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Sample unit plan: Teenage pregnancy

This unit is intended to be the first in a programme of learning for a year-long health education programme at level 8. It is designed in the context of teenage pregnancy, but a range of other well-being contexts could be applied.

The unit aims to:

  • establish the level 8 understanding of the underlying concepts
  • develop conceptual understanding about the context being used 
  • develop the knowledge, skills, and process for critically analysing a health issue
  • further develop critical thinking
  • develop subject-specific literacy
  • establish ways of individual and collective learning for the whole programme.

Unit outline

Learning intention 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The focus questions can be used to help shape learning activities and the critical analysis of the issue. The learning activities are examples only. The resources listed can apply to all the learning activities and so are given here only once.

Learning intention 1

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the chosen context and the nature of the situation.

Achievement objectives

This learning intention links to the following level 8 achievement objectives for health education: A3, A4, and C3.

Focus questions

  • What do we know already about teenage pregnancy and well-being?
  • What assumptions do we have about the health situation? What do we assume about teenage mothers?
  • What societal and personal attitudes and values about teenage pregnancy do we need to take in to consideration?
  • What do we need to know in order to be able to understand this as an issue?
  • What do we want to know?

Possible learning activities

There is an opportunity here to cover literacy-based activities (oral, reading, and writing), including how to read evidence-based research articles and interpret graphs and tables.

Possible activities include:

  • exploring students’ existing ideas about the selected context – for example, a post box activity, analysing text from another article
  • looking at the background content information that students will need in order to make sense of the issue – for example, Web quests and Internet searches
  • arranging discussions
  • organising visits from the school counsellor and/or a teenage mother.

Possible lesson allocation

Four to six lessons.

Resources

  • Context-specific resources can be gathered from a variety of areas. To be relevant, information on New Zealand health issues must be current. This information may be best found online.
  • The latest policy and research documents that are available from government and other New Zealand agencies, as found online.
  • Any literacy strategies that could be adapted for subject-specific use.
  • Resources that show the process for critical thinking (Making Meaning, Making a Difference, page 27).
  • The action competence cycle (also described on page 28 of Making Meaning, Making a Difference).
  • Video material such as relevant YouTube clips.

Learning intention 2

Students will be able to select qualitative and quantitative data to explain why teenage pregnancy is a health issue for New Zealand society.

Achievement objectives

This learning intention links to the following level 8 achievement objectives for health education: A1, A2, A3, A4, C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3, and D4.

Focus questions

  • How is society affected by the health issue?
  • How does teenage pregnancy affect society as a whole?
  • How are individuals and/or groups affected by the health issue?
  • What effect does pregnancy have on the teenage mother, the father, and their families, friends, schools, and communities? (Students are expected to take into consideration all relevant dimensions, such as direct and indirect effects, and short- and long-term impacts on well-being.)
  • How do we know that this is the most important and relevant information to use?

Possible learning activities

Possible activities include:

  • reading relevant material
  • finding essential  documents on government policy
  • watching documentaries
  • surveying the wider school community
  • holding class discussions of students’ own experiences and knowledge.

Possible lesson allocation

Four lessons to cover the societal implications, plus one class period for students to prepare their draft responses to the assessment question.

There is an opportunity here for peer review, marking, and feedback of students’ work.

Learning intention 3

Students will be able to use evidence to explain how the relevant determinants of health have contributed to teenage pregnancy.

Achievement objectives

This learning intention links to the following level 8 achievement objectives for health education: A1, A2, A3, A4, C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3, and D4.

Focus questions

  • How have the economic, cultural, political, and social determinants of health contributed to the issue?
  • How do the determinants of health (for example, political and economic) interrelate?
  • Which determinants appear to be more influential than others?
  • How does the lifestyle determinant (including, for example, food choices, drug use, and sexual behaviours) link back to the broader societal determinants? 
  • What evidence do I have that these determinants are contributing to the issue of teenage pregnancy?

Possible learning activities

Recap students’ knowledge on the determinants of health from previous learning by using interactive activities such as a jigsaw activity or home and expert groups.

Debates – for example, that personal drug use is totally within one’s control.

Scenarios or life stories (real or contrived) in which students can identify the factors (for example, alcohol use) that contributed to the teenage pregnancy. Students link the underlying concepts with a specific situation (analysis).

Possible lesson allocation

Eight lessons, plus one class period for students to prepare their draft responses to the assessment question.

There is an opportunity here for peer review, marking, and feedback of students’ work.

Learning intention 4

Students will be able to explain how a range of strategies address the determinants of health that have contributed to the issue.  

Achievement objectives

This learning intention links to the following level 8 achievement objectives for health education: A1, A2, A3, A4, C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3, and D4.

Focus questions

  • If this wasn’t an issue, what would it look like? For example, if teenage pregnancy is the issue, what needs to change in terms of applying a socio-ecological perspective?
  • Look at the current strategies. What does the evidence suggest is working and what is not? Are the strategies taking into consideration the well-being of individuals and society, or do they focus on only one aspect?
  • Where does the sustainable change come from? Does it come from changing the determinants or from getting teenagers to change their personal behaviour?
  • Revisit the attitudes and values. What does it mean to have more equitable health outcomes? If a strategy reflects the values of social justice, what does this mean?
  • How do my recommendations link to the contributing factors (determinants) I have identified?
  • What evidence do I have that the recommendations will work?

Possible learning activities

Brainstorm possible changes that are needed.

Evaluate current strategies with students to determine what is working, what is not working, and why. Are the strategies sustainable or not?

Consider a continuum of values and explore possible strategies.

Possible lesson allocation

Six lessons plus one class period for students to prepare their draft responses to the assessment question.

There is an opportunity here for peer review, marking, and feedback of students’ work.

The final 1–2 periods will cover the final assessment in which students will consolidate their draft material, making sure it all connects together as an overall analysis.

Possible assessment

AS91461 Health education 3.1: Analyse a New Zealand health issue

Last updated May 31, 2017



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