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ETR Blog

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


What Are The Goals of Sexuality Education? Probably Not What You Think
March 19, 2019

What Are The Goals of Sexuality Education? Probably Not What You Think

By Clint Bruess, EdD and Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW | March 19, 2019
Dean Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham (CB) and Sexuality Educator, Trainer and Consultant, Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting (ES)

Although sexuality education has changed significantly since the early 20th century, many of the goals still focus primarily on public health outcomes. Federal and state-level funding streams tend to focus, for example, on reducing unplanned pregnancy and avoiding STIs.

Now, don’t get us wrong—these are important parts of many sexuality education programs. If these are the only goals, however, they exclude other vital parts of who we are as human beings. 

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Tags: Sexual and reproductive health, K12, Sex education
We Love Pi! And Science! And Pie! Happy Pi Day!
March 14, 2019

We Love Pi! And Science! And Pie! Happy Pi Day!

By ETR | March 14, 2019

Here at ETR, we are crazy for science. In fact, science is deeply engrained in our organizational values, which proudly proclaim that “Science is Foundational” to all the work we do.

You can imagine how excited we get about Pi Day—a day to reflect on the power, wonder and promise of science. Last year in our Pi Day post, our team talked about some of the reasons we celebrate science. This year, we’re sharing up some thought-provoking bits of scientific research that we just think are mighty cool.

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Tags: ETR staff, Science
Health Teachers + Professional Development Make a True Difference for Students
March 13, 2019

Health Teachers + Professional Development Make a True Difference for Students

By Chris Moore, MS and Rachel Erisman | March 13, 2019
Health Educator/Assistant Soccer Coach (CM) and Health & Physical Education Instructor (RE), Fort Worth Independent School District

You could call us lucky health teachers. We are lucky enough to work within the Fort Worth Independent School District. For the last several years, FWISD has put a big emphasis on professional development (PD) for its health teachers.

This has helped us become stronger and better educators. It’s helped all our colleagues—both the seasoned vets and the newbies. Most importantly, it’s creating a more engaged and energetic health education environment for our students. We have some suggestions for educators who’d like to introduce more effective PD in their setting.

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Tags: School health education, School health, Physical education, Teachers, Professional development, HealthSmart, K12, Health education
I'm Getting Ready for Some Youth-Centered Design to Open My Mind
March 8, 2019

I'm Getting Ready for Some Youth-Centered Design to Open My Mind

By Josh Bettenhausen | March 8, 2019
Lead Technology & Marketing Officer, YTH

I’ve been working with youth-centered projects for well over a decade, both through my work at YTH and my experience as a designer. Here’s an essential point of learning from my experience: when it comes to youth, most of our assumptions are wrong. At the very least, they’re way off base, especially if we make those assumptions without getting youth directly and deeply involved in what we’re doing.

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Tags: Conference, Youth-centered design, Youth empowerment, Adolescent health, Technology, Youth voice, YTH
How High School Sex Ed Can Help Prevent Rape In College
March 6, 2019

How High School Sex Ed Can Help Prevent Rape In College

By Christopher Pepper | March 6, 2019
Health Education Content Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District

Comprehensive sexuality education helps young people make informed decisions, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and reduce their risks for sexually transmitted infections. But can it actually help prevent rape? A groundbreaking new study says it can.

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Tags: High school, Refusal skills, Rape prevention, Sex education
8 Tips for Creating a Digital Badging System: Recognize, Encourage and Affirm Youth Who Build Tech Skills
March 4, 2019

8 Tips for Creating a Digital Badging System: Recognize, Encourage and Affirm Youth Who Build Tech Skills

By Shannon Campe | March 4, 2019
Program Manager, ETR

What do you know about badges? I’m not talking about the patch you sew on your Girl Scout vest when you’ve completed your Space Science Explorer requirements. I’m talking about digital badges that people can share widely online.

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Tags: Digital Nest, STEM, STEM equity, STEM education
A Real Smoking Gun: Cigarettes, HIV and Cancer
February 26, 2019

A Real Smoking Gun: Cigarettes, HIV and Cancer

By BA Laris, MPH | February 26, 2019
Program Manager, ETR

Today, cancer is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV (PLWH). A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that between 1996 and 2009, there was a 50% increase in cancers of people living with HIV compared to the general population. Non-AIDS-related cancer deaths increased from 11% to 22%. People living with HIV had higher rates for 4 out of 5 forms of cancer. 

