Towards equity in health : envisioning authentic health education in schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Bennett Kimbrough (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
H. Svi Shapiro

Abstract: "In U.S. history, there has never been a time when the health status of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, or Asians has come close to that of white Americans. On the whole, non-white groups persistently experience higher degrees of chronic illness, disability and premature death. There have been varied explanations for the vast disparities in health status that exist among differing racial, class, and gender groups. The most commonly accepted understanding of these differences is either one of (1) genetic diversity - that is, people are biologically predetermined to be at risk for certain diseases or health issues or (2) behavioral choice - people are either uninformed or unwilling to make decisions that support optimal health. Using a critical intersectional lens to understand health disparities, we come to a very different conclusion. Rather than understanding individuals as solely responsible for their own health status (biologically or behaviorally), we can instead deconstruct the various social, political and historical contexts which shape both our health care and educational systems as well as individuals' contextual understanding of health. This paper explores constructs of health, health education, and health literacy through a critical historical perspective relative to disparities in health. A qualitative examination of the state of public school health education provides the foundation for understanding the existing problems in health education policy and practice. Implications for school and public policy are discussed as potential solutions to health inequities."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
United States, History, health, status, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, white Americans, chronic illness, disability, premature death, racial, class, gender, genetic, diversity
Health education--United States
Health promotion--United States
Health and race--United States

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