National Health Education Standards - 2007
The National Health Education Standards (NHES) are the framework for health instruction in schools. The NHES were designed to support schools in meeting the essential goal of enabling students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote personal, family and community health. The eight standard statements enable education professionals to align health education curriculum, instruction and assessment practices. Following are the eight standards:
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 and 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.
ACS Support of National Health Education Standards - Background
In the early 1990s, education leaders across the country agreed that schools needed new strategies, tools, and resources to support the highest levels of achievement by students in the United States. Following the lead of the National Education Goals (established in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush and a coalition of governors) and the “Goals 2000: Educate America” Act1 (established under President William J. Clinton), the U.S. Department of Education funded the creation of model standards in the arts, civics and government, economics, English, foreign languages, geography, history, and science. In response, a coalition of health education organizations and professionals from across the country was convened by the American Cancer Society in July 1993 to write the National Health Education Standards (NHES) and they were first published in 1995.
A decade later, most states and many districts around the country had either adopted or adapted the NHES. Recognizing the critical role of schools in combating our nation’s health problems while simultaneously acknowledging research-based advances related to effective practice in the field, a new panel of organizations and professionals was convened in 2004 to review and revise the NHES for use in American schools.
The revised NHES was published in February 2007 and continues to be the accepted reference for health education in schools.
Health Education as a Component of Coordinated School Health Programs
The effectiveness of school health education is enhanced when it is implemented as part of a larger school health program and when health education outcomes are reinforced by the other components.
The NHES can be used to support the effective implementation of health education as one of the eight components of a CSHP. They are carefully designed to support schools, educators, families, and other stakeholders in helping students meet the primary goal of health education: for students to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.
How to order?
The National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence is available for purchase through the American Cancer Society on-line bookstore at www.cancer.org/nhes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent and School Health has developed a wide variety of science-based and other instructional materials that can help schools enhance existing health education curriculum and instruction. CDC's School Health Education Resources (SHER) is a unique, user friendly web tool that consolidates these resources in one convenient location. SHER helps Pre-K-12 classroom teachers, school nurses, counselors, curriculum directors, and school administrators easily locate CDC's health education resources Visit CDC's SHER online at CDC, Healthy Youth.