses on problem which are real and have meaning for the students.
Disadvantages of Core Curriculum
(a) It fails to offer significant and systematic knowledge
(b) Materials which are adequate to the scope are scare
(c) Much of the materials used lack intellectual challenge and perspective.
(d) The cross-cut of the current subject division is hard to come by.
It is more pertinent to the elementary school and is also called experience curriculum.
Characteristics of Activity Curriculum
(a) The primary principle is that the interests and purposes of children determine the educational programme.
(b) Common learnings resulting from the pursuance of common interests since child interest is the first delimiting factor in determining what to teach.
(c) The activity curriculum is not planned in advance since the child’s interest provide the starting point.
(d) Problem solving is the dominant method of learning.
(e) Activities are planned cooperatively by students and the teachers.
(f) Children individuals needs and interests are meet within the programme.
(g) Special subjects provide for specialized interest.
(h) The curriculum may or may not have deliberate social direction.
Advantages of Activity Curriculum:
(a) Children are always engaged because it is activity oriented
(b) It counteracts the passivity and sterility of learning.
(c) It takes into account the needs and interest of children.
Disadvantages of Activity Curriculum
(a) Interest categories sacrifice the subject organization of knowledge and do not replace it with any organizations.
(b) There is an apparent lack of continuity of experience
(c) A curriculum based primarily upon interest does not provide adequate preparation for the future.
Broad –field type of Curriculum
It seeks rather to bring together into a broad organization of subject matter, the knowledge and understanding pertinent to a whole area of study. It represents an effort to fuse and integrate, the subject matter of closely related discipline or school subject e.g. general science and social studies.
Advantage of the Broad –field Curriculum
(a) Integration of subject matter is facilitated by Broad-field approach.
(b) The organization provides for a more functional organization of knowledge.
(c) It places emphasis on basic principle and generalizations rather than on information and facts.
(d) It has advantage of well developed materials and accepted method of instruction
(e) It enjoys more public support especially at secondary school level.
Disadvantages or Criticisms of Broad-field Curriculum
(a) Broad-field approach provides only a sketchy knowledge of a subject area.
(b) The broad-field type of course does not enable the learner to grasp the inherent logic of subject matter.
General Principles of Curriculum Development
Health education curriculum development is not unlike curriculum development in other disciplines, the following general principles will be helpful in health education curriculum development programme.
1. Education involves preparation for adult life. Prominent among those essential skills are reading, simple arithmetic, oral and written expression, and elements of the scientific approach to problem solving.
2. The success of curriculum development project is related to the number and variety of people involved in the project. Participation is the second principle fundamental to curriculum development. Simply stated in order for curriculum development. To make the optimum contribution to the school programme, the greatest possible number of individuals must be involved. The experience of participating in the curriculum development process is as important as the resulting product, the curriculum guide.
3. The curriculum must reflect the value system of the community. It is important to note that the curriculum consists of planned educative experiences and not everything that happens to a student.
4. The curriculum must reflect the value system of the community. Curriculum development that runs counter to the value system of the community is doomed to failure. It must be recognized that no one develops a set of values completely independent of the environment, particularly in early childhood.
5. The progress in education is made slowly. in light of experience, it must be recognized that large scale curriculum reform will come about slowly, but individual school and school system need to be discouraged from undertaking innovations in their curriculum development.
Principles with Special Application to Health Education
In developing the health education curriculum, it is important to consider each of the general principles outlined above. In addition, it is important to consider specific principles with direct application to health education. These principles might be thought of as principles of health education, and as such they serve as guiding rules in the development of the health education curriculum.
1. Learning is an inherent drive: Children are born to learn: knowledge, attitudes, and practices (habits and skills). Given a normally healthful climate, they grow in physical stature, emotional maturity, the use of social skills and spiritual well-being.
2. positive example promotes the development of health practices. The family is the social unit that exerts the most direct and profound influence on children. The intimate contacts and shared experiences mitigate in the direction of accepted attitudes and practices. Health attitude are passed on by parents to their children, partly intentionally, partly through their examples, and partly in various subtle and imperceptible ways of which they nor the children are aware.
