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Thoughts on Health Class? - August 9th 2017, 05:13 PM

I personally believe that students should be allowed to test out if they want to.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 01:22 AM

What would testing out of a health class involve?


   
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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 01:32 AM

I think health class can be helpful to high school students. I know my health class had a whole section about safe sex and all that. It definitely wasn't as thorough as it could have been since I live in a really conservative city but it was still beneficial. I also liked how the health class discussed the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes I feel like there might be other options for health class though.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 05:16 AM

I would say no, this isn't the type of class worth skipping.
The type of class I think can be tested out of is an entry level class or even a mid-level class, but certainly not the one required class you have to take for a field. Unless you want to move on to Health 2 (if there is one), I would say no, health class should definitely stay.

I also agree with Abibliophobe's points. I went to Catholic middle school and received the worst sex-ed imaginable. Learning in health class that condoms work better than 62% of the time was an invaluable experience. On the other hand, my experience with drug education was mixed; almost everything I learned about marijuana was government propaganda.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 04:27 PM

I guess my experience with the class was different from most, since I didn't learn a single thing. We covered no new information past middle school(besides CPR and some relationship stuff. We actually learned a lot in middle school, and the class was fairly enjoyable), and the most productive thing that came out of the class was that I could get ahead on other classes' work. It would have been nice to have what was functionally a study hall to actually be a study hall without the health teacher breathing down my neck telling me to focus on whatever rehashed 'curriculum' she was trying to teach.

Anyway, as for what skipping would entail..
-Give interested students a week to study the material(have there be a review packet or something?)
-Take the final exam and score 95 or above
-Take the final exam again at the end of the semester and score 95 or above
-If they don't, they'll have to actually take the class next semester
(we didn't have a final exam, but let's say there is one, and that it's somewhat difficult)

I believe that anyone who can do this doesn't need the class anyway, and might as well spend the time doing more productive things. For that matter, student athletes shouldn't be required to take PE, but I digress...

To me, health class boils down to using common sense. If you're going to have sex, use a condom. Don't drink or do drugs. If you think someone you know is neglecting their mental or physical health, get them help. I don't understand why we have to have two semester-long class on this kind of stuff after having learned the same material in middle school.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 10:49 PM

I don't think that idea of testing out makes sense. It seems almost like it's more work than just taking the class, especially if the student would fail the test the second time and have to actually take the class. What if two semesters of the class were required? Say they tried to test out of the class first semester, failed it, and had to start the class the second semester, but still had to finish another semester in the next grade year. That could potentially mess up the student's schedule a lot.

As for health class itself, it's ridiculous, I get it. Everyone pisses their pants whenever someone says the word sex, and the safe sex information taught in health class doesn't legally have to be correct information, in many states.
I was told that condoms only work 50% of the time. Yeah. So at the very least I would say that health class across the nation needs some SERIOUS reform. People need to grow a pair and accept that sex should be taught correctly simply for the safety of their children.

But I still think that health class is very necessary. In my health class, I remember only one week was dedicated to safe sex. One semester, however, was dedicated to emotional wellness and suicide prevention. And while a lot of the kids made fun of the material and BSed their way through it, I actually read through the packets of information my teacher gave me because I needed that at the time.
It didn't make a profound impact on my life, by any means. But I don't think other required classes, like English or math, ever really do that either. I do, however, still have some of those packets laying around in my room, just because they're so helpful and that information is so necessary sometimes.

I guess it all just boils down to the teacher and the material, and how enjoyable the class is over all. I know some health teachers who used their religion to push abstinence on the students. I know some health teachers who openly made porn jokes.
All in all it's just another class to get through, whether you BS it or actually take something away from it.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 10th 2017, 11:05 PM

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Originally Posted by Poison.ivy View Post
I don't think that idea of testing out makes sense. It seems almost like it's more work than just taking the class, especially if the student would fail the test the second time and have to actually take the class. What if two semesters of the class were required? Say they tried to test out of the class first semester, failed it, and had to start the class the second semester, but still had to finish another semester in the next grade year. That could potentially mess up the student's schedule a lot.

