249404 Availability of Health Literature in Elementary Schools and the Implications for Teaching Practices

Monday, October 31, 2011

Suzanne Evans, Ed D , School of Health & Human Services, National University, San Diego, CA
Many students do not encounter books representing various health, social, emotional, and physical wellness topics in the literature used in the classroom. The power of reading and discussing literature with and to children within the elementary classroom is well documented. Even though many educators suggest that using health literature in classrooms provides students with examples of the differences among people while highlighting the universality of the human experience, the availability of health literature in school and classroom libraries is often limited. The focus of this study was to examine the number of and representation of health topics available in Scholastic Book Clubs order forms over the course of a school year. This study examined whether selective tradition that excludes the voices of various groups or topics operates within the book club offerings. Analyzing book club order forms provided a sense of the health book offerings to which teachers are exposed and therefore provide their students. The implications for teachers and teaching of this artificially limited selection via book clubs offerings, the impact on teacher selection and acquisition practices, and the effect on health literacy practices will be shared. This session examines the importance of having literature of multiple topics and of all groups represented in the classroom; explores criteria for quality literature; and share results of a study examining the availability of health and wellness books in school book club order forms for one school year and the implications for teaching.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze titles and selection criteria for health literature 2. List strategies to increase the use of health literature in classrooms

Keywords: School Health Educators, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: teach in the bachelor and master of public health and health education program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.