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Culture and History of Health Care

Course, Subject

Grade 12: Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance, Health, Grade 12: Participation in Government, Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences, Career Development and Occupational Studies

Grade Levels

Commencement, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade


Laura Skotnicki, Orleans-Niagara BOCES


2–3 days


Students learn about the effects of culture and history on health care.


  • Provide each student with a one-and-a-half- to two-page description of a health practice from another culture. The teacher has prepared several different descriptions in advance of the activity.
  • Have each student read and highlight main ideas from the description.
  • Place students in small groups based on common cultures.
  • Have each group prepare a five-minute oral presentation to include:
    • Name and location of culture
    • Two or more health problems these people encountered and their attempts to solve the problems
  • After presentations, students meet in small groups to answer the following questions:
    • What are common health problems across cultures?
    • What are the similarities and differences between “traditional” and “modern” medical remedies?

Materials/ Resources

Articles on health practices from different cultures

Comments/ Modifications

Students may select a culture of interest or teacher can assign a specific reading to each student. Each student should have a role in the oral presentation.


Skotnicki, Laura. “Culture and History of Health Care.” In Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. New York State Department of Education, 245.

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