Exemplary Sexual Health Education (ESHE) is a systematic, evidence-informed approach to sexual health education. Characteristics of an exemplary sexual health education curriculum include:
- aligns student outcomes with standards;
- provides the essential knowledge and critical health skills sequentially over time as outlined in a scope and sequence;
- meets mandates of federal, state and local laws and policies;
- is tailored to students' needs and the contexts and educational practices of communities;
- includes student assessments that measure if students are learning what is intended for them to learn; and
- uses quality evidence-based curriculum materials that:
- contain medically accurate information;
- are consistent with the scientific research on effective sexual health education;
- are developmentally and culturally appropriate; and
- use strategies that are relevant and engaging.
As with all curriculum, the student outcomes must be grounded in standards. There are several documents that outline national and state health education and sexual health education standards and performance indicators.
Scope and Sequence
A comprehensive health education scope and sequence outlines the breadth and arrangement of multiple topics and includes the key health core concepts and health skills across grade levels (scope), and the logical progression of these skills and concepts at each grade level (sequence) from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.
A strand scope and sequence gives the key health core concepts and health skills that are taught grade to grade for a single health topic as sexual health or substance abuse prevention. This partnership focused on developing secondary sexual health education scope and sequences.
Assessment is the measurement of students' learning. The partner districts developed summative assessments for their sexual health units of study with the following core characteristics:
- Align with priority or most important skill standards and key core concepts in the unit;
- Represent relevant, meaningful, and real world application of skills and knowledge;
- Measure higher order thinking skills; and
- Include a measurement tool (e.g., analytical rubric) that provides consistent scoring.