As for health class itself, it's ridiculous, I get it. Everyone pisses their pants whenever someone says the word sex, and the safe sex information taught in health class doesn't legally have to be correct information, in many states.
I was told that condoms only work 50% of the time. Yeah. So at the very least I would say that health class across the nation needs some SERIOUS reform. People need to grow a pair and accept that sex should be taught correctly simply for the safety of their children.

But I still think that health class is very necessary. In my health class, I remember only one week was dedicated to safe sex. One semester, however, was dedicated to emotional wellness and suicide prevention. And while a lot of the kids made fun of the material and BSed their way through it, I actually read through the packets of information my teacher gave me because I needed that at the time.
It didn't make a profound impact on my life, by any means. But I don't think other required classes, like English or math, ever really do that either. I do, however, still have some of those packets laying around in my room, just because they're so helpful and that information is so necessary sometimes.

I guess it all just boils down to the teacher and the material, and how enjoyable the class is over all. I know some health teachers who used their religion to push abstinence on the students. I know some health teachers who openly made porn jokes.
All in all it's just another class to get through, whether you BS it or actually take something away from it.

My state implemented a new policy where schools have to reach medically accurate information about sex and all this stuff.

I live in a very conservative part of a liberal state and my areas school board officials and some residents are freaking out about it and a lot of the schools around here are refusing to implement any of the policy because they believe that we need to teach 'judeo-christian values'.

I can't imagine what the more conservative states would do and I doubt the more conservative states would even have many law makers willing to change or implement policy regarding more comprehensive sex ed.

It's also not just conservative states that don't teach comprehensive sex ed either.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 11th 2017, 03:30 AM

I don't think people would educationally benefit from testing out of Sex-Ed but I also think Sex-Ed in most places needs to be reevaluated (include same-sex education, medically accurate information, and as Robert stated; non-propaganda drug and alcohol information). While some sex education is better than none at all, if we really want to make a difference for future generations, then what information is taught needs to be accurate and cover a broad spectrum.
Edit I also think this class should be mandatory whether parents want their kids to have the education or not.




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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 11th 2017, 01:02 PM

My health class only covered sex-related topics, I really wish it had involved discussions on the consequences of using drugs and alcohol. I was so misinformed about alcohol the first time I got drunk (less than a year after health class). I was unique at 19, I wanted to know the pros and cons to things, and especially so since I was so unhealthy as a baby. Same goes for drugs, I got high when I was almost 20, and had no idea what the hell was going on. Actually, I still don't today. I still don't know what all 'this' that happens when I'm high is, beyond basic information such as hallucinations and such.

But I guess that would bring up the controversial issue (and propaganda stuff) about drugs. Marijuana does so and so, and we'd probably be subject to that bad movie released in 1936; even though that was eight decades ago. It's one of those things that needs to be taught in school, along with finances, adulting stuff, etc etc etc so forth.
   
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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 11th 2017, 09:19 PM

I found health class to cover a lot of common sense stuff yeah, but I think that everyone should go through health class and that it should be modified a bit. I'm 21 years old and in college and there are things that I have had to teach others, including my friends and parents, about sex and sexual relationships in general, such as different forms of birth control that they may not have heard of. I do wish that they taught more about sexuality in LGBT+ relationships though and things like asexuality so people don't think they're "broken." We need more than abstinence-based education.


   
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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 11th 2017, 11:44 PM

While health classes can definitely cover a lot of topics that seem like common sense, the information is actually pretty useful. Based on my experience, I think the way the material is approached could be updated a little bit. But, for students who don't have open conversations with their parents, these classes might be the only place that they're able to learn more in-depth information about things like safe sex and the long-term effects of drug and alcohol abuse.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 12th 2017, 05:16 AM

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Originally Posted by Metanoia. View Post
While health classes can definitely cover a lot of topics that seem like common sense, the information is actually pretty useful. Based on my experience, I think the way the material is approached could be updated a little bit. But, for students who don't have open conversations with their parents, these classes might be the only place that they're able to learn more in-depth information about things like safe sex and the long-term effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

I agree with a lot of this. Ideally parents/family would be the ones to talk to their children about safe sex, drugs and all that. However, for a number of different reasons parents do not or they simply teach abstinence. My niece who has just turned 10 is starting to hear stuff about sex and relationships and my sister in law refuses to discuss it with her because of how conservative she is regarding sex. While I do think my niece is a little young to be hearing that...once a kid come home and starts telling you they are learning about sex or relationships...it's best to start talking to them because if you don't they are going to get a whole lot of bad advice.

