The TExES Health EC – 12 Exam is a certification examination that is designed to determine whether or not an individual has the knowledge necessary to teach health at any grade level in the Texas public school system. This exam assesses an individual’s knowledge of factors that affect health, methods and behaviors to improve health, and methods to teach students effective ways of improving their own health. This exam may be required in order to become a certified health teacher in the state of Texas depending on the specific position the individual is pursuing. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are related to the following areas:
- Personal Health (26%)
- Healthy Interpersonal Relationships (20%)
- Community and Environmental Health and Safety (20%)
- Health-Related Skills and Resources (20%)
- The School Health Education Program (14%)
The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 – 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The Health EC – 12 Exam is offered in a computer-based format and the registration fee for the exam is $131. However, there may be other exams and fees in addition to this exam that are required in order to become certified as an entry-level high school health teacher within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Explain the importance of a health education program.
Health education is concerned with the student’s quality of life not just in school, but also as the basis for forming a positive attitude about his physical, social and emotional well-being for the rest of his life. Cultural influences, home and community environment, and heredity all play a role in obtaining and maintaining a healthy body and mind. To be effective, a health education program should consider all these factors; it should include the school staff, parents, and district administration when designing a curriculum. There are three interrelated health elements involved in a successful program:
- PHYSICAL: understanding how the body works and what outside factors help and hinder its development
- EMOTIONAL: identifying and exploring feelings, emotions, and relationships, and recognizing their impact on both mental and physical health
- SOCIAL: studying the interactions of individuals with one other; understanding how each person influences the health and well-being of the environment; discovering the impact each person has on the overall safety of the community
2. Discuss the impact of family members on a child’s development.
Researchers theorize that each child experiences the same stimuli differently based on his relationship to his parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Traditionally, mothers were considered the most influential person in a child’s psychological development. This viewpoint is slowly changing, however. Evidence suggests that even if the father has no contact with or direct influence on a child, his treatment of and interactions with the mother have a significant impact on the child’s development. Both the direct and indirect roles of the intimate and extended family are being studied. A greater emphasis is being placed on the primary caregiver, no matter the gender or biological relationship to the child. A primary caregiver can be the mother, father, grandparent, nanny or childcare worker. Studies have shown that siblings do influence each other’s development, most notably in forming aggressive behavior and acquiring conflict resolution skills. The overall emotional climate of the family and the different approach parents take with each child has a strong influence on the relationship between the siblings as well as the power one sibling may hold over another.
3. Discuss the importance and impact of friends on children’s development.
Between the ages of three and five, a child begins to understand that the people with whom he has been sharing the sandbox are different from each other and from him. He begins to realize he likes some better than others even though he doesn’t really know or care why that is. When the child starts school, one of his most important social tasks is making friends. He is psychologically ready to develop more complex relationships and he moves his focus from family to friends. School-age children begin spending more time with people outside the family circle. They start confiding in peers and sharing their fears, frustrations, and pleasures with friends. Groups form, and sometimes evolve into cliques, based on things from appearance and personality to athletics and other extracurricular activities. Peer pressure increases and may include dressing, talking, walking and acting alike, listening to the same music, and visiting the same Internet sites.
4. Describe the major developmental skills of early childhood.
In early childhood, approximately three to five years of age, children widen their social interactions and become more involved with and attuned to the people around them. They are eager to explore their environment, take risks, find adventure in the backyard, and discover how things work. Children this age are very creative and expressive. Their world might have purple trees, an orange sky, and superheroes living behind the garage. It is the responsibility of the caregivers in his or her life to encourage initiative and exploration, and help the child learn from mistakes. If the caregiver offers appropriate praise when earned and is consistent with discipline when needed, the child will become more responsible, follow through on assigned tasks, and develop a healthy self-esteem. If the child is not allowed to make some decisions for himself and be a little independent, he may stop taking initiative and be easily led by other people.
5. Describe the major developmental skills of childhood.
From approximately six to ten years of age, children start school and begin moving away from the known world of home and family to the new world of academia, additional adult influences, and interactions with people their own age. Egocentric thought begins to decrease. Children learn how to manipulate signs and symbols related to objects. They learn how to make and use tools. They discover actions are reversible and how much fun it can be to learn something new. For many children, this is the first time they receive feedback from people outside the family circle. If the feedback is constructive and instructive, they develop competence and increase their self-esteem. However, if a child is consistently unsuccessful and doesn’t learn to appreciate the learning process, he can feel inadequate and develop feelings of inferiority that can stay with him and influence the rest of his life.
