Health and Public Policy

byJenna O’Neill

Throughout the course of this unit, students will be introduced to the process of enacting policy on the topic of improving public health in terms of lessening diseases of lifestyle and promoting access to benefits of a long life span of good health and longevity. Through an in-depth study of current research on health, examples from around the world, and the current state of public health in the United States, students will have the opportunity to develop their own ideas about how to improve health outcomes in our country for more people. Once they have used this information to develop their own approach, they will shift to understanding the larger facets of making change in our governmental institutions. Through an analysis of what it means to build coalitions, to examine the power structure, and to examine how citizens make choices around what they do and do not support, students will have the opportunity to strategize how they would go about making positive changes that would ensure more Americans are able to enjoy the longest and healthiest lives possible. As a final project students will take the information and data gathered to create a method of taking action on their proposed ideas and the first steps towards putting policy into effect.

(Developed for Civics, grade 9, and Sociology, grade 12; recommended for Psychology, grade 12, and Government, grades 9-12)

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