Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.
Health Education Curriculums
When educating the next generation of health-based professionals, health educators need to strive to develop, maintain, and follow a proper health education curriculum. Let's face it, we are educating a group of individuals that will be tasked with keeping an entire country's health in check. Therefore, it's no surprise that there are dozens of factors that affect health education curriculums. Let's take a closer look at some of them now.
Goals and Behavioral Outcomes
An effective curriculum has goals and behavioral outcomes built into it. For example, a goal and an accompanying behavioral outcome could be to have a student understand the difference between safe and unsafe sex in order to put this knowledge to use in the real world. Thus, the curriculum's strategy in learning experiences should be tailored to this, with things like images and discussions. A good curriculum empowers the student with knowledge that allows them to accurately perceive positive health behaviors, like proper weight loss and nutrition, and to develop negative perceptions about negative, or risky behaviors, such as drug use. Consequently, such a curriculum needs to be research-based in order to empower the student with factual information about health-related topics.
Personalization and Growth
Although facts and science can certainly give plenty of intellectual power to a student regarding a goal and behavioral outcome in a health education curriculum, this may not be enough. A student must also be able to actively engage in this type of information in order to personalize that information and thus, make it truly meaningful to them on a deeper level. This means an effective curriculum will have plenty of room for group discussions that lead to meanings behind the stated fact. It will be interactive so that the students can clarify misconceptions. There will be role-play exercises that empower the students to practice dealing with a situation in a safe and controlled setting prior to being confronted with it in the real world. These types of personalized exercises will help drive home any theoretical or fact-based information they will have gathered from the instructor or from reading material.
An effective health education curriculum is one that also allows for growth. It helps students build on previously learned concepts and lays the groundwork for future material and courses students can use to empower themselves. For instance, a good curriculum will have skill building exercises that reinforce a health topic students have come across before or lead to another health related topic they may encounter in the future.
Other Factors to Consider
There are of course, many other factors and issues involved in an effective health education curriculum. These include the ability for students to engage with influential individuals that affirm what they have already learned. A doctor who visits a classroom to reinforce several concepts presented previously would be a good example of this. Practice will meet theory in such instances to show the students the practical meaning behind what they have learned. A great curriculum will allow enough time for students to process the information they have learned. This means adequate amount of time for reading, skill-based learning, and group discussions. This also means that a one-time class is usually not enough for students to gain a true appreciation for the topic they are learning about. Instead, several classes over many grades or levels, ones that build upon one another as mentioned before, are better. An excellent curriculum will also include training and continuing education protocols for the teachers themselves. Health information is changing on a daily basis, and the teachers must stay on top of these trends in order to pass on the most effective knowledge to their students.
An effective health education curriculum takes goals and behavioral outcomes into consideration. It empowers the students with research-based knowledge, theoretical knowledge, and practical experience. It allows for students to practice what they have learned in a controlled setting and to personalize what they have learned through activities, such as group discussions. An effective health education curriculum builds on prior knowledge and lays the groundwork for more to come. It also ensures that the teacher stays well-informed about their field through things like continuing education.
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