3. Early childhood learning tend to persist. The school enters the development sense so late in the life of the child that remedial education becomes its principal task. Thus the school must foster unlearning as part of the learning process. A long range goal of health education should be the establishment of desirable health practices in infancy and early childhood. Since this goal can only be accomplished by the parents, it becomes necessary for the schools to focus on preparation for parenthood and to include programs of education of parents and prospective parents. Throughout all phases of education it must be recognized that health practices are well established in early life.
4. Thorndike’s Principles of learning: readiness, exercise, and effect apply in health education. In simple terms the principle of readiness recognized that there is a psychologically opportune time for a particular learning: when the individuals feels a need to know or to the principle of exercise recognizes that learning are strengthened through exercise or repetition. It should be emphasized that undesirable learning are acquired in the same manner as are desirable ones. We learn by doing. The principle of effect recognizes that the act tends to be repeated when and if the experience is pleasant, but not that pleasant experiences are remembered better.
5. A favourable Environment Promotes Learning: Five specific considerations for the teacher
1. to provide a fovrouable physical environment
2. to foster a favourable emotional environment
3. To inform, that is to present new facts and ideas not otherwise available to the learners.
4. to inspire motivate; and
5. to inspire or explain. If a capable teacher focuses on these functions the result will very likely be an environment that encourages learning.
6. Reinforcement is conducive to positive learning. Positive reinforcement is usually most effective, but there are times for negative reinforcement. Such negative reinforcement need not be in the form of punishment. It may, infact be the simple removal of a support such as keeping forbidden objects and of sight of young children.
7. The perception of the individual influences learning. This means that people react to their perception of what they hear or see and not to what is said or done. Perception may depend on the interpretation or understanding of words or it may arise on cultural differences; for example, in some cultures, milk is not palable because the cow is sacred, whereas the use of powdered milk might be acceptable. It is especially important that teachers determine how the learner perceives an experiences.
8. Health learning may not be immediately applicable and may not result in an immediate change in behaviour. That is that there may be considerable delay between learning and application. This fact is especially true of the learning related to the recognition of disease, to long time effects of diet and of stress and to the health needs related to child bearing and child caring.
Constructing the Guide
In considering the total program, a format such as the following might be employed:
i. title of guide
iii. Philosophy of health education, health education defined why health education?
iv. Health education programme aims: long-range goals, objectives, behavioural objectives or competencies by goals level. Concepts by grade level.
v. Program content: time allotments, broad layout plan –elementary, broad layout plan secondary, elementary, learning activities, resource aid and materials
vi. Evaluation in health education: elementary, secondary
vii. Selected references, for students by level, for teachers by level.
ORGANIZATION AND CURRICULUM OF HEALTH EDUCATION
Administrative structure and health science instruction
The administration of health science instruction varies with each educational system. In some schools and colleges it is placed in such areas as physical education, science and home economics. In other schools and colleges it is a separate area by itself. Most often health is administratively located in the health and physical education department. In the larger schools especially, and in colleges and universities, there may be a separate health education department with full-time personnel who have been trained in the area of health education. Such an administrative arrangement is conducive to good interrelationships between the school and college and public health agencies, to the development of a health council, and to a well-coordinate and well-integrated health program. In smaller and medium-sized schools and colleges, there should also be full-time health educators charged with this important responsibility,
The physical education person may times is assigned such responsibilities as coaching, intramurals, and special events in addition to physical education classes. If the responsibility for health education is given to a teacher of physical education, in addition to these numerous other duties, some responsibility is going to suffer. In many causes, with pressure for winning teams and successful intramural programs, the class instruction program is neglected. School and college administration should the curriculum. It should be assigned only to qualified persons and should receive ample time and facilities to make it effective.
Every school and college, regardless of size, should have someone on its staff assigned to coordinate the various aspects of the health program. In larger schools and colleges this might be a full-time position. In smaller ones it could be the principal, chairman of the health department, or some qualified and interested staff member.
The administration of the health education program should also include a health council or committee. Such a group of individuals, regardless of type of size of school, can play an important part in planning and carrying out the health education on program.
Developing a health education Curriculum:
The curriculum commission of the School Health Division of AAHPER has proposed a guide for developing a health curriculum that will meet the needs of individuals associated with schools. The guide was developed by curriculum directors and others responsible for health curriculum development.
The guide proposes certain steps to be taken in developing a curriculum.
