Academic journal article Journal of School Health

The Challenge of Education for Health in America's Schools

Academic journal article Journal of School Health

The Challenge of Education for Health in America's Schools

Article excerpt

The bottom line of what needs to be done in improving American health is through the public elementary and secondary schools in our country. In the past, health has been a kind of appendage, a kind of novelty, forced upon quite often unwilling superintendents, teachers, and administrators in the school system, and part of it is our own fault. I was concerned with this when I was on the school board, and I was concerned with it as governor and also as President. My mother, who was registered nurse and a deely committed health worker, impressed on me the need for health education, but I never could get an adequate curriculum that would be attractive to students who were required to take half a year in health with all the teachers who reluctantly covered this subject out of duty, with no real enthusiasm or interest. And I think that is a crucial need that hasn't yet been met, but should be. The fact is that the health subject can be exciting, stimulating, and I would say, seminal in nature.

It's almost impossible to assess any realm of human life that is not directly affected by health care: population explosion, agricultural production, interrelationships between political factors, or environmental deterioration. These things that are basic to our lives are so inter-related with health care that if they were presented in an ongoing, organic way, the level of interest in health and the naturally ascribed applications to a health curriculum would be obvious to everyone. …

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