Compare philosophical statements

Using the web, review sites that post health education/promotion philosophy statements (two sites are listed below; or choose your own). Compare three philosophical statements. Identify which philosophical school is endorsed, how health education is defined, and how the statements differ. How might the differences impact program development?

  1. Website: http://www.shapeamerica.org


  2. Website:


  3. Website:

    2. Using the web, locate the mission statement of three health organizations (American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, National Kidney Foundation, etc). Determine which of the philosophies stated below closely aligns with their statement. Briefly provide a rationale for your selection.

    Organization 1:

    Organization 2:

    Organization 3:

3. Review I & II below as you begin to develop your own philosophy of health promotion. Use your answers from the prompts in #I to complete your Public Health Philosophy Statement assignment.

I.Predominant Health Education/Promotion Philosophies

A.Behavior change philosophy—using behavioral contracts, goal setting, and self-monitoring to foster the development of a healthier lifestyle

B.Cognitive-based philosophy—focuses on the acquisition of knowledge to better arm people to make healthy decisions

C.Decision-making philosophy—use of simulations, case studies, or scenarios to seek a best approach answer to health choices so that a person can learn to critically analyze health concerns before they arise

D.Freeing or functioning philosophy—helps a person make the best health choice possible for them, not necessarily based on the interests of society

E.Social change philosophy—emphasizes the role of health education in creating political or social change that benefits the health of individuals or groups

F.Eclectic health education/promotion philosophy—using the health education/promotion philosophical approach that best fits the situation with which the educator is confronted

G.A call to return to our roots – health education specialists should be disseminators of factual information and facilitators of rational choice (Buchanan, 2006).

    1. cognitive based
    2. decision-making
    3. freeing/functioning
    4. call for an integrated behavioral ecological philosophy

    II.Writing your Philosophy….

    1. Introductory paragraph
      1. Which philosophical school do you endorse: realism, idealism, pragmatism, or eclectic? (select one and briefly describe)
    2. What is your philosophy of life?
      1. What is important in your life?
      2. What do you value most?
      3. What ideals do you hold?
      4. How do the answers to the above questions influence the way you believe and act?
    3. Complete the stem “The purpose of life is to…”
    4. What is your philosophy of health?
      1. Creating your own definition of health
      2. The dimensions of wellness
      3. The continuum of wellness
      4. Creating your definition of health education
    5. Complete the stem “The purpose of health is to…”
    6. Your personal philosophy of health education
      1. The predominant health education philosophies (see above)
      2. Definitions of health education
      3. Benefits of health education
      4. Limitations of health education
      5. Responsibilities of a health educator
      6. How do we know when the goals/objectives have been achieved?
    7. Conclusion – complete the stems:
      1. “The purpose of health education is to…” (Hint: see what practicing health educators wrote)
      2. “A person is health educated when he/she…”

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