Preplanning: In order for a program to succeed, it must have community support as well as support form the administration and staff. A written policy should include reference to funds, time allocations, class space, and instructional materials.
Two committees should be formed. The first would be an in-school steering committee, consisting of representation from the students, teachers, administrators, parents, school nurses, and special interest or ethnic groups. A second or advisory committee would be out-of-school and consist f community personnel (counselors, lawyers, doctors, health specialist, and others) and representatives form the PTA and other organizations.
The basic considerations necessary in the development of any curriculum include:
(1) meeting all state and local requirements;
(2) identifying behavioural objectives
(3) meeting the needs of community members, students, and specific community requirements;
(4) developing a health education philosophy;
(5) Considering controversial areas;
(6) Developing a work schedule; and
(7) Exploring full all sources of funding
Program The status of the present health education program should be evaluated in terms of pupil knowledge and behavioural objective standards as well as staff, policies, budget, and facilities. The conclusions and recommendations should be thoroughly discussed and evaluated.
Broad content areas: content areas should be based on student needs and opinions of the steering and advisory committees. In addition, student health records and absences might also be evaluated.
Format: The format of the curriculum guide should include the specific content area, behavioural or instructional objectives, concepts, student learning experiences, student and teacher resources, and evaluation techniques for students and teachers.
Field Testing: Field testing should be conducted at a variety of levels. Both novice and experienced teachers should be used as well as all types of students; rural, urban, and disadvantaged. Changes should be made where indicated.
Implementation: The plan for implementation should be specific in terms of target date and schedule. Administration approval should be included.
Re-Evaluation: All programs should be re-evaluated every 3 to 5 years. Students ‘ needs change over a period of years, and the curriculum must also change to meet these needs.
Content areas for the health science instruction program
There is considerable knowledge and information that may be taught in health education. With all the literature that is available in such forms as textbooks, resource books, pamphlets, and promotional materials, it is important that content be selected with care.
Some basic principles for selecting curriculum experiences in the health science instruction program follow:
1. The content of health science instruction on should be based on the needs and interests of the students.
Developmental characteristics of children and youth and psychologic needs of students, such as security, approval success in athletics, appearance, and peer group approval, are considerations in relating teaching to the interests of students.
2. The problems and topics covered must be appropriate to the maturity level of the students.
3. The materials used should be current and scientifically materials and experiences should be provided.
4. Pupils should be able to identify with the health problems should be geared to or related to the daily living experiences of the student body.
5. Health should be recognized as a multidisciplinary subject, and, as such, subject matter projects, and methods of teaching should take cognizance of the new developments. In the related sciences.
6. Health science instruction should be taught in light of a rapidly changing society and knowledge of new ways of affecting the behaviour of human beings.
7. Health teaching should take place in a healthful psychologic and physicalen environment.
8. To be most effective, the health teacher must exemplify good health and be well informed, happy, and successful
9. The basic concepts in health should be identified and taught.
10. The new technologic methods, and aids should be used to improve visual presentations of health materials to students.
11. Students’ previous health experiences should be considered.
12. Planning for health science instruction should be a total school or college endeavour, with students, teachers, especialists, and consultants participating. Furthermore, health instruction should permeate the entire school or college curriculum.
13. Objectives of the school or college health program, including knowledge, attitudes, practices, and skills, need to be reviewed and the program planned intelligently and meaningfully in light of these goals.
14. The community should be involved in health science instruction, including personnel form the public health department, voluntary health associations, medical and dental professions, and other health associations and agencies.
15. School health science instruction should be closely integrated with home conditions.
16. New methods of organizing for teaching, including the non-graded school, team teaching, individualized instruction, and programmed instruction, should be considered.
17. Constant research and evaluation of the program should take place.
18. Health instruction in general should share the same prestige and respect in the eyes of school or college administrators, teachers, and students as other respected school or college offerings, with time allotments and other considerations receiving equal attention.
Sex education, drugs, and other critical content areas in health science instruction:
The question often arises as to whether such critical subjects as sex, narcotics, and alcohol education should be included in the health science instruction program. The fact that some of these problems are more pronounced in certain communities, and possibly restricted to some population groups, and the fact that such education might tend to stimulate curiosity are reasons put forth for not including them in courses of study.
On the other-hand, instruction in regard to the ill effects of narcotics and alcohol is required by law in many states. Furthermore, it is felt that if children and youth are provided with the facts, intelligent instruction in these subjects will act as a preventive measure. In the area of sex education, it is believed that the term sex education creates opposition among many parents and church groups and consequently should not be used. If it is introduced in the natural process of instruction without undue emphasis, much good can be done.
The nature of the instruction will depend on the local situation. Where a narcotics or alcohol problem exists, there should be provision in the school curriculum for the presentation of sociologic, physiologic, and psychologic students should understand these facts and be guided intelligently in making the right decisions and establishing a sound standard of values.
Health education is not the only area in which discussions of sex, narcotics, and alcohol should take place. Social studies, biology, general science, physical education, and other classes also have a responsibility. Many phases of these subjects logically fit into certain aspects of these courses.
Teachers must appreciate the importance of such instruction and the need for treating these subjects objectively on the basis of the facts. It is not necessary for the teacher to take a definite stand on the subject. Instead, if students obtain the necessary facts through research or some other method and then interpret them intelligently, the right answers will be clear. The students make their own decisions, not on the basis of the teacher’s position but on the basis of the facts they have collected.
In regard to sex education, the emphasis should be on the psychologic and sociologic aspects rather than only on the biologic aspects. The goal is to have students recognize what is desirable behaviour and what constitutes a healthy sexuality rather than only to gain knowledge of reproductive organs. Sex education should not be a separate course but should be included and discussed in every course where its various aspects arise during regular discussions. Parents and representative community groups should be consulted and asked to participate in any discussions relative to the planning for instruction in this area. It is important to have well-trained and qualified teachers handling such instruction. If the right leadership is provided, the result can be beneficial to all concerned, but if poor leadership exists, results can be harmful.
Health science instruction at the preschool and elementary school levels:
The committee on health education for pre-school children of the American school health association lists the following as a topical outline of content for pre-school children.
· Cleanliness and grooming
· Dental health
· Eyes, ears, nose
· Rest and sleep
· Growth and development
· Family living
· Understanding ourselves and getting along
· Prevention and control of disease
For each of these topics the committee has identified key concepts, suggested learning experience, and means of evaluation.
Health education at the elementary level is aimed primarily at having the child develop good health habits and health attitudes, and at helping him or her live happily, healthfully, and safely. This is achieved in great measure by adapting good health practices to the regular routine of school and home living, rather than by dispensing facts concerning health. The responsibility for the guidance, planning, and stimulation of good health practices and attitudes falls on the classroom teacher. He or she is the guiding influence, and his or her understanding of good health will determine to a great degree the effectiveness of such a program.
The type of health program offered should be adapted to the child’s level of understanding and planned in accordance with his or her interests and needs. Health education is a continuous process and cannot be compartmentalized within a definite subject that are part of the child’s life.
At the primary grade level the emphasis should be made more on the child and his or her daily routine as it is affected by certain health practices and attitudes. The child’s various routines and associations at school and at home form the basis fro the health emphasis. The importance of a healthful classroom environment is stressed. Such items as cleanliness, seating, use of lavatories, safety, and good mental hygiene are brought out as the child plays, eats, and shares experiences that are common to all youngsters.
The committee on health education for Elementary School Children of the American school health Association lists the following as a topical outline of content for this age group.
· Grades 1, 2, and 3
· Cleanliness and grooming
· Rest and exercise
Growth, posture, role of physician and dentist, individual responsibility for one’s health. Responsibility for the health of others. Dental health. Vision and hearing. Babies, nutrition, making new friends, being alone sometimes family time, protection from infection, food protection, safety.
Grades 4, 5, and 6
Health care, cleanliness and grooming, vision and care of eyes, hearing and care of ears, heart, teeth exercise, rest, and sleep nutrition, growth and development, family living, understanding ourselves, getting along with others, making decision, environmental health, prevention and control diseases, safety and first aid.
For each of these topics the committee has identified key concepts, suggested learning experiences, and means of evaluation.
In the upper elementary years a planned progression in instruction is developed. Although there is still stress on the actual practices and attitudes concerned with the daily routines and associations, more factual information is incorporated to form the basic for such habits.
Furthermore, more and more responsibility is placed on the child for his or her own self-control.