Sadly, parents aren't educating their children and that is why it is important for schools to have comprehensive sex education that is inclusive.

There are so many issues with kids not having proper sex ed and access to proper contraception. Comprehensive sex ed would be a step in the right direction.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 12th 2017, 11:45 PM

I think even normal talk about regular bodily functions and what's normal/not normal is important. For example, I don't know how common it is to get a period talk now. I got one, but when my mom went to school (and someone else mentioned this too but I forget who), they did not get a talk at all and when she got her period she thought she was dying. But we mainly got a "You'll bleed, and here's how you use a pad or tampon." I think it would be useful for us to know things like how MUCH bleeding/pain/clots/moodiness is normal. And the same can be said about male puberty.


   
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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 13th 2017, 01:45 AM

Honestly, the sex ed in my schools (elementary, middle and high school) was a joke. We didn't have an actual sex ed/health class (I'm not from the US) but rather it was a unit (so once per year we would have anywhere from an hour to five hours of sex ed) in a careers/life skills/PE course from elementary till high school. This was mostly in grades 4&5 and 9&10 with a little "refresher" for the other years and the rest was focused on drinking/drugs/smart choices. We also could opt out of anything if our parents did not give us permission to go to the class either. So I guess that's similar to your idea of testing out?

We were taught that abstinence was the only way to prevent diseases/pregnancy and the health risks as well as the rate that contraceptives fail. We didn't learn how to use anything. We watched a horrid/graphic movie in 10th grade that demonstrated a women giving birth as a mean to show what can happen if you have sex before marriage (I think it was trying to terrify us into not having sex ). We also had this fake baby doll that would cry and scream that was part of that unit in high school. We were also taught that sexual activity that outside of a monogamous, heterosexual relationship wasn't right and so was sex before marriage, porn and adultery. So again, sex ed was non existent and a joke. I did go to a private school but the public schools in my area also teach sex ed with a pro-absitance stance.

We did learn a lot about drugs/alcohol and substance abuse starting in middle school (from presentations by police officers that were informative). and which also was discussed further in a mandatory course that went over life skills.

I think that they should at least give students access to accurate information.

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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 13th 2017, 12:57 PM

I'll admit, I'm kind of envious that you guys have a health class! Even if it does seem like common sense, not everyone gets all the information they need to make decisions, so it's good to have classes on these issues as well.

I'm not sure if the curriculum here has changed much since I left school, but we didn't have a health class as such. We would have outside organisations come into the school to do an assembly or take a class for an hour. But these things only happened like a handful of times.

We had the school nurse come in when we were around 11/12 years old to talk to us about puberty, menstruation etc. It wasn't compulsory though it was a bit too late for some of us. But then again, I didn't learn much about puberty until I actually went through it and my mum read to me from a book, but I still had a lot of misinformation in my head. The talk was informative, but wonder if it could've been more interactive to help us learn. Not only that but I remember a girl in my class, who had learning difficulties and had been in SEN classes, getting upset about the talk, and looking back, I think it should've been dealt with in a more sensitive way as well.

After that, we didn't have sex ed until we were about 14/15, and some other practitioners came in to talk to us about contraception, safe sex, STIs etc. It was good because it was more interactive, like practicing how to put a condom on properly. But I don't think they gave out any leaflets or information sheets which would've been handy, because even now I have to look up information about the different types of contraception.

We've also had a policeman come in to talk to us about alcohol- can't remember what age we were though, probably between the ages of 16-18. He was good because he didn't encourage underage drinking, but acknowledged that it happened and it's pointless just telling young people not to drink. It really made us think about units as even the people who did drink were shocked to learn about how many units they may have been drinking. But again, it was only like an hour and I'm still pretty clueless about units (granted, I don't drink aside from special occasions but still). I think the same policeman did a drugs talk as well but it was more like a lecture just going through the different classes of drugs, the different types and names, and the side effects. He was able to put them into a context that young people would understand, but I think it was just too much to be talked about in an hour, and at the end I just remembered feeling confused about it all.

