For this high school Socratic Seminar, students will be asked to examine various readings and videos on public health and the rule of law and then explore the question “What role does the law play in protecting our health?” Encourage students to be prepared, participate actively, use evidence, listen carefully, and ask thoughtful questions of their peers throughout the Seminar.
There are resources to explore several public health examples (e.g. clean water, coal dust, COVID-19) included in this seminar guide, so feel free to select one or more, and adapt to your needs.
1 class period, with potential for reading assignments in advance
After this session, students will be able:
- Discuss what public health law is;
- Provide examples of current public health law crises;
- Explain how public health fits into a rule of law society and why it is important;
- Gain valuable research and oral argument skills.
Introduction and Prep
If students are unfamiliar with a Socratic Seminar, explain the format and norms.
Assign students the readings and videos on the rule of law and public health. A variety of potential resources are provided below, but you should feel free to add additional resources as appropriate for your community and students.
Assign roles and review Socratic Seminar norms.
Distribute Classroom Guide and conduct Socratic Seminar starting with the overarching question (tips and procedures for Socratic Seminars can be found below).
You my want to have students follow the rubric suggested below to offer feedback.
Potential debriefing prompt: I used to think this about public health_______, and now I think this _______.
Suggested Readings and Videos to Prepare for the Seminar
- American Public Health Association – What is Public Health? (video)
- Law and Public Health at the CDC
- Partnership in Public Health: What is Public Health?
- Issues in Public Health: Law and the Public’s Health
- With Health and Justice for All (video)
- What is the Rule of Law?
Suggested Readings and Videos About Current Public Health Crises
Resources and Readings on the Flint Water Crisis
- Flint Water Crisis – Everything You Need to Know
- A Step by Step Look at the Makings of the Flint Water Crisis
- Five Years on, the Flint Water Crisis is Nowhere Near Over
- Why Flint Residents Are Still Dealing with Water Worries (video)
- Resources and Readings on Coal Dust
- Frontline – Coal’s Deadly Dust (video)
- Learn About Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis
- Black Lung Clinics Program Turns 40
Resources and Readings on COVID-19 Pandemic
- ABA Health Law Section COVID -19 Resources
- Governmental Public Health Powers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Executive Order on Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain
- COVID-19 – The Law and Limits of Quarantine