Trips and textbooks that point up the value of healthful living and include interesting and inspiring stories, visual aids, class discussions, and projects will leave their impression on the child’s thinking.
Because health experiences should be based on the needs and interests of the child, the wise teacher will use various means to obtain accurate information about these needs and interests. Such techniques as talks with parents and pupils, observations, of children under various situations, a perusal of health records, a study of the home environment and community together with scientific measuring devices that have been developed to determine health suggestions for the classroom teacher. The classroom teacher is the key school person involved in the health of the elementary school child. The organization of the school with the self-contained classroom enables him or her to continually observe the pupils and to note deviations form normal. Continuous contract with the same children over a long period of time also makes it possible to know a great deal about their physical, social, emotional, and the teacher can help them develop the right knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Some of the responsibilities of the classroom teacher in regard to the health of the pupils are to.
1. Possess an understanding of what contributes a well-rounded school health program and the teacher’s part in it.
2. Meet with the school physician, nurse, and others to determine how he or she can best contribute to the total health program.
3. Become acquainted with parents and homes of students and establish parent-school cooperation.
4. Discover the health needs and interests of his or her pupils.
5. Organize health teaching units that are meaningful in terms of the health needs and interests of his or her students.
6. See that children heading special care are referred to proper places for help.
7. Know first aid procedures.
8. Participate in the work of the school health council. If none exists, interpret the need of one.
9. Provide an environment for children while at school that is conducive to healthful living.
10. Continually be on the alert for children with deviations form normal behaviour and signs of communicable diseases.
11. Provide experiences at school for healthful living
12. Help pupils assume an increasing responsibility for their own health as well as for the health of others.
13. Set an example of healthful living for the child
14. Motivate the child to be well and happy
15. Be present at health examinations of pupils and contribute in any way helpful to the physician in charge.
16. Follow through in cooperation with the nurse to see that remediable health defects are corrected.
17. Interpret the school health program to the community and enlist its support in solving health problems.
18. Provide a well-rounded class physical education program.
19. Help supervise various activities that directly affect health-school lunch, rest periods.
20. Become familiar with teaching aids and school and community resources for enhancing the health program
21. Be aware of the individual differences of pupils
Health Science Instruction at the secondary school level
The structural organization of the secondary school level differs from that of the elementary level. At the elementary level, the classroom teacher frequently takes overall charge of a group of children. He or she teaches them throughout the entire day and supervises their activities. At the secondary level, the student has many different who specialize in subject matter to a greater degree than they specialize in pupils. Departmentalization into such subject areas as mathematics, social studies, and English affects health education.
First, this structural organization points up the need for concentrated courses in health education, such as those found in the other subject areas.
Second, it emphasizes the need for a specialist in the teaching of health education. Just as specialists are needed in English and the other sects offered at the secondary level, so are they needed in the field of health education. The body of scientific. Knowledge, the training needed, and the importance of the subject make such a specialist a necessity.
Third, this structural organization stresses the need for coordination and cooperation. Health outs across many subject areas, as well as the total school life of the student. In order that it may be properly treated in the various subject areas such as science, home economics, and social studies, in order that the physical environment and the emotional environment may be properly provided for, in order that health services may be most effectively administered, and in order that close cooperation and coordination between the school and the rest of the community may be obtained, there is an essential need for some type of coordinating machinery, such as a school health council.
The Junior High School: Junior high school students need knowledge and attitudes that will result in desirable health practices. The fact that students may not be interested in such information represents a challenge for the junior high school educational program. The consumption of many sweets as a substitute for essential foods, omission of breakfast, an interests in personal grooming, a need to understand one’s bodily make-up, the maturing sexual drive, and other factors make it imperative to get across health information at this time.
Health content should be adapted to the needs and interests of the students in this age group. Stress should be on the personal health problems of the students themselves, how hereditary factors affect their health, how good or poor health is manifested, and how health practices affect attainment of life ambitions and goals. Such topics as food, rest, exercise, first aid, safety, alcohol and narcotics, mental health, communicable diseases, growth and functions of the human body, personality development, family life, and community health should be included.
The health teaching in the junior high school should consider the developmental tasks that characterize the early adolescent. These include the desire for independence from adults, self-respect, and peer identification, as well as accepting one’s physical make-up adjusting to the opposites sex, and establishing values.