So yeah, if these things were taught in a more formal way such as having actual classes, it may have been more beneficial. It felt like it was just too much to cram into an hour or two, and especially since it's easy to forget as we only had these things a few times, and didn't get tested or even quizzed on our understanding of things.

We also had a bit on mental health, which I would love to see more of in schools. I know now there is an organisation that goes around talking about abuse, and wish that it had been around when I was younger.

Another organisation did a production about bullying and mental health. I thought it was good and could really relate to what was going on. But I remember some people in my class making jokes about it, and others saying it was boring. To be honest, my school was known for having bullying problems so I'm not that surprised by the reaction. Another time we had people come in from a mental health charity and I can't remember much of the talk, but they gave us sheets to track our mood, which was good, but they wanted us to complete them there and then and were going around checking them. It felt a little intimidating because I knew I was struggling a bit at that point, but didn't feel like talking about it, especially when you are surrounded by your class. Would've preferred the option to stay behind to talk instead, but there was another class right after us. I also would've preferred the school counsellor to be involved, since I didn't even know we had one until I was 17/18, almost leaving school. We had a school nurse who was in her office at set times during the week, but the school counsellor was around after school (hence why I didn't even know we had one). And in order to see the school counsellor, you had to talk to the school nurse first. But I just assumed the school nurse was there for things like safe sex and never felt that how I was feeling was that bad anyway. We were supposed to have Personal and Social Education (PSE) which focussed on friendships, relationships, self-esteem and emotions but that was terrible. We had no time during the day to do it, so we would fill the booklet in during registration in the morning, just to say we did it (ideally, it was to be done on a regular basis in conjunction with these talks).

CPR was a one off class and wish that it had been done in smaller groups because I ended up feeling like I didn't know if I was doing it right. I had to miss a talk on young carers because I was sitting an exam, and many other classes like cooking and healthy eating, personal statements for university, CV writing etc., because I was in other classes and wasn't allowed to attend these things instead. Careers classes which we had from the age of 12-16 weren't that good and I wish we had more education on financial things as well.

I guess really it's hard trying to find the time and balance between academic education and health/life education. And interestingly, I don't think we had any education regarding LGBT+ issues so it would be nice to see the curriculum updated to include these things.

Sorry, bit of a rant there


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 13th 2017, 01:39 PM

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We had the school nurse come in when we were around 11/12 years old to talk to us about puberty, menstruation etc.
Yes. This is what happened in public school for me. Someone from the health department came in a few times to talk about "sex ed" and it was random cause nobody knew till that day.

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After that, we didn't have sex ed until we were about 14/15, and some other practitioners came in to talk to us about contraception, safe sex, STIs etc. It was good because it was more interactive, like practicing how to put a condom on properly. But I don't think they gave out any leaflets or information sheets which would've been handy, because even now I have to look up information about the different types of contraception
That is very similar to what happened, only thing is they never showed us how to put a condom on. It was mostly slides and her explaining things. It was the most uncomfortable thing ever. We did however, were able to ask questions and put them into a box and she would read them and answer the questions.

Quote:
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We've also had a policeman come in to talk to us about alcohol
Yes! Very similar to the school I went to as well! I was in grade 6 when they came in. It was very useful information and he informed us about safety and some police and school relationship, where a officer is assigned to a school or district. I thought that was really cool.

Quote:
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Another organisation did a production about bullying and mental health.
For some reason the school never did a mental health for us. Again, another outside place who came in to talk to the school. I remember they had little people come in and talk to us about bullying and the affects. We've had plays come in to talk about bullying as well.

The UK school seems very similar to Canadian schools (or the school I went to) and I wish their was more education in public school. High school, grade 10 is when the sexual health department came in to talk to us about condom use and how to put one on, safer sex, etc., but I also took a parenting class in grade 11 so I also learned more about all of that.

I found that schools hide away and bring someone from the community to talk to students but public school sex ed lacked in so much. I always wondered if that was the case to high teen pregnancies in early high school. Then someone from the sexual health department would come to the high school twice a week to do tests, give condoms, conception, and so fourth.

