The National Health Education Standards are intended to guide the development of health education curricula, instruction, and assessment for preK-12 students. In order to address the need to update the standards, it was important for key organizations to work together on the task. Thus, the National Consensus for School Health Education was formed, building on decades of collaboration among these organizations during the first two editions of the standards.
The National Consensus is based on collaborative leadership, adopting the following principles:
- A commitment to improving health education for school-aged children and youth
- Collaborative work with a unified voice on behalf of the Health Education Profession
- Products based on both contemporary evidence and practical experience
- Work processes that involve and include as many Health Education professionals as possible
- No cost access and use for the field and the public (with attribution)
- Wide distribution to the field and the public
- Joint management, including joint approvals of National Consensus communications
- Jointly-held copyrights among the author organizations (a common practice in education and public health)
- Processes that align with the Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession
Formation of the National Consensus was announced on June 14, 2021, following discussions with several national health education organizations. Six leading national health education organizations are founding partners of the Consensus. These organizations include:
- American School Health Association, the leading professional membership organization in school health since 1927, with a long history of advocating for quality school-based health education and which serves as a leading organization promoting the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model
- Eta Sigma Gamma, the honor society for health education since 1967, which includes over 100 chapters in higher education teacher education institutions throughout the United States
- Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education, providing funding for scholarships and projects that advance the broader Health Education Profession in the United States since 1992
- National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, promoting excellence in credentialing for the health education profession since 1989
- Society for Public Health Education, the leading health education professional membership association since 1950
- Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, the membership association of state-level health education and physical education directors in state education agencies throughout the United States, active since 1926
While these organizations may occasionally compete for funding or on other issues, they have often collaborated on field-wide issues that advance health education. This tradition of cooperation and mutual respect has yielded numerous influential initiatives for the field and the public at large over several decades. The National Consensus continues and builds on this legacy.
The National Consensus for School Health Education is designed to be collaborative and inclusive. Organizations and individuals with a role in health education are invited to join. For more information, please contact us.