The committee on health education for junior High school of the American School Health Association lists the following as a topical outline of content for this age group:
1. health status
2. Cleanliness and grooming
3. rest, sleep, and relaxation
4. exercise, posture, recreation and leisure time activities
5. sensory perception, nutrition, growth and development
6. understanding ourselves, personality, getting along with others, family living, alcohol, drugs, smoking and tobacco environment, air and water pollutions, consumer health
For each of these topics the committee has identified key concepts, suggested learning experiences, and means of evaluation.
The Senior High School: During grades ten, eleven, and twelve, the stress continues to be on many subject areas that were emphasized for the health content in the junior high school years. However, the material and experiences presented should be more advanced and adapted to the age group found in the later high school years. Such topics as the structure and function of the human body could stress more scientific concepts as found through research, evaluation of individual health needs in the light of proper balance in one’s daily routine, and the means of attaining proper emotional maturity and mental health.
The committee on health education for senior high school of the America school health association lists the following as a topical outline of content for this age group:
Health status, fatigue and sleep, exercise, recreational activities, sensory perception, nutrition, growth and development towards maturity, family living, alcohol, drugs, smoking and tobacco, health protection, noise pollution, health agencies, health careers, world health, safety and accidents.
For each of these topics the committee has listed key concepts, suggested learning experiences, and means of evaluation.
Although personal health receives considerable attention during the high school years, a major part of the teaching is concerned with problems of adult and family living and community health. Such health areas as preparation for marriage and family life, communicable and non-communicable diseases control, evaluation of professional health services, environmental health, industrial health, consumer health education, accident prevention, emergency care, protection from environmental hazards such as radiation, health agencies at the local, state, national, and international levels, and the various health careers open to high school students are included.
Some students will not be going to college. This means that the senior high school years offer the last opportunity to impress boys and girls with their health responsibilities to themselves, their loved ones, and the members of their community.
Health education at the secondary level can have a lasting effect for the betterment of human lives. The leadership provided, the methods used, and the stress placed on such an important aspect of living will determine in great measure the extent to which each school fulfills its responsibility.
Health science Instruction at the College and University Level
Years ago the college and university health education offerings, consisted mainly of lectures on various aspects of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. These were usually given by medical personnel and were often a collection of uninteresting facts or unrelated to the student’s interests and health problem. In more recent years this type of presentation has changed. The emphasis has shifted from the factual medical knowledge to health problems that students themselves encounter in day-to-day living and also to those subjects in which students are especially interested. Consequently, discussions are now held on subjects concerned with family living, sex education, personal and community health, mental health, drugs, environmental health, nutrition, the prevention of diseases, and related subjects.
A president’s commission on Higher Education stressed the importance of health instruction for college students. It particularly stressed instruction based directly on the practical problems of personal and community health.
The American College Health Association has recommended that every college and university have a requirement in health education for all students who fall below acceptable standards on a college- level health knowledge test.
The junior college is a particularly strategic position to offer health instruction. The 2-year college reaches a significant segment of the population that does not go on the 4-year colleges and universities. Furthermore, research has shown that junior college students have demonstrated as much as 25% more interest in health problems that high school students. Junior college students are more mature, and this may be an explanation of their increased interest in health problems. Topics such as sex instruction, marriage, mental health, emotional health alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics are of particular interest to this segment of the college population.
It is generally felt that a health education department should be established to coordinate the instruction in health, that student needs should help determine subject content, that only qualified faculty members be permitted to teach health education classes, and that classes be limited to a maximum of 35 students. Testing of new students is also recommended, after which those students who fall below desirable standards must take the required health education courses.
Presently, health education courses offered in colleges and universities are listed in college catalogues under such names as Personal Hygiene, healthful living. Course are taught in such departments as health, physical education, and recreation; health education; biology, education; health and safety; basic studies; psychology; and biologic sciences. Students required to take such courses vary from only those students in schools of education or in departments of health, physical education, and recreation, or elementary education major students, to liberal arts students. In some institutions courses are required for women but not for men.
There is a need for a uniform requirement for all college students to demonstrate that they know basic facts in the field of health. Those students who fail to meet such standards should be required to take a health course, which is basic to the general education, productivity, and health of each person.
