University Of Tasmania

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The imperative to develop health literacy: An ethical evaluation of HealthLit4Kids

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 17:30 authored by Claire OttenClaire Otten, David MoltowDavid Moltow, Nenagh KempNenagh Kemp, Rose NashRose Nash
An imperative exists to promote health literacy (HL) development in today's young people. Included in curricula worldwide, health literacy has been recognised as a social determinant in its own right, which has the potential to redress inequity and positively impact health and educational outcomes. While it has been shown that schools provide an ideal setting to support HL development, available evidence suggests that health may be undertaught in primary schools, and further resources are required to support educators' inclusion of HL in their lessons. The aims of this paper were to (1) highlight the ethical imperative to promote HL through schools and (2) provide an ethical evaluation of an existing HL intervention. Spike's (2018) four principles for public health ethics were employed as a framework for evaluating a program's ethical status and suitability in the school setting. In this paper, one program, HealthLit4Kids, is evaluated according to Spike's framework, and shown to be an ethically acceptable approach to foster HL in young people. These results model how other HL programs may be evaluated and offer critical insights concerning how HL could be promoted in an ethically acceptable manner in the classroom.


Publication title

Journal of Child Health Care






Faculty of Education


SAGE Publications

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum; Determinants of health; Health education and promotion