Since last week, I have been scanning the requirements for the upcoming Workshops. I am looking forward to doing these sequential activities; I see it as one of the peaks of our learning for this course, it being a necessary step to our eventual learning summit.
A huge part of our reading is about the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool or HECAT.
HECAT is a tool that can help schools and their respective districts in conducting a dependable analysis on various curricula for health education. Since health education curriculum must teach essential knowledge on health and communicate the means to attain values that gear towards a healthy lifestyle, it is crucial that a tool is used to find out what is relevant and effective in improving health education. HECAT is not just tailored to conform to school district requirements but also the needs of the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC developed this tool using the National health Education Standards, risk behavior categories and features of operational health education curriculum. Different modules are available to analyze curricula that are meant to address healthy eating, drug and alcohol, physical activity, mental and emotional health, personal health & wellness, sexual health, safety, prevention of violence, tobacco and comprehensive health education.
Every school can benefit when they use HECAT because it can ensure what needs to be included in the health education curriculum. It also aligns health curricula with research-based practices. HECAT also identifies the necessary teaching strategies that can bring about deeper learning.
The HECAT is an easy-to-fill-out checklist that shows the topics to be discussed, the grade levels that are addressed by the curriculum, materials that are used in the curriculum, the kinds of technology used, and support services.
The HECAT serves as a bird’s eye view of the things that make health education curricula effective.
Application-wise, I just had to type the keyword – HECAT – and I was able to see the multiple applications for this wonderful tool. You also get to see what is right or wrong and with proper curriculum review, revisions can also be made.
As for health education teachers and curricularists, they are now guided in using materials and instruction methods that are based on individual’s learning needs. This also matters as real change can only take place where health education is properly communicated. HECAT must also be utilized in order to ascertain that all educational levels receive quality health education.
All in all, HECAT brings about a strong relationship between health literacy, health education and an eventual healthy lifestyle. Schools can then look forward to no less than non-passive or active students.
Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum. (2015, June 17). Retrieved March 06, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/sher/characteristics/index.htm
Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT). (2015, September 01). Retrieved March 05, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/hecat/
HECAT: Chapter 2 General currIculum InformatIon . (2012). Retrieved March 7, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/hecat/pdf/hecatchapt2.pdf
HECAT: Chapter 5 currIculum fundamentals . (2012). Retrieved March 7, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/hecat/pdf/hecatchapt5.pdf