Health education for adults: Adults are the guiding force in any community. Their prestige, their positions, and their interests determine the extent to which any project or enterprise will be a success. Therefore, if the schools are to have an adequate health education program, if the knowledge that is disseminated, attitudes that are developed, and practices that are encouraged are to become a permanent part of the child’s being and routine, the adult must be considered. Unless this is done, the schools’ efforts will be useless.
There is a great need for parental education and for education in regard to the many health problems that confront any community. Adults are interested not only in children’s health problems but also in the causes of sickness and death in the population and ways in which they can live a heal their life. Adult education is increasing in this country. It is important that health education be included in any such program.
Schools and colleges should play a key part in adult education programs because of the facilities, staff, and other resources at their disposal. They should cooperate fully with the many official and voluntary health agencies and other interested community groups in the furtherance of health objectives. Adult health education programme should be designed to discover community health problems, understand the health needs of children, and understand school health programs. Such discovery and understanding should lead to active participation in meeting health needs and in solving health problems. Such a program would also improve the health knowledge, attitudes, and practices of adults.
METHODS OF TEACHING HEALTH
1. Lecture, recitation, and assignments in the textbook represent a limited array or approved techniques for the modern health class. Although good textbooks are important many other methods can motivate students and create interest in health topics.
The methods used should be adapted to the group of students being taught, be in accordance with the objectives sought, be capable of using by the instructor, stimulate interest among the students, and be adaptable to the time, space, and equipment in the school program. Some of the more popular methods for teaching health are discussed in the following paragraphs.
2. Problems solving is one of the most effective and best methods for teaching health. Health topics can be stated in the form of problems, and then the students can use a systematic approach to obtain and answer. For example, the problem can be stated: “What are the effects of narcotics on health? A systematic approach to this problem might include:
1. Stating the nature and scope of the problem,
2. Defining the various possible solutions to the problems.
3. Collecting scientific information to support each of the various aspects of the problem.
4. Analyzing the information gathered as to its source authoritativeness, date of origin, and other pertinent factors, and
5. Drawing conclusions to solves the problems. Textbook assignments may be given, followed by class discussions based on the readings.
3. Field trips can include planned visits to an agency or place where health matters are important, such as a hospital, local health department, water purification plant health clinic, or fire department.
4. Class discussions on health topics of interest can be encouraged among the members of the class.
5. Demonstrations are an excellent method to show how something functions or is constructed, such as good and poor from of posture or first aid procedures.
6. Experiments; such as observing the growth of animals when certain types of diet are administered, are informative.
7. Independent study in which the students are assigned health topics to investigate is helpful.
8. Resource people, such as doctors, dentists, firemen, or other specialists, can be brought in to speak to health classes.
9. Audiovisual aids: such as films, network educational television and cable television, films trips, slides, radio, and recordings, helps make health material interesting and clear.
10. Graphic materials such as posters, graphs, charts, bulletin boards, and exhibits are valuable for motivating students in regard to health matters, arousing interests, attracting attention, and visualizing ideas.
11. Interviews can be arranged in which students get views and recommendations of such persons as officers of the local health department, representatives of safety councils, members of voluntary health agencies, and heads of medical and dental societies.
12. Panels can be made up of students for an informal exchange of ideas or viewpoints regarding pertinent health matters.
13. Buzz sessions in which a class is organized into small groups of students for the purpose of discussing health topics, permitting each student more opportunity for discussion, is an excellent method.
14. Class committees can be formed by dividing a class and assigning topics for exploration.
15. Dramatizations, such as a play or a skit, can be put on by a class to bring to the pupils’ attention a healthy matter such as the importance of safety on the playground.
16. Surveys of health problems in the school, college, or community that need investigating and solving can be suggested, Survey froms can be constructed by pupils themselves or else standard from may be available.
17. Games and quizzes patterned after popular shows on radio or television can provide interesting methods and challenge the thinking of students.
18. Health aids can be provided in which community health agencies may offer opportunities for students to obtain experience by keeping records or engaging in various activities Working on a Red Cross blood program is an example.
CONCENTRATED, CORRELATED, INTEGRATED, AND INCIDENTAL HEALTH TEACHING
Four ways of including health education in the school offering are through concentrated, correlated, integrated, and incidental teaching.
