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  3. Background, Standards & Theory

What learning theory is HealthSmart based on?

HealthSmart is grounded in sound educational and behavioral theory.

The Theory of Planned Behavior provides the framework for lessons and activities. Concepts from Social Learning Theory are strategically woven throughout the program. The Transtheoretical or Stages of Change Model serves as the foundation for activities designed to support student change of unhealthy behaviors. theory-planned-behavior

Activities are designed to appeal to students’ multiple intelligences, utilize brain-based learning methodologies, and promote a constructivist approach to learning. Theoretical principles woven throughout the lessons and activities increase the likelihood that students will value and practice the healthy actions that prevent excessive morbidity and premature mortality.

Within the HealthSmart program, teachers utilize educational and health behavior theory to:

  • Build a personal value for health by helping students explore and share their own health beliefs and those of their families, connecting new learning to the experiences students bring to the classroom, providing opportunities to reflect on health behaviors and connecting those behaviors to future health outcomes, and encouraging students to envision a healthy future and explore the choices and actions necessary to achieve that future.
  • Shape healthy peer norms by engaging students in discussions regarding the healthy actions that family and friends want them to pursue, having students participate in activities that increase their motivation to comply with these expectations, and providing opportunities for students to develop support from family and friends for their healthy actions.
  • Build power to use knowledge and skills by teaching the essential, functional knowledge needed to support healthy behaviors and providing structured opportunities for students to develop and practice key skills for health literacy.
  • Enhance students' perception of control over their health behaviors by helping them acquire knowledge, develop skills and establish support systems that increase their power to anticipate situations and act in healthy ways.