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21st Century Skills - Health Literacy

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Health literacy, considered a 21st Century theme by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is, “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Nielsen-Bohlman, 2004). A health literate person is able to make appropriate decisions about their health as he or she progresses through life, as health care changes, and as societal norms change. The benefits of being health literate influence the full range of life’s activities—home, school, work, society and culture (Zarcadoolas, 2005).

Lack of physical activity and exercise, poor nutritional choices, increased violence, increased substance abuse and other high risk behaviors are serious threats to living a healthy, active life. The essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy provide a framework for building capacity among Iowa’s students to think critically about the decisions that affect health status for themselves, their families and their communities. Learning the concepts will form the knowledge base for the development of attitudes and habits of mind that will lead students to take responsibility for their personal health status. This proactive approach will have profound effects on families and society.

The essential concepts reflect the belief that children need to assess media messages at young ages and then develop critical evaluation skills as they intellectually, emotionally and socially mature (Zarcadoolas, 2005). Children must also take an active role in accessing and appropriately using information which affects their health (Nutbeam, 2000, St. Leger, 2001). Therefore, it is important to integrate the essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy across content areas, providing relevant contexts, problem based and service learning experiences. This will provide students opportunities to practice systemic thinking and problem solving processes that will lead to the creative solutions and proactive policies necessary to enhance health status in an interconnected, global society.

 

Kindergarten-Grade 2

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health

Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Identify ways to be healthy.
  • Recognize multiple dimensions of wellness.
  • Describe how physical, emotional, social, and environmental factors influence personal health.
  • Identify ways to prevent illness and injury.
  • Know when and how to ask for help with health care.
  • Identify the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Recognize that personal health behaviors influence an individual’s well being.
  • List preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Identify positive and negative effects of media and technology upon health practices and choices.

Understand and use interactive literacy and social skills to enhance personal, family, and community health

Demonstrate social and communication skills to enhance health and increase safety. 

  • Demonstrate verbal and nonverbal ways to express wants, needs, and feelings appropriately.
  • Choose effective conflict management strategies.
  • Show how to ask for help.
  • Identify ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy and respect for self and others.

Advocate for personal, family and community health.

  • Identify personal health needs.
  • Articulate ways to influence and support others to make positive health choices.
  • Identify ways to improve family and community health.
  • Recognize mean and violent acts and demonstrate appropriate responses.

Recognize critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family and community wellness

Demonstrate decision making skills.

  • Understand the interrelationships between decisions, choices and consequences.
  • Recognize the effectiveness of health-related decisions.
  • Recognize the need to ask for assistance when making health-related decisions.
  • Identify that health related decisions have an impact on individual, family, community, and environment.

Demonstrate goal-setting skills.

  • Set personal goals.

Identify influences that affect personal health and the health of others

Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.

  • Identify negative and positive health practices.
  • Describe how culture influences personal health choices.
  • Identify trusted adults/professionals who can help.

Access valid information,  products and services.

  • Selects appropriate products for minor injuries or illnesses.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society

Achieve and maintain health enhancing level of physical activity.

  • Practice fitness skills.
  • Practice basic health enhancing physical behaviors.

Practice preventive health behaviors.

  • Identify stress and stress relievers.
  • Identify risk behaviors and practice healthy choices.
  • Identify healthy foods.
  • Identify behaviors that contribute to total wellness for individuals, families and communities.

 

Grade 3-5

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health

Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Describe the influence of risk and protective factors.
  • Identify examples of physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual wellness during childhood.
  • Analyze how heredity, environment and personal health are related.
  • Explain proper prevention/management of health crises.
  • Identify where to find help with health care when needed.
  • Describe the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Identify how personal choices impact health and disease prevention.
  • Describe preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Describe how diverse families, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health related decisions.
  • Describe how media, technology, research and medical advances impact health.
  • Recognize how national and international public health and safety issues affect personal and family health status.

Utilize interactive literacy and social skills to establish personal family, and community health goals

Demonstrate social and communication skills that enhance health and increase safety. 

