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Study Guide

Field 073: Health Education

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Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Health Promotion

1. During a nutrition lesson in an upper elementary class, a student tells the teacher that she really wants to improve her eating habits, but needs concrete suggestions on how to make nutritious choices. Other students echo this request. The teacher and students agree to list in a journal all of the foods and beverages that they eat and drink on each of the next four days. Then, they bring their food journals to class. Which teaching strategy would be most effective to use next in helping students to improve their eating habits?

  1. showing students how to use the USDA's ChooseMyPlate Web site and its tools to compare the information in their food journals to dietary recommendations for their age group, find tips for making informed food choices, and set individualized nutrition goals
  2. asking students to review their food journals and estimate how much time they spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activities each day, then teaching them how to use calories consumed and calories expended to calculate energy balances
  3. guiding students in creating a nutrition-related wiki about what they learned while maintaining their food journals, and working with the school librarian to develop an annotated bibliography of age-appropriate nutrition resources
  4. familiarizing students with commercial media and tools, such as online body mass index (BMI) calculators, that evaluate body composition, as well as offer strategies for improving body composition through diet
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Correct Response: A. This item requires examinees to apply knowledge of appropriate nutritional and dietary planning tools, guidelines, and recommendations, as well as principles and strategies for interpreting nutritional facts and labels. The interactive ChooseMyPlate Web site provides students with information about the nutritional values of the foods and beverages they consume, as well as nutritional recommendations and caloric requirements for their age, gender, and activity levels. Activities, information pages, and interactive tools provide guidelines for healthful eating and setting nutritional goals, making appropriate food choices and planning balanced meals, and tracking and monitoring efforts toward achieving personal nutrition and physical activity goals.

Competency 0002
Risk Reduction

2. Which strategy is likely to be the most effective in helping students learn how to prevent and minimize sexual health risks?

  1. teaching students refusal and resistance skills and the role that the use of alcohol and other drugs plays in sexual risk taking, and working with them to reinforce these skills and knowledge
  2. defining and presenting to students the development of sexual health as distinct from physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development
  3. encouraging students to research and report on ways in which teenage sexuality is portrayed in television, film, and other media and determine whether the portrayals are realistic or unrealistic
  4. presenting students with current national health risk statistics on the prevalence of STIs among teenagers and asking students to create posters that incorporate the statistics
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Correct Response: A. This item requires examinees to demonstrate knowledge of principles, practices, and strategies for promoting sexual health and for preventing and minimizing sexual health risks, including unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Effective health education teaching practices include introducing and explaining important skills for avoiding risk behaviors, presenting steps for developing the skills, modeling the skills, and providing students with opportunities to rehearse and practice the skills in realistic scenarios. When students are prepared for the realities of sexual health-related situations and choices, they are able to make sound decisions and use refusal and resistance techniques to avoid and prevent health and safety risks. Role-playing and other student-centered, interactive, and experiential activities help students to learn about the pressures, attitudes, values, and behaviors that influence health as they develop the skills and confidence needed to address these factors.

Competency 0003
Personal and Social Health Skills

3. According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a student who feels connected to his or her school is less likely to engage in risk behaviors. Which factor has been shown to specifically increase school connectedness?

  1. being enrolled in a large school with a diverse student population
  2. attending a charter or magnet school rather than a traditional public school
  3. belonging to a positive peer group within the school community
  4. attending a school that publicizes and enforces a stringent student code of conduct
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Correct Response: C. This item requires examinees to demonstrate knowledge of relationship management skills, characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and the importance of caring relationships and social support systems for promoting health and wellness. In School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth (CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009), school connectedness is defined as "the belief by students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals." When the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health studied the influence of protective factors on adolescent health and well-being among more than 36,000 middle and high school students, school connectedness was found to afford strong protection against a range of adverse behaviors. One important predictor of school connectedness is belonging to a positive peer group. In particular, a stable network of peers is highly correlated with improved student perceptions of school. Students who have active, fulfilling social lives within the school setting feel valued as individuals and are more likely to engage in positive behaviors and succeed academically.

Competency 0004
Health Literacy Skills

4. Many healthy U.S. adolescents report unhappiness with their bodies. Which factors are widely considered to be significant influences on poor body image perceptions among healthy adolescents?

  1. lack of knowledge about activity and nutritional requirements for adolescents, and apprehension about experiencing the pubertal growth spurt later than peers
  2. popular media that present idealized standards of attractiveness, and societal and cultural expectations that equate youthful beauty with happiness and success
  3. pressures from same-sex peers to conform to the latest fashion and lifestyle trends favored by celebrities, popular musicians, and elite athletes
  4. sensationalized media stories about individuals with eating disorders and resulting fears about developing similar disorders
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Correct Response: B. This item requires examinees to recognize ways in which family, peers, technology, media, culture, and social norms influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to health. Research studies conducted in the United States report a high correlation between time spent by youth watching television, movies, and music videos and their degree of body dissatisfaction. Thousands of advertisements (e.g., for clothes, cosmetics, muscle builders, weight reduction products) contain messages about physical attractiveness and beauty, and researchers have found that advertising that targets teenagers in particular negatively affects their self-esteem by setting unrealistic expectations for them about physical appearance. For young males, the ideal is a lean, muscular, V-shaped body; according to research, the current media ideal of thinness for young women is met by only about five percent of the population. Ongoing exposure to these idealized media images can shape and distort a young person's perceptions of reality and his or her self-image.

Competency 0005
Health Education Program Planning

5. A health education teacher asks high school students to choose a safety topic and develop a catchy, health-enhancing promotional message about that topic for a particular target audience. The teacher provides the following examples to students.

The teacher plans to have students share their completed messages with their target audiences. This activity is likely to be most effective for fostering students' knowledge and skills in relation to which National Health Education Standard?

  1. Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on their health.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
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Correct Response: C. This item requires examinees to recognize principles and methods for planning and implementing effective and comprehensive health education programs, including knowledge and use of the New York State Learning Standards for Health and the National Health Education Standards to support student learning. Researching and creating the content of a promotional message about a safety topic encourages students to consider, formulate, and communicate informed perspectives and accurate health information and ideas. Developing a message for peers or younger students increases students' awareness of the relevance of health promotion to their daily lives, fosters their skills in adapting health messages and communication techniques to the characteristics of a particular audience, and enhances their ability to influence and support others in making positive health choices. This type of assignment also provides students with valuable practice in using various communication skills to express feelings and opinions about health issues and to work individually and cooperatively to advocate for personal, family, and community health.