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Philosophical Foundations of Health Education

Jill M. Black (Editor), Steven R. Furney (Editor), Helen M. Graf (Editor), Ann E. Nolte (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-43678-3
448 pages
December 2009, ©2010, Jossey-Bass
Philosophical Foundations of Health Education (0470436786) cover image


Philosophical Foundations of Health Education covers the philosophical and ethical foundations of the practice of health education in school, community, work site, and hospital settings, as well as in health promotion consultant activities. The book presents personal philosophies of health educators, essential philosophical perspectives, and a range of philosophical issues that are relevant to health education practice. Philosophical Foundations of Health Education is organized around the five major philosophical traditions: cognitive-based, decision-making, behavior change, freeing/functioning, and social change. Co-published with the American Association for Health Education, this important work is an essential resource for student and professional. Each section contains a challenge to the reader that suggests critical thinking questions to reinforce the key points of the chapter, invite comparison with other perspectives, reflect on the implications of the perspective, note themes that run through the chapters, and consider practical applications of the various philosophical approaches.

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Table of Contents



Part 1: Philosophical Perspectives in Health Education.

1 This I Believe: A Philosophy of Health Education (Loren B. Bensley Jr.).

2 Philosophical Bases for Health Education (J. Keogh Rash).

3 Three Essential Questions in Defining a Personal Philosophy (R. Morgan Pigg Jr.).

4 Health Education as a Basic (Carl E. Willgoose).

5 Some Guiding Principles on Health and Health Education: A Philosophical Statement (Charles R. Carroll).

6 The Holistic Philosophy and Perspective of Selected Health Educators (Stephen B. Thomas).

Part 2: Developing a Philosophy of Health Education.

7 Connecting a Personal Philosophy of Health to the Practice of Health Education (Becky J. Smith).

8 Health Educators and the Future: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way (Noreen M. Clark).

9 Health Education and Health Promotion: A Look at the Jungle of Supportive Fields, Philosophies, and Theoretical Foundations (Thomas C. Timmreck • Galen E. Cole • Gordon James • Diane D. Butterworth).

10 Philosophical Trends in Health Education: Implications for the 21st Century (Helen M. Welle • Robert D. Russell • Mark J. Kittleson).

Part 3: Cognitive Approaches in Health Education.

11 Teaching for Understanding in Health Education: The Role of Critical and Creative Thinking Skills within Constructivism Theory (Valerie A. Ubbes • Jill M. Black • Judith A. Ausherman).

12 The Paradigm Shift Toward Teaching for Thinking: Prospective, Barriers, Solutions, and Accountability (Bette B. Keyser • James T. Broadbear).

13 Historical Steps in the Development of Modern School Health Program (Kenneth E. Veselak).

14 Philosophy and Principles of the School Health Program (Delbert Oberteuffer).

Part 4: Changing Behavior in Health Education.

15 Behavioral Health Education: An Emerging Opportunity (Carl I. Fertman).

16 Healthy Behavior: Implications of a Holistic Paradigm of Thinking Through Bodymind Research (Don Read • Walt Stoll).

17 Problem-Based Learning: Catalyst for Behavioral Change (J. Frederick Garman • Carol J. Teske • Duane A. Crider).

18 Health Promotion and Empowerment: Reflections on Professional Practice (Ronald Labonte).

Part 5: Freeing/Functioning in Health Education

19 Health Education as Freeing (Jerrold S. Greenberg).

20 Democracy—The First Principle of Health Promoting Schools (Andy Anderson • Barbara Ronson).

21 Human Ecology and Health Education (Howard S. Hoyman).

22 Spiritual Wellness, Holistic Health, and the Practice of Health Education (Steven Hawks).

Part 6: Social Change in Health Education.

23 New Health Promotion Movement: A Critical Examination (Ann Robertson • Meredith Minkler).

24 Potential Untapped: Health Education and Health Promotion as a Means to Peace (Daniel Leviton).

25 Putting Politics Back in Public Health Education (Martha L. Coulter • Terrance Allbrecht • Elizabeth Gulitz • Mary Figg • Charles Mahan).

26 Health Care Reform: Insights for Health Educators (Thomas O'Rourke).

27 The Role of Health Education Associations in Advocacy (M. Elaine Auld • Eleanor Dixon-Terry).

28 The Role of Health Education Advocacy in Removing Disparities in Health Education (John P. Allegrante • Donald E. Morisky • Behjat A. Sharif).

29 Lessons from Developing Countries: Health Education in the Global Village (Helda Pinzon-Perez).

Appendix A Philosophy of Health Education Grid.

Appendix B Philosophy of Health Education: A Position Statement of the American Association of Health Education (AAHE).

Appendix C Health Literacy: A Position Statement of the American Association of Health Education (AAHE).

Appendix D Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession

Appendix E CHES Questions.

Part References.


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Author Information

Jill M. Black, PhD, CHES, is an associate professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance at Cleveland State University and coordinator of the Community Health Education Program. She is a fellow of the American Association for Health Education.

Steven R. Furney, EdD, MPH, is a professor of Health Education and director of the Division of Health Education at Texas State University. He is a fellow of the American Association for Health Education.

Helen M. Graf, PhD, is an associate professor and undergraduate program director in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University.

Ann E. Nolte, PhD, Distinguished Professor, emerita, of Health Education in the Department of Health Sciences at Illinois State University, was a fellow of the American Association for Health Education and the American School Health Association.

American Association for Health Education is the premier national organization for health educators and other professionals who promote the health of all people, with 5,500 health educators in school, college, research, community, medical, and industry settings.

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"Finally, health education specialists have a book devoted to philosophical perspectives from experts in the field. Without a doubt, this book will be a reader and keeper for students, scholars, practitioners, leaders, and teachers of health education and promotion, who routinely think about and share their own health education philosophy."
— Dixie Dennis, Ph.D., CHES, Austin Peay State University

"Finally! A book that clearly and critically collates the various philosophical foundations for the health education profession! Will assist budding (and mature) health educators in identifying and creating their own philosophy of health education practice. Bravo to the insightful editors and authors!"
— Carolyn P. Parks-Bani, PhD, Community Health Educator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

"A captivating compilation of readings that presents diverse perspectives from past and present leaders on philosophical issues in health education. It is a much-needed addition to our professional literature that will serve as an essential resource for courses addressing the foundations and history of our field."
— David A. Birch, PhD, CHES, East Carolina University

"Philosophical Foundations of Health Education is an essential, comprehensive collection useful for any Health Education professional preparation program."
— Judy C. Drolet, PhD, CHES, FASHA, FAAHE, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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