The National Health Education Standards 3rd Edition is an initiative of the National Consensus for School Health Education (NCSHE). The National Consensus is a collaborative that was created to address the need to update health education standards for schools. It was important for key organizations to work together on this task. The nongovernmental health organizations include the American School Health Association, Eta Sigma Gamma, the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education, the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, the Society for Public Health Education, and the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education.
Funding for the National Consensus has been provided by the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education. No government funds were used in development or production of this work. Members of the Management Group, Development Group, and Expert Review Group served as volunteers.
The National Health Education Standards 3rd Edition represents the ongoing work of national professional organizations that developed both the National Health Education Standards: Achieving Health Literacy (Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards, 1995) and National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence (Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards, 2007).
The National Consensus for School Health Education includes the Management Group, the Development Group, and the Expert Review Group. The Standards Writing Group which is responsible for writing the standards is comprised of members from the Development Group. A health scientist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health serves as a technical advisor to the project and is an ex-officio member of the Expert Review Group. The Standards Writing Group includes individuals with expertise as health education teachers, local and state directors of health education, health education curriculum developers, university health education teacher preparation faculty, and school health educators engaged in an array of school health education initiatives conducted by local, state, and national health and education organizations.
The first draft of the proposed National Health Education Standards 3rd Edition was initially reviewed by the project’s Development Group and Expert Review Group. The second version of the proposed standards was nationally reviewed by over 500 school health education stakeholders including members of the Development Group, the Expert Review Group, school health education professionals from CDC, as well as health educators who are members of the five national professional organizations involved in the National Consensus for School Health Education and the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education which is not a membership organization. The third version of the proposed standards was reviewed by the project’s Development Group, the Expert Review Group, and health education professionals from CDC.
The eight proposed standards and performance expectations reflect, update, and refine previous versions of the standards and performance indicators for health education. The eight standards and performance expectations are written for use by preK–12 teachers, local school and state directors of health education, curriculum developers, and health education teacher preparation faculty. The standards and performance expectations reflect the functional health knowledge, beliefs, and skills necessary for students to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, achieve health literacy, and enhance health and academic outcomes. The standards and performance expectations are written so that states, school systems, school personnel, and teachers can focus on health priorities vital to the needs of their students and communities.
The standards are intended to guide the development of health education curricula, instruction, and assessment for preK–12 students. The performance expectations are designed to progressively challenge students at appropriate age and development levels. The number and scope of the performance expectations focus primarily on personal health among younger students and expand to address the health of family, peers, schools, and communities among older students.