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School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000 -- Part II

October 5, 2001

The September issue of the Journal of School Health is dedicated to the results of the 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS).

The previous issue of SHOP Talk focused on those results concerning health education in schools. This issue will focus on SHPPS's results surrounding teacher preparation and training.

State-level data for SHPPS were collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. District-level data were collected from a nationally representative sample of public school districts and from Catholic school dioceses. School-level data were collected from a nationally representative sample of public and private elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools.


Health Education Coordinators

States

  • 6% of states require each school to have someone to oversee or coordinate health education at the school level.

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  • 88% of states have someone who oversees or coordinates health education.

  • Among the 42 state health education coordinators responding to SHPPS 2000, 98% have an undergraduate degree; 42% have a major in health education or health and physical education combined; and 17% have a minor in health education or health and physical education combined.

  • Most (91%) health education coordinators have a graduate degree. Of those, 53% have a degree in health education or health and physical education combined.

  • 57% of all responding health education coordinators are certified, licensed, or endorsed by the state to teach health education at the elementary, middle/junior high, or senior high school level; 12% are Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES).

Districts

  • 35% of districts require each school to have someone to oversee or coordinate health education at the school level.

Schools

  • 63% of schools have someone to oversee or coordinate health education.


Requirements

States

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in elementary schools, 30% of states require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 27% require health education certification by the state, and no states require CHES credentials.

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in middle/junior high schools, 64% of states require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 69% require health education certification by the state, and 2% require CHES credentials.

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in senior high schools, 73% of students require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 80% require health education certification by the state, and 2% require CHES credentials.

  • Most (94%) states offer some type of certification, licensure, or endorsement to teach health education. Of these, 48% require teachers to earn continuing education credits on health education topics.

Districts

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in elementary schools, 34% of districts require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 31% require health education certification by the state, and 3% require CHES credentials.

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in middle/junior high schools, 58% of districts require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 58% require health education certification by the state, and 12% require CHES credentials.

  • For newly hired staff teaching health education in senior high schools, 72% of districts require undergraduate or graduate training in health education, 74% require health education certification by the state, and 16% require CHES credentials.

Schools

  • 47% of schools require newly hired staff who teach health education to have undergraduate or graduate training in health education.

  • 36% of schools require newly hired staff to be certified, licensed, or endorsed by the state in health education.

  • 8% of schools require newly hired health educators to have CHES credentials.


Professional Preparation

  • In 4% of elementary schools, 12% of middle/junior high schools, and 26% of senior high schools, health education specialists are the only teachers who teach required health education courses.

  • In 2% of elementary schools, 7% of middle/junior high schools, and 7% of senior high schools, physical education specialists are the only teachers who teach required health education courses.

  • 10% of required health education classes or courses are taught by a teacher who majored in health education or health and physical education combined.

  • 7% of required health education classes or courses are taught by a teacher with a minor in health education or health and physical education combined.

  • 38% of required health education classes or courses are taught by a teacher who has a graduate degree; 9% of those degrees are in health education or health and physical education combined.

  • 72% of required health education classes or courses are taught by a teacher who is certified, licensed, or endorsed by the state to teach health education within the whole school system.

  • 4% of required health education classes or courses are taught by a teacher who has a CHES credential.


Teacher Training

States

  • 59% of states provide funding for or offer staff development for health education teachers in growth and development, 96% in HIV prevention, 71% in human sexuality, 74% in pregnancy prevention, and 92% in STD prevention.

Districts

  • 35% of districts provide funding for or offer staff development for health education teachers in growth and development, 57% in HIV prevention, 49% in human sexuality, 43% in pregnancy prevention, and 48% in STD prevention.


Improvements

States

  • To improve district or school compliance with the required standards or guidelines, 94% of the states provide staff development for health education teachers, 45% use teachers to mentor other teachers, 44% ask districts or schools to submit written reports, 28% use teacher evaluations or classroom monitoring, and 29% monitor student achievement.

Districts

  • To improve school compliance with the required standards or guidelines, 85% of the districts provide staff development for health education teachers, 49% use teachers to mentor other teachers, 34% ask schools to submit written reports, 86% of the districts use teacher evaluations or classroom monitoring, and 82% monitor student achievement.

The authors conclude that staff development is important because many current health education teachers have not been prepared to teach health education as part of their preservice professional preparation. Few health education teachers have an undergraduate major or minor in health education or health and physical education. They suggest that states and districts that provide professional preparation for health education teachers should strive to maximize the desirability, accessibility, and effectiveness of these training programs.

For more information: L. Kann et al., "Health Education: Results from School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000," Journal of School Health, September 2001, vol. 71, no. 7, pp 266-78.


October is National Family Sexuality Education Month

Since 1975, a national coalition of more than 50 organizations has promoted family communication about sexuality by participating in National Family Sexuality Education Month. This campaign is designed to encourage parents and caregivers to talk with children about sexuality. To learn more about talking with your children about sexuality, visit http://www.familiesaretalking.org (en español, http://www.lafamiliahabla.org) or http://www.plannedparenthood.org/education/NFSEM2001.html.

See also: CDC Releases Results of 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study.



  
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This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.
 
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