Concentrated health teaching
Concentrated health education refers to the provision in the school offering for regularly scheduled courses that are confined solely to a consideration of health, rather than c combination with some other subject area. It implies a scheduled time for class meetings, and a planned course of study. Such courses should be given on the secondary school level. Furthermore, such courses should be held for a daily class period at least one semester during the ninth or tenth grade and also during eleventh or twelfth grade.
Concentrated health education courses required of all students result in many educational benefits. There is a specialized bod of knowledge to impart that can best be given to students in a concentrated manner, rather than by depending on some other subject to provide this information. It allows for better planning, teaching progression, and evaluation. It further allows for the giving of credit; add such as is given for any other course. It is more likely to result in health instruction by teachers who have specialized in this particular are who are qualified and interested in participating in such a course. It offers greater opportunities for discussing personal health problem, for guidance and counseling in regard to these problems, and for using teaching methods appropriate to such a course.
Correlated health teaching
Correlated health education refers to the practice of including health concepts in the various subject areas. For example, in the area of history the relationship of the rise and fall of various groups of people could be related to their health and the prevalence of disease, as could the increased speed of transportation and the transfer of disease from one country to the other. In the area of English, a study of the works of literature could be selected with a view to pointing up the health problems of individuals during various period of history. The relationship of music and of art to mental health could be brought out. Mathematics could be used as a tool to figure the costs of various health probjects. Science could bring out the health aspects in relations to the structure and functions of the human body. Home economics provides an excellent setting for teaching such topics as nutrition and personal cleanliness. There is hardly a subject area that cannot be correlated with health education.
Incidental health teaching
Incidental health education refers to the education that akes place during normal teaching situations, where attention is focused on problems concerned with health. Such occasions may arise as the result of a question asked by a student; a problem that is raised in class; a personal problem that conforms a member of the class, a family, or the community; or a sudden illness, accident, or special project. It represents and opportunity for the teacher, physician, dentist, or nurse to provde educational information. When a student has his or her eyes examined or chest x-rayed, for example, many questions arise and opportunities ad afforded to give the student beneficial information. In many cases this will benefit the health of the child more than information given in more formalized, planned class situations. Teachers and others should constantly keep in mind the necessity for continually being alert to these “teachable moments”. When a child is curious and wants information, this establishes a time for dynamic health education. Incidental health education can be planned for in advance. Situations and incidents should be anticipated and utilized to their fullest in the interests of good health.
Integrated health teaching.
In integrated health teaching, health learnings are integrated into aspects of the classroom program. Learning experiences are organized around a central objective. Whereas in correlated teaching, health is brought into various parts of a unit of study are related to a central theme. Two such themes might be that of living in a city or planning a visit to a foreign country. Health is one consideration involved in the planning, discussion, and assignments concerning this central theme. Health factors, for example, can be an important consideration in living in a large metropolitan city or in going to a foreign country. There are problems concerned with water supply, sewage treatment, fire prevention, disease control, immunizations, and medical examinations. Integrated health teaching finds its best setting in the elementary school.
Organization of health classes:
A problem that frequently arises in connection with the organization of health science is whether boys and girls should meet together or separately. Where health science instruction is a combined program with physical education, and where the boys and girls are in separate classes, it would probably be best to conduct the health classes separately. On the other hean, if health science and physical education are no combined, they should be handled in the same manner as any other subject. This means that there would be mixed groups. The fact that the subject matter is health science should not mean separation of sexes. Some leaders in the field maintain this concept is wrong and advocate keeping the sexes separate as a means o getting better organization.
If boys and girls meet as a mixed group for health science they should continue as a mixed group throughout the entire course. It is not wise to have them meet separately when certain topics are considered. To do so tends to place undue emphasis on certain aspects of health science. It is best to treat al subjects in a natural and educational manner.
Evaluation may be considered an appraisal, assessment, or measurement in the broadest and most complete sense. The process of evaluating therefore should be considered along with measurement. Measurement answers the questions of how much, and how often, it is concerned wit quantities and qualities in evidence. Evaluation goes beyond the mechanics of testing and measuring to judgment in the light of aims and objectives.
Evaluation answers the question of whether or not a particular experience has value. It is a continuous process.