  • Demonstrate appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills to enhance health of self and others.
  • Practice strategies to manage or resolve conflict.
  • State methods of obtaining help for self and others.
  • Demonstrate ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy and respect for self and others.

Advocate for personal, family and community health.

  • Identify personal, family and community health needs.
  • Demonstrate how to influence and support others to make positive health choices.
  • Describe ways to improve family and community health.
  • Articulate effective communication related to health care practices.
  • Use assertive communications skills to consistently advocate for a healthy, violence-free environment.

Demonstrate critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family, and community wellness

Demonstrate decision making skills.

  • Explain different approaches to making decisions.
  • Describe the effectiveness of health-related decisions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to seek assistance when making health related decisions.
  • Recognize that health related decisions have an impact on individual, family, community, and environment.

Demonstrate goal-setting skills.

  • Develop goals to enhance health status.

Recognize that media and other influences affect personal, family and community health

Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.

  • Demonstrate appropriate responses to negative and positive health influences.
  • Recognize public health policies that aid in the prevention and maintenance of school and community health.
  • Describe the influence of cultural diversities on health behaviors.
  • Explain how information from school and family influences health.
  • Identify characteristics of valid health information sources.
  • Recognize the techniques used by print and non-print media sources.

Access valid information, products and services.

  • Identify factors that influence the selection of health products and services.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society

Achieve and maintain health enhancing level of physical activity.

  • Identify personal physical strengths and weaknesses.
  • Engage in physical activities to improve fitness components.

Practice preventive health behaviors.

  • Demonstrate appropriate and effective stress management.
  • Assess risk factors that contribute to healthy choices.
  • Choose healthy foods.
  • Demonstrate behaviors that contribute to holistic wellness for individuals, families and communities.

 

Grade 6-8

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Demonstrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family and community health

Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Anticipate the influence of risk and protective factors.
  • Describe the interrelationships of the wellness dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual wellness during adolescence.
  • Evaluate the impact of genetics/family history with personal health decisions.
  • Demonstrate skills necessary for proper prevention/management of health crises. i.e. injury, depression, chronic illness.
  • Explain how appropriate health care can promote personal health.
  • Recognize prevention and control of health problems are influenced by research and medical advances.
  • Recognize the historical impact of disease and other health problems.
  • Evaluate the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Develop healthy personal choices to promote health maintenance and disease prevention.
  • Develop preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Describe how diverse families, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health.
  • Articulate how media, technology, research and medical advances impact health.
  • Articulate how national and international public health and safety issues affect personal and family health status.

Utilize interactive literacy and social skills to establish personal, family, and community health goals

Demonstrate social and communication skills to enhance health and increase safety. 

  • Apply appropriate communication skills to enhance health of self and others.
  • Utilize effective conflict management strategies.
  • Demonstrate proper methods of obtaining help for self and others.
  • Generate ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy and respect for self and others.

Advocate for personal, family and community health.

  • Develop a health message to meet the health needs of a target audience.
  • Model how to influence and support others to make positive health choices.
  • Collaborate to improve family and community health.
  • Articulate effective communication methods to accurately express health information and ideas.
  • Recognize media and legislative advocacy efforts to promote positive health for self and others.
  • Identify power structures that support advocacy of a healthy, violence-free environment.

Apply critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family and community wellness

Demonstrate decision making skills.

  • Apply skills needed to make healthy decisions. 
  • Analyze the effectiveness of health-related decisions.
  • Describe the ethical factors that influence health related decisions.
  • Integrate the roles of individual, family, community and cultures when making health related decisions.
  • Demonstrate how health related decisions impact individual, family, community and environment.

Demonstrate goal setting skills.

  • Implement goals to enhance personal health and track its achievement.

Employ media literacy skills to analyze media and other influences to effectively manage personal, family and community health situations

Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.

  • Demonstrate appropriate responses to negative and positive health influences.
  • Discuss the role of public health policies in prevention and maintenance of school and community health.
  • Determine how cultural diversities enrich and challenge health behaviors.
  • Analyze how information influences health.
  • Determine reliability, accuracy, dependability of health information sources.
  • Describe the techniques used by print and non-print media sources.

