The Michigan Model for Health™ is a comprehensive and sequential K-12 health education curriculum that aims to give school-aged children (ages 5-19 years) the knowledge and skills needed to practice and maintain healthy behaviors and lifestyles. It provides age-appropriate lessons addressing the most serious health challenges facing school-aged children, including social and emotional health; nutrition and physical activity; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; personal health and wellness; safety; and HIV. The Michigan Model for Health™ facilitates learning through a variety of interactive teaching and learning techniques. Skill development through demonstration and guided practice is emphasized resulting in the development of positive lifestyle behaviors for students and families.
The Michigan Model for Health™ is based on the Adapted Health Belief Model, a merging of several behavior change theories including the Social Cognitive Theory, Social Influence Theory, and Social Behavioral Theory. A key principle of the Adapted Health Belief Model is that a health education program is more likely to impact behavior change if it includes all of the following components: knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and environmental support. The Michigan Model for Health™ is designed for implementation as a component of the core school curriculum, with each of the lessons lasting 20-45 minutes in length. The lessons may be integrated in various disciplines such as language arts, science, social studies, etc. Furthermore, some lessons include activities to facilitate parental and family involvement beyond the classroom. The curriculum can be implemented in public, private, or alternative schools.
A little history
The Michigan Model for Health™ was first implemented in 1985 as a result of collaboration between the following state agencies: Public Health (renamed Community Health), Education, Mental Health, Social Services (renamed Human Services), Office of Highway Safety Planning, State Police and Substance Abuse (merged with Community Health). The goal was to create a coordinated and collaborative program that provided school-aged children with information and skills related to health and disease prevention. According to a 2008 survey of schools, approximately 80% of Michigan school buildings implement the Michigan Model for Health™, and 72% or 1.2 million Michigan students receive the lessons.
Besides Michigan, the Michigan Model for Health™ has been implemented in the following 39 states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Benefits to teachers and schools
The joint resources of collaborating agencies have created a comprehensive school health education package with advantages for states, schools and students:
- Cost savings on the purchase of support materials
- Responsiveness to the need for new curricula in areas such as HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse
- Efficient delivery of a wide range of curricula and support materials
- Mechanisms for parent involvement
- Nationally recognized, research-based curriculum
MMH Clearinghouse (MMHC) is the distribution center for the Michigan Model for Health™. MMHC works with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDDHS) to offer the curriculum and support materials to concerned educators, parents, school districts and state agencies committed to providing the best possible health education curriculum for grades K-12. Please visit www.mmhclearinghouse.org for more information.