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Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework - October 1999

Ecological Health

Ecological Health addresses the interdependence between the ecological environment and human physical health.

The ecological environment affects individual, community, and global health through the condition of the Earth's natural resources, which in turn is influenced by the behavior of humans on the environment. Ecological Health highlights understanding the relationships among energy use, water use, waste disposal, food production, and physical and social health in the areas of disease, hunger, and well being. Economic and social attitudes and practices influence the state of the environment. Responsible behavior and the contribution of business and industry and science and technology/engineering related to the care and improvement of the ecological environment can improve current ecological health and help facilitate good ecological health in the future. Topics generally covered in Ecological Health include: Interdependence and Improvement.

PreK-12 Standard 13: Ecological Health

Students will gain knowledge of the interdependence between the environment and physical health, and will acquire skills to care for the environment.

Learning Standards: Ecological Health

PreK-5 Interdependence
13.1 Describe types of natural resources and their connection with health.
Improvement
13.2 Describe how business, industry, and individuals can work cooperatively to solve ecological health problems, such as conserving natural resources and decreasing pollution.
6-8 Interdependence
13.3 Describe methods and benchmarks for evaluating the state of the environment.
Improvement
13.4 Identify individual and community responsibility in ecological health.
13.5 Evaluate solutions generated by science, technology/engineering, and individuals regarding ecological health problems (such as energy use, water use, waste disposal, and food shortage).

Selected Examples: Ecological Health

13.2 Working with family volunteers, students clean up school grounds and plant flowers and other plants that help clean the air (such as spider plant or peace lily). Take before and after pictures and display.

13.3 Using the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Water Test Kit, students identify pollutant levels in local water sources, research the health effects, and send a report to municipal officials.

13.5 Students learn about companies that use environmentally friendly practices and the outcomes of such practices on the environment, then collaborate with a local business that has such practices to develop an environmentally related community service learning project.

Interdisciplinary Learning Objectives: Ecological Health

9-12 13.a. (Law & Policy. Connects with History & Social Science: Geography) Identify the reciprocal relationships among social and economic factors and practices and ecological health.

9-12 13.b. (Law & Policy. Connects with History & Social Science: Geography) Research strategies for improving global ecological health and evaluate them for their sensitivity to social background issues.

9-12 13.c. (Law & Policy. Connects with History & Social Science: Civics & Govt) Analyze the influence and contribution of government legislation and individuals' actions on environmental health, particularly as related to disease and food production.

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Last Updated: October 1, 1999
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