Access valid information,  products and services.

  • Differentiate factors that influence the selection of health products and services.
  • Not applicable.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society

Achieve and maintain health enhancing level of physical activity.

  • Develop, implement and evaluate goals for physical health.
  • Engage in activities to improve cardio-vascular and muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Practice preventive health behaviors.

  • Practice appropriate and effective stress management.
  • Analyze risk factors and make healthy choices.
  • Implement a plan reflecting healthy food choices.
  • Implement behaviors that contribute to holistic wellness for individuals, families and communities.

 

Grade 9-12

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Demonstrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health

Use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Predict influence of risk and protective factors.
  • Describe the interrelationships of the wellness dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, and spiritual.
  • Use knowledge of impact of genetics/family history to make informed decisions.
  • Contribute to personal/family quality of life through proper prevention/management of health crises, i.e., injury, depression, chronic illness.
  • Evaluate the impact of health care access (cost, knowledge, insurance, transportation) on health status.
  • Describe how the prevention and control of health problems are influenced by research and medical advances.
  • Describe the historical impact of disease and other health problems on contemporary health practices.
  • Explain the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Explain how personal choices impact health maintenance and disease prevention.
  • Understand preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Explain how family, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health.
  • Evaluate the impact of media, technology, research and medical advances on health.
  • Understand impact of national and international public health and safety issues on personal and family health status.

Synthesize interactive literacy and social skills to establish and monitor personal, family and community goals related to all aspects of health

Demonstrate communication skills to enhance health and increase safety.

  • Communicate effectively to enhance health of self and others.
  • Employ effective conflict management strategies. Utilize methods of obtaining help for self and offer assistance to others.
  • Demonstrate ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy, and respect for self and others.

Advocate for personal, family and community health.

  • Promote health messages to meet health needs of a target audience.
  • Influence and support others to make positive health choices.
  • Collaborate with others to improve family and community health.
  • Employ the effective communication methods to accurately express health information and ideas.
  • Engage in media and legislative advocacy efforts to promote positive health for self and others.
  • Advocate for healthy, violence-free behaviors by using knowledge of the dynamics of power and position

Apply critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family and community wellness

Demonstrate decision-making skills.

  • Evaluate healthy and unhealthy alternatives in decision-making.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of health-related decisions.
  • Employ ethical practices when making health-related decisions.
  • Use knowledge of relevant terminology, (i.e., deductible, co-pay, catastrophic, coverage) to ask questions and make decisions about health benefits.
  • Seek multiple perspectives when asking for assistance to make health-related decisions.
  • Consider immediate and long-term impact on individual, family, community and environment when making health-related decisions

Demonstrate goal-setting skills.

  • Evaluate health status and develop goals to enhance health.
  • Engage in an ongoing cycle of goal-setting, implementation, evaluation and readjustment to enhance health status.

Use media literacy skills to analyze media and other influences to effectively manage health risk situations and advocate for self and others

Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.

  • Employ appropriate responses to negative and positive health influences.
  • Analyze the role of public health policies in prevention and maintenance of school and community health.
  • Analyze how cultural diversity enriches and challenges health behaviors.
  • Analyze how information from the community, family and peers influences health.
  • Determine reliability, accuracy, dependability of health information sources.
  • Recognize and reject messages that could lead to bullying or violence.

Access valid information, products and services.

  • Evaluate factors that influence selection of health products and services.
  • Consider preferred provider status as well as other relevant insurance provisions and/or restrictions when accessing and choosing professional health services.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society

Achieve and maintain health-enhancing level of physical activity.

  • Assess and monitor current physical health to meet fitness goals.
  • Engage in activities to maintain appropriate levels of cardiovascular endurance, muscular, strength/flexibility, and body composition.

Practice preventive health behaviors.

  • Engage in appropriate stress-management strategies that enhance health.
  • Engage in behaviors that promote risk avoidance.
  • Identify factors that influence healthy eating.
  • Establish healthy eating behaviors.
  • Engage in behaviors that promote positive mental and emotional health for the individual, family and community.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 21, 2014 at 3:27am.