Monday, February 8, 2010

HS Health Classes to Address Environmenal & Public Health

The High School Department of Physical Education & Health is set to make headway into the world of much-needed environmental education. As we recognize the growing connection between environmental issues and human behavior, and realizing that much is yet to be done, the complexity of "green" issues provides a singular opportunity to bringing environmental education into every classroom. Review of the current PE & Health curriculum and an overview of our teaching activities has indicated an opportunity for students to recognize the relationship between human behavior, environmental impact and public health. Of particular importance is the cross examination of students' personal behavior, changing trends regarding regional ecology and changing habitats, and environmental benefits and costs associated with human behavior.

The new unit of Environmental & Public Health will be offered this semester to students of HS health classes (typically taken in the 10th grade) and will include connections to several issues that are already being discussed in our class:
  1. The connection between nutritional choices, global demand and environmental impacts,
  2. The connection between land use and environmental impacts,
  3. The connection between global warming, environmental trends and their threats to human health, d. The appropriate action regarding a more sustainable future.

As with any new focus, the environmental and public health component of the health curriculum is largely experimental and ever-developing in nature. Constant evaluation is a large part of making the curriculum better suited for the needs of our students. But it is hoped that, through the initiation of such a unit, students will understand the connections between personal, public and environmental health and how humanity (and themselves in particular) can make appropriate choices leading to a better future.