I think it needs to be improved and I think it is useful for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smultroställe. View Post
Honestly, the sex ed in my schools (elementary, middle and high school) was a joke. We didn't have an actual sex ed/health class (I'm not from the US) but rather it was a unit (so once per year we would have anywhere from an hour to five hours of sex ed) in a careers/life skills/PE course from elementary till high school. We also could opt out of anything if our parents did not give us permission to go to the class either. So I guess that's similar to your idea of testing out?

We were taught that abstinence was the only way to prevent diseases/pregnancy and the health risks as well as the rate that contraceptives fail. We didn't learn how to use anything. We watched a horrid/graphic movie in 10th grade that demonstrated a women giving birth as a mean to show what can happen if you have sex before marriage (I think it was trying to terrify us into not having sex ). We also had this fake baby doll that would cry and scream that was part of that unit in high school. We were also taught that sexual activity that outside of a monogamous, heterosexual relationship wasn't right and so was sex before marriage, porn and adultery. So again, sex ed was non existent and a joke. I did go to a private school but the public schools in my area also teach sex ed with a pro-absitance stance.
I completely agree! Sex ed in Canada is a joke in public school to high school.

One thing I found interesting about the class is, yes, how they taught us abstinense was the only way to prevent pregnancy and STIs. Later, found out that, there is such thing as condoms which I don't recall them ever telling us that in public school. The lack of information is awful. I wish they would give more of an educational background.

I did the parenting course in high school which I took home that screaming baby. Our teacher wanted us to name it (why would I name a doll) and then we had to wear this pregnany belly and walk around high school with it on, including the males in the class and we had to sit down, get up, go up stairs with it on.

Sex ed to me, needs to be updated and not one minded and focusing on "to not have sex" when they should be teaching us about it all and where to go for support and help if something did happen. Like violence agiasnt women/males and assaults and such so they know where to turn to.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 13th 2017, 04:38 PM

So I'm a health educator and I have split opinions on this. Theoretically, if somebody was able to test out of all the subjects that a good health class would cover (nutrition, safety and occupational health topics, social determinants of health, sex ed, mental health topics, etc) then sure. If you know the info, there really isn't a reason to take the class. The problem is that I have worked with young adults 18-25 who do not know this information because their schools poorly covered it. The state of adolescent health education, at least in the United States, is a mess. Sex ed is treated as a topic of debate and not a serious school subject. Health classes are poorly taught by physical ed teachers who just make students count their calories or watch Supersize Me and don't properly teach nutritional health. It's just a mess.


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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 13th 2017, 07:25 PM

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Originally Posted by Coffee. View Post
The state of adolescent health education, at least in the United States, is a mess. Sex ed is treated as a topic of debate and not a serious school subject. Health classes are poorly taught by physical ed teachers who just make students count their calories or watch Supersize Me and don't properly teach nutritional health. It's just a mess.
Ah how couldn't I forget about Supersize Me! I was shown that once in middle and once in high school and that was probably a majority of our nutrition education and it's so unrealistic because while sure I don't eat healthy I also don't think most people are eating McDonald's for three square meals every day so I didn't get much out of it besides grossed out. I still don't really know how to start to get to a healthy weight in a healthy and safe way haha.


   
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Re: Thoughts on Health Class? - August 14th 2017, 01:14 AM

Definitely believe that health education should be part of the school system. I was thinking about this though, now that you brought up that it can be boring to some students who know a lot. Health can go so deep, it really is for anyone. Everyone can learn more and more and more with health (and pretty much any subject) so maybe if there was a curriculum instead of being based on age groups, it can be based on skill level and interest and there can be some kind of self-directed aspect to it. It can be really project-based and hands on and it can get exciting with a good team of educators. And if you're still bored with all that, then you can have the option to be a peer health educator and volunteer your time to educate others in a topic you're most interested in.

So let's say in high school, students are ages 13-21 (some students get left back a few years so I'm including that)

So there can be like different levels, with mixed ages.

okay I didnt think about this through but I'm sure it is a matter of developing a curriculum that engages students of all skills, interests and previous learning.

Art, music, physical education, etc are often the first to go with budget cuts and health is often one of those to go too, or it's very dumbed down and rushed and frustrating for everyone involved.

I feel like the whole education system needs a revamp, but health education has its place, it just needs rethinking and innovative teaching and learning.
   
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