School Health Education Teacher Preparation Model Guidance


Strong professional preparation programs in school health education teacher preparation are needed to ensure that future teacher candidates are well prepared to enter the 21st-century K-12 classroom, school, and community environments and ultimately help youth grow up as healthy and health-literate citizens (Mann and Lohrmann, 2019; Birch and Auld, 2019; Videto and Dake, 2019; Kolbe, 2019). This need has been magnified and exacerbated by challenges in the teaching and learning environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the social and emotional health and related factors experienced by faculty, staff, students, and parents, especially among students and families with differing learning styles and abilities (Pressley, 2021).

The School Health Education Teacher Preparation Model Guidance provides a curricula roadmap for higher education faculty and staff including steps or broad approaches to align school health education curricula with national standards in teacher and student education. Lesson plans and examples of quality curriculum—aligned with national, state, tribal, local, and territorial standards—for health education teacher preparation programs are included within this guide for potential adaptation within programs. This outline and related resources provide faculty and staff information on characteristics of a high-quality curriculum that can be considered for program revisions within their institutions. Curricula content should also be reflective of local community health data, priorities, and contexts.

In addition, a Model Toolkit for K-12 School Health Educators with up-to-date resources and tools created or promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Schools is also included in the guidance. Click on the tabs to review resources within each section and view the short video to assist you in navigating this site.

This guide was developed in collaboration with CDC Healthy Schools, school health experts, and the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) to increase access to high-quality, comprehensive school health teacher preparation resources.

If you would like to keep up with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards and insights of other school health education faculty and staff, please sign up for periodic news and information at