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Tags: Community Impact Solutions Project, CISP, HIV-AIDS, Tobacco prevention, Tobacco, HIV
Supporting Students, Teachers & Health Education through ESSA Funding
February 21, 2019

Supporting Students, Teachers & Health Education through ESSA Funding

By Daniel Hill, NBCT and Debbie Boian | February 21, 2019
Physical Education Instructor (DH) and Health Services Coordinator (DB), Fayette County Public Schools

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is transforming opportunities in health and physical education. We are moving away from federal mandates and into an era where local communities can step forward and create powerful, locally relevant programs in health and PE.

Finally! We have greater local control and an act that identifies health and PE as essential subjects in a well-rounded education. That means new funding is available to support exemplary health and PE programs. 

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Tags: Physical education, HealthSmart, School health, School health education, ESSA
Let's Talk About the Mistrust Trans Community Members Have for Researchers
February 19, 2019

Let's Talk About the Mistrust Trans Community Members Have for Researchers

By Bo James Hwang | February 19, 2019
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Student, UCLA Extension

The All of Us Research Program, a project of the National Institutes of Health, aims to gather health data from one million people living in the United States. I was chosen to participate in one of the University of California, San Francisco’s research feedback sessions for the initiative.

Many of the trans and non-binary people participating in the feedback session discussed their personal experiences with medical providers and researchers. Many brought up the mistrust that trans people have for researchers. 

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Tags: Community voices, LGBTQ, Transgender, Health equity, Ethics, Research
Three Ways to Supercharge Your HealthSmart Lessons
February 13, 2019

Three Ways to Supercharge Your HealthSmart Lessons

By ETR | February 13, 2019

Here at ETR, we’re very proud of HealthSmart. This signature health education curriculum is a dynamic, exciting program for educators and students alike. HealthSmart supports the National Health Education Standards, National Sexuality Education Standards and Common Core State Standards. The lesson objectives and assessments are based on knowledge and skill expectations outlined in the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT).

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Tags: Teachers, School health education, Health education, HealthSmart
Building Health Skills: Analyzing Influences
February 7, 2019

Building Health Skills: Analyzing Influences

By Suzanne Schrag | February 7, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

What makes young people do the things they do? And how does this affect their choices about health and risk?

Young people’s health behaviors can be influenced by a number of different factors, including family, friends, entertainment and social media, fads and trends, and their own internal attitudes and beliefs. One particularly powerful area of influence is the family, peer and social norms they see reflected in the actions and values of those around them. The things they see—and, sometimes even more important, the things they think they see (the perceived norms)—can either support or discourage healthy behaviors.

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Tags: Health education, School health education, K12, HealthSmart
HIV: Strengths-Based Approaches Can Help Us Reach UNAIDS 90-90-90 Goals
February 5, 2019

HIV: Strengths-Based Approaches Can Help Us Reach UNAIDS 90-90-90 Goals

By BA Laris, MPH | February 5, 2019
Program Manager, ETR

I recently had the privilege of attending an engaging and provocative conference in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario HIV Treatment Network hosted HIV Endgame 3: Breakthrough Initiatives research conference in December. The conference provided two days of presentations and discussions to propel members of the HIV network both in Ontario and globally towards ending the HIV epidemic.

I was invited to deliver an interactive workshop on linkage to care. In the workshop, we explored one of our most promising behavioral strategies for achieving the end of AIDS: using a strengths-based approach to reach those who are not yet in medical care.

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Tags: Community Impact Solutions Project, Strengths based, HIV, HIV cascade of care, Undetectable=untransmittable, HIV prevention
Better Condom Education for High School Students: Putting Data into Practice
January 31, 2019

Better Condom Education for High School Students: Putting Data into Practice

By Mia Barrett, MEd | January 31, 2019
Research Associate, ETR

What are the most common errors high school students make about condom use? Thanks to some recent research by ETR and our partners with Public Health, Seattle & King County, we can share insights on that question. Because of what I’ve learned through this research, I’ve adapted the way I teach youth about condom use. 

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Tags: Research to practice, Condoms, Research, Sexual and reproductive health, Health education
Professional Development for Teachers Makes Health Education Soar
January 29, 2019

Professional Development for Teachers Makes Health Education Soar

By Georgi Roberts and Brooke Sharples  | January 29, 2019
Director of Health & Physical Education (GR) and Health Education Coordinator Fort Worth Independent School District (BS)

We are passionate about health education. We believe in educating youth to give them the skills to make good health decisions. If we don’t take these steps, it’s hardly fair for us to expect young people to make the right choices about their health.

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Tags: Training design, HealthSmart, Teachers, Professional development, School health education
My Alternate Reality: I'm a Student and I'm Not On Social Media
January 24, 2019

My Alternate Reality: I'm a Student and I'm Not On Social Media

By Jessica Hilger | January 22, 2019
Second year undergraduate, Santa Clara University

As a high school senior, I wrote a college admission essay about why I chose not to be on social media. Today, halfway through my second year in college, I have some additional thoughts about social media in my life. But let’s start with where I was as a high school senior.

I was able to survive all of my teenage years without being on any form of social media at all. 

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Tags: Technology, Texting, High school, Social media, Teens
Building Health Skills: Goal Setting
January 22, 2019

Building Health Skills: Goal Setting

By Suzanne Schrag | January 22, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

“In 2019, I’m finally going to…eat better…meditate daily…get fit…stop smoking…”

Ah, the New Year. A time for making plans and setting goals—often ones that are health related. But moving those aspirations from wishful thinking into action steps isn’t always easy, and it definitely takes skill.

In fact, goal setting is one of the essential skills for health literacy defined in the National Health Education Standards (NHES), which means it’s also a skill focus in the HealthSmart program. 

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Tags: K12, School health education, Health education, HealthSmart
Three Tips for The Talk – Or, How Can We Help Parents Talk to Their Children?
January 17, 2019

Three Tips for The Talk–or How Can We Help Parents Talk to Their Children?

By Janelle Watson, MA, LMFT | January 17, 2019
Founder, Embrace Wellness

When it comes to figuring out how to talk to their kids about difficult topics, I find that parents want all the help they can get. Educators and providers often have opportunities to offer guidance that can help parents succeed.

What do parents want to know? Everything. 

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Tags: Kirby summit, Parents, Communication, Puberty, Teens, Scaffolding, Parent engagement
A Historic Year in Education and School Health
January 15, 2019

A Historic Year in Education and School Health

By Jamie Sparks | January 15, 2019
School Health Program Manager, ETR

The current school year is historic. Every state has shifted away from the federal education accountability mandates of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and towards state-created measures aligned to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For those of us who have worked diligently for decades to promote and prioritize school health, this offers a “giant step” opportunity. 

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Tags: HealthSmart, ESSA, School health education, Health education, K12, Comprehensive school health
Exemplary Professional Development: What Are the Critical Elements?
January 10, 2019

Exemplary Professional Development: What Are the Critical Elements?

By Tracy Wright, MAED | January 10, 2019
Project Director, ETR

At ETR, we value research and science. We apply those values throughout all of our work and across the entire agency. We encourage other organizations to do the same.

A few years back, ETR conducted a synthesis of current research on professional development (PD) programs. Our goal? To determine the critical elements needed to provide PD that leads to change in learners' practice—that is, PD that has a true impact. 

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Tags: Teachers, Health education, HealthSmart, K12, Distributive learning process, Professional development
Three Ways to Rock a Recruitment Pitch for a Study
January 8, 2019

Three Ways to Rock a Recruitment Pitch for a Study

By ETR | January 8, 2019

ETR has a nationally recognized Research Department. Our multidisciplinary research team engages in research addressing a wide range of educational and public health issues.

One of the challenges in research is recruiting participants for studies. In work we did recently, our research assistants went to college classrooms. They delivered a five-minute “pitch” inviting students to participate in an online survey about their learning experiences.

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Tags: Recruitment, College, Research

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