6. Describe the major developmental skills of adolescence.
Adolescence starts at about eleven and lasts until the child reaches eighteen or so. Youngsters this age learn to apply logic to abstract concepts. In the first few years of this stage, adolescents return to being egocentric because they are trying to figure out who they are and where and how they fit into the world. They explore new ideas, test established limits both at home and in school, and try to cope with and understand all the physical, hormonal and emotional changes they are experiencing. They try on different roles, personas, and behaviors. It is a confusing time but a necessary and critical step in developing a positive sense of self. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors, peers and other people in the adolescent’s life all have an influence, positive or negative, on the adolescent’s choices.
7. Discuss moral development.
The basic tenet of moral development is learning the difference between right and wrong. It is exhibited in a person’s unconscious attitudes and treatment of others. Children are highly influenced by the behavior of those with whom they interact on a regular basis. It is important they have good role models to emulate. The mores of a culture develop over time depending upon how its citizens establish, respect and follow societal norms, rules and laws. Behavior is based on a cultural social contract founded on certain universally-accepted aspects of moral functioning, such as self-control, compliance, altruism, empathy and reasoning. Moral development is a life-long process that begins in infancy, grows in childhood and adolescence, and matures in adulthood. Its manifestations change as the person ages. Reaching the next level of development is dependent upon learning and integrating the previous level. If the process is distorted at one stage, it could negatively influence behavior later in the process.
8. Discuss the importance of conflict resolution in childhood development.
A child’s ability to resolve conflicts with his peers has a strong influence on his acceptance into or rejection from the group. Learning to deal with conflict in a positive manner is critical to developing healthy friendships, which directly influences behavior, which has a huge impact on social acceptance. Elementary school children with self-control are better able to find solutions that account for both sides in a dispute, which is the way conflicts should be resolved. Social acceptance in elementary school is a fairly accurate predictor of how successful a person will be in college and in professional life. Researchers followed two groups of eight year-olds into their mid-forties. People whose peers rated their social behavior acceptable in elementary school were more successful than those who had social difficulties. One compelling reason to deal with aggressive behavior early in life is because, if it is left unchecked, it can have serious academic and career consequences later in life.
9. Discuss hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste contains properties potentially harmful to humans and/or the environment. It can be liquid, solid, gas, or sludge. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified wastes that are always hazardous and categorized them on lists:
- F-LIST: non-specific source wastes from manufacturing and industrial processes
- K-LIST: source-specific wastes produced by specific industries, e.g. petroleum refining and pesticide manufacturing
- P-LIST and U-LIST: discarded commercial chemical products Waste can be classified hazardous if it exhibits one of four characteristics:
- IGNITABLE WASTE starts fires under certain conditions, spontaneously combusts, or has a low flash point. Several tests can determine if a substance is ignitable.
- CORROSIVE WASTE is capable of corroding metal such as storage tanks, drums and barrels.
- REACTIVE WASTE is unstable under “normal” conditions. It can cause explosions, toxic fumes, gases and vapors when heated, compressed, or mixed with water.
- TOXIC WASTE is harmful and/or fatal when ingested orally or absorbed through the skin. It can contaminate the ground and leach into water sources.
10. Describe some water conservation activities in which the Environmental Protection Agency is involved.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues periodic reports on the condition of the nation’s wetlands (areas that link land and water resources), watersheds (drainage basins where water, sediment and other material flows from a land mass into a body of water) and floodplains (a low area of land next to a body of water). One of the agency’s missions is to preserve, protect and maintain the quality of our water resources. They are accountable to the American people for the success or failure of their efforts. The EPA is involved with various activities and works with other federal and state agencies, private industry and environmental organizations to develop plans to protect the environment and manage water resources and the surrounding land using a watershed protection approach. The EPA encourages integrated activities by:
- Developing guidelines to link wetlands protection with watershed planning
- Providing funding to the states for watershed projects
- Integrating watershed projects into the federal floodplain plans
- Supporting national and regional meetings to discuss wetlands and watershed planning programs