nate the political landscape in America. Health and disease also have figured prominently in great literature throughout the ages, and mathematics—particularly in statistical analysis and epidemiology—has been indispensable to humanity's progress against morbidity and early death.

Models and approaches for connecting health with supposedly unrelated disciplines have been developed. Several authors have identified how literature may be used in language arts classes to provide health content (Manna and Wolford, 1992; Rubin, 1993; Rubin and Brodie, 1992), and the State of Texas has developed a K-12 curriculum guide to infuse health education content in substance abuse prevention, nutrition promotion, and STD prevention into language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, and home economics (Texas Education Agency, 1992). Substantive integration of health education into some of these other disciplines will call for creative thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration, but many more connections will undoubtedly surface as teachers examine their own subjects for connections to health.

Connections Between National Standards in Science Education and the National Health Education Standards

The recent development of national standards in both science and health education provides excellent conceptual and practical guidance for the mutual reinforcement of health and scientific understanding across the two disciplines. Standards and recommendations from the National Research Council (1996), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1989, 1993), and the Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards (1995) all provide support for the type of integrated education to promote health that should be found in a comprehensive school health program. The following excerpts from documents published by each of these groups, illustrate areas in common and possibilities of integration between science and health.

  • National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 1996):

    Hazards and the potential for accidents exist. Regardless of the environment, the possibility of injury, illness, disability, or death may be present. Humans have a variety of mechanisms—sensory, motor, emotional, social and technological—that can reduce and modify hazards.

    The severity of disease symptoms is dependent on many factors, such as human resistance and the virulence of the disease-producing organism. Many diseases can be prevented, controlled, or cured. Some diseases, such as cancer, result from specific body dysfunctions and cannot be transmitted.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement