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Health Literacy and School-based Education

Health Literacy and School-based Education.


Dr Ray Marks, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York


Despite research strongly suggesting that children of all ages have the potential to understand a great deal about health and about how to access health information, the reality shows that the majority of children, and a large number of adults, have large gaps in their understanding of health-related issues, particularly the ways in which children grasp cause-effect relationships in the world around them and how they can use these relationships to reason more powerfully and effectively, both about health and about providers of health information. Health Literacy plays a critical role in the understanding and application of health related information.

This comprehensive reference work describes the concept of Health Literacy, why it is important, issues related to helping youth develop health literacy skills, and strategies for classroom practices to promote health literacy among elementary and high school youth. As such, the book will be of interest to all educators, as well as school administrators and policy makers interested in improving the health and academic performance of youth.

The accelerated convergence of disease, violence and substance abuse with poverty, the deficiency of social capital in modern society and poor levels of educational aspiration in youths, suggests that this book could not be more timely as an antidote to our increasing concerns about the health of our society.

  • Health Literacy, what is it and why should we care
  • Research-based link of health literacy to health and academic status
  • Health literacy assessment and teaching strategies for educators and health teachers
  • Secondary strategies for maximizing health literacy of the youth, looking at the role of the environment, resources, collaboration and parents
  • Future Directions
  • Resources: for teachers, parents, paediatricians


Written in an accessible style, this book will appeal to a broad range of readers: Instructors & Student (Post Graduate Level) , Health Education Teachers in Elementary and High Schools; Teacher Educators; School, Curriculum Developers, School Nurses, School Psychologists as well as Policy Makers and Caregivers of Children with Chronic Health Conditions.

Sample Chapter and Table of Contents

Chapter 2: Health Literacy, Health and Academic Status

Ray Marks and Joan Wharf Higgins

Role of Schools in Promoting Health Literacy

As outlined in Chapter 1, health literacy, a significant global problem impacting health outcomes, as well as overall citizenship, has tremendous implications for all citizens, especially those with limited literacy. As recently noted by Ferguson and Pawlak (2011), health literacy, a significant predictor of health outcomes is markedly impacted by low formal education levels, with knowledge gaps that can extend from childhood through parenthood (Sanders, Shaw, Guez, Baur, & Rudd, 2009), among other more. 

View the full Table of Contents.

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781780523064
Publication Date: 05 November 2012
Dimensions: 156 x 234

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