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Health Education Vision Page

Page history last edited by Virginia Mitchell 8 months, 2 weeks ago


The overarching goal of school health education in Oklahoma is to ensure that school-aged youth become health literate individuals who possess the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to lead healthy active lives. The health education content standards and respective grade level-specific performance outcomes presented here provide the expectations that school programs and services will set for all Oklahoma students. An effective health education program offers all students the opportunity to gain the needed skills, knowledge, and dispositions toward healthy lifestyles. It is the responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for all students to become competent, literate and enthusiastic learners, in ways that make health class a highly desired, enjoyable, and worthwhile experience. Students who participate in effective health education programs gain the essential health skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviors.


The eight health education standards reflected in the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education provide a framework for educators to ensure school-aged students become health literate individuals.


Defining Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction

It is important to note that standards are neither curriculum, instructional practices or strategies; standards serve as a foundation for curriculum. See below for the distinction between standards, curriculum, and instruction:

  • Standards: The concepts, content, and skills students should master by the end of a specific grade.
  • Curriculum: The materials and resources used for teaching the standards.
  • Instruction: The practices teachers use to deliver academic content to students. Teachers should utilize a variety of instructional techniques and strategies to ensure students master academic standards.


The 2022 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education are the result of the contributions of educators and experts in health and health education from across the state of Oklahoma. This document reflects a balanced synthesis of the work of all members of the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education Writing Committee and feedback from educators, external reviews, and numerous education stakeholders.


The 8 Standards of the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education

The Oklahoma Academic Standards for Health Education are divided into eight standards. An overview of each standard, along with the abbreviations used in the coding of the standards, are provided below.


 Standard 1: Essential Knowledge

 The acquisition of basic health concepts and functional health knowledge provides a foundation for promoting health enhancing behaviors. This standard focuses on both health promotion and risk reduction. Standard 1 includes the following strands and represents the health education concepts all students should know in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. The learning objectives associated with the six strands in Standard 1 are intended to be taught in conjunction with the health skills in Standards 2-8 and not in isolation. 


Nutrition (NU)

Nutrition education plays an important role in preventing chronic diseases and supporting good health. The specific knowledge included in the nutrition strand were developed to help students in grades Pre-K–12 adopt and maintain healthy eating patterns. Research has proven that students who are properly nourished have higher rates of academic achievement.


Substance Use and Abuse Prevention (SU)

Increased stress can lead to alcohol and substance use, so it is essential that Oklahoma students are educated on how substances can affect the body and mind. Learning the negative consequences of substance use and abuse can deter students from using substances as coping mechanisms. Effective substance use and abuse prevention education will equip students with the knowledge and skills to avoid abusing substances.


Physical Activity (PA)

Regular physical activity can help students improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions. Teaching the importance of physical activity provides students the knowledge and skills necessary to establish healthy practices that contribute to overall wellness.


Healthy Relationships (HR)

Creating and maintaining healthy relationships is an important skill for students and can be a strategy for coping with and managing trauma. Teaching skills to develop healthy relationships will enable students to manage feelings and communicate in a healthy way. These skills will be beneficial throughout students’ educational experience when interacting with peers and will transfer into adulthood to create a safer, more engaged, and more productive society.


Mental Health and Wellness (MH)

Students who can effectively express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions are better able to cope with stress, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and practice empathy. The number of students reporting poor mental health is increasing. Building strong bonds and connecting to students can help protect their mental health and provide a foundation for achieving life-long wellness.


Injury Prevention and Personal Health (IP)

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for school-aged youth. Educating students on how to take the necessary safety precautions to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury or death is imperative. This strand also allows students to explore the importance of practicing personal healthy behaviors.



 Standard 2: Analyze Influences (AN)

  Analyzing influences allow students to learn about different environmental elements that affect their health. This standard focuses on identifying and understanding the diverse internal and external factors that influence health practices and behaviors among youth.


Standard 3: Access Information (AC) 

 Access to valid health information, products, and services is critical in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of health problems. This standard focuses on how to identify and access valid health resources.


 Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication (IC)

 Effective communication enhances personal, family, and community health. This standard focuses on how responsible individuals use verbal and nonverbal skills to develop and maintain healthy personal relationships. The ability to convey information and feelings is the basis for strengthening interpersonal interactions and reducing or avoiding conflict.


 Standard 5: Decision Making (DM)

 Decision-making skills are needed to identify, implement, and sustain health enhancing behaviors. This standard includes the essential steps needed to make healthy decisions. When applied to health issues, the decision-making process enables individuals to collaborate with others to improve their quality of life.


 Standard 6: Goal Setting (GS)

 Goal-setting skills are essential to help students identify, adopt, and maintain healthy behaviors. This standard includes the critical steps needed to achieve both short-term and long-term health goals. These skills make it possible for individuals to reach long-term health goals.


 Standard 7: Self-Management (SM)

 Research confirms that the practice of health-enhancing behaviors can contribute to a positive quality of life. In addition, many diseases and injuries can be prevented by reducing harmful and risk-taking behaviors. This standard promotes the acceptance of personal responsibility for health and encourages the practice of healthy behaviors.


 Standard 8: Advocacy (AD)

 Advocacy skills help students promote healthy behaviors. This standard helps students to advocate for their own health and the health of others.



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