LAW 663 Children’s Summer Institute
This intensive, week-long seminar provides a wide-ranging interdisciplinary exploration of critical issues affecting children. A diverse team of faculty offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the meaning of “best interests of the child” particularly as it relates to balancing legislative mandates and “best interests.” Experts from history, political science, psychology, social work, law, education, and medicine present information, participate in discussion with the attendees, and debate the issues from the perspectives of their own professions.
Faculty provide both a theoretical framework for examining the issues, as well as practical experiential learning. Various education methods are employed including case studies, lectures, outