J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2020 Sep;44(3):119-125. 10.11149/jkaoh.2020.44.3.119.

Analysis of oral health contents in middle and high school health textbooks in Korea

  • 1Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea


This study investigated the contents and structure of chapters on oral health to determine the quality of middle and high school health textbooks. We also comparatively analyzed the learning objectives of these textbooks according to the oral health curriculum proposed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE).
The structure and educational contents of eight health textbooks (middle school, five; high school, three) published in 2019 were analyzed methodologically. We compared the structure and contents between the middle and high school curricula. We also carried out comparisons among five publishing companies.
Of the eight health textbooks examined, five (middle school, four; high school, one) had chapters on oral health. In terms of structure, textbooks published by company A had the lowest percentage (0.96%) of pages on oral health. The highest percentage (1.50%) was found in a middle school textbook published by company D. We noted subject-level differences between the curriculum proposed by VDH, SCDE, and that of the published textbooks. There were more keywords pertaining to the definition and development of oral diseases than those for its prevention and management.
It is critically important to impart oral health education to middle and high school students for self-management of oral health during adolescence, a period characterized by both rapid physical and psychological development. Therefore, we recommend that all health textbooks should include chapters on oral health. Further, in the health textbooks that already include oral health information, we propose that the revised curricula should include key learning objectives.


Health; Middle and high school; Oral health education; Textbook


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