Jurisprudential Inquiry:
Learning to Think About
Social Policy
Kelly Caron
What is Jurisprudential Inquiry?
designed for secondary
students in the social studies
implies the case study method,
reminiscent of legal education
study cases involving social
problems in areas where public
policy is to be made (justice
and equality, poverty and
power etc.)
identify the public policy issues
as well as options available for
dealing with them and the
values underlying those
can be used in any area where
there are public policy issues
for instance ethics in science,
business and sports etc.
Imagine you are a supreme
court justice hearing an
important case. Your job is to
listen to the evidence
presented, analyze the legal
positions taken by both sides,
weigh these positions and the
evidence, assess the meaning
and provisions of the law and
finally make the best possible
decision. This is the role
students are asked to take as
they consider public policy.
In order to play the role of inquirer
3 types of competence required:
Familiarity with the values of the American
creed (as embedded in the principles of the
Constitution and the Declaration of
Understanding of the values framework- the
basis for judging public issues and for
making legal decisions
Understanding of the key values that form
the core of our society’s ethical system
Brief Outline/ Overview
Phase One: Orientation to the case
Phase Two: Identifying Issues
Phase Three: Taking Positions
Phase Four: Exploring Stance
Phase Five: Refining and Qualifying the
Phase Six: Testing Factual Assumptions
Behind Qualified Positions.
Class Handout Instructions
Take handout with blanks.
Get into groups of 3 or four.
Fill in the blanks by walking around the
Be ready to answer questions with your
Class Questions
What is a value problem, factual problem,
and definitional problem?
What must students have to use this
People make decisions based on issues
involving values because the feel ….
Pros and Cons
Get with a partner
Decide if you think
your paper is a pro or
After you and your
partner decide, come
to the front of the
room to check.
Place pro on a green
placard/ Place con on
a red placard.
Research from ERIC
Analyze activity in groups…
Read the article and define the steps as a
Decide if this activity effectively used the
Steps to Identify…..
Phase One: Orientation to the case
Phase Two: Identifying Issues
Phase Three: Taking Positions
Phase Four: Exploring Stance
Phase Five: Refining and Qualifying the
Phase Six: Testing Factual Assumptions Behind
Qualified Positions.
Also consider why the article is using role play.
Models Impact on Student
Believe that it provides a unique
opportunity to become involved in learning
through ownership of values
Believe that it helps students make
decisions in a democratic society
Salient Information
Students maintain a vigorous intellectual
climate where all views are respected.
Students can avoid direct evaluation of
other student’s opinions.
Students see issues and explore them
Goal 12 US History
Grade- 11
Goal- The United States since the Vietnam War
(1973- present)- The learner will identify and
analyze trends in domestic and foreign affairs of
the United States during this time period.
Objective 12.05: Assess the impact of growing
racial and ethnic diversity in American society.
Factual Content- Bilingual Education
Jurisprudential Inquiry works well
in this class because they must address
public policy questions and analyze
alternative positions.
Different Methods to Teach English
Language Learners
English Immersion
In English)
English As a
Second Language
(May include some
support in
native tongue)
Transitional Bilingual
(Some subjects in
Native language)
Two-way Bilingual
(Instruction given in
Two languages)
Class activity Two:
Orientation to the case: Bilingual Education
NABE's mission is to advocate for our nations Bilingual and English
Language Learners and families and to cultivate a multilingual
multicultural society by supporting and promoting policy, programs,
pedagogy, research, and professional development that yield
academic success, value native language, lead to English
proficiency, and respect cultural and linguistic diversity. As tireless
advocates that work to influence and create policies, programs,
research, pedagogy and professional development, we know that
we are investing in our children's education, our nations leadership,
and our world’s well being. By using native and second languages in
everyday life, we not only develop intercultural understanding, but
we also show by example that we respect and can effectively cross
cultural and linguistic borders.
Review facts of Bilingual learner:
Nationwide only 7 percent of limited
English learners scored “at or above
4 million students are enrolled nationwide
with limited proficiency to English
States report more than 460 languages
spoken by students with limited
proficiency in English
Phase Two: Identifying Issue
Problem areas:
 Racial/ Ethnic Conflict
 Religious/ Ideological
 Security of the Individual
 Conflict among Economic
 Health, Education,
 Security of the nation
What values are conflicting?
Property rights/ equal
opportunity/ freedom/ more in
Phase Three: Taking Positions
Get into groups of
three or four.
Take a position on the
issue presented in
terms of social value
and consequence in
Remember to also
consider models of
teaching for bilingual
Phase Four: Exploring Stance
Use the resources
provided to explore the
stance in your groups.
Establish if a value is
violated (from step two).
Prove a desirable or
undesirable consequence.
Select priority of values.
Also use your knowledge
from the teaching models
presented throughout
class to address which
model would help these
Phase Five: Refining and
Qualifying the Positions.
State position and
reason for position as
a class.
In your groups
discuss: “Has your
position changed
based on the
examination of others
Remember: Focus on
models of teaching.
Phase Six: Testing Factual
Assumptions Behind Qualified
Each group share their findings as a class.
Examine validity as a class.
Congress decided
On May 10, by a vote of 62 to 34, the Senate
adopted a measure authorizing increased
funding for bilingual education programs.
Proposed by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D.-Ark.), the
amendment would direct Congress to
appropriate $750 million to boost bilingual
educational programs by 2002. The amendment
further authorizes a total of $11.5 billion
between fiscal year 2003 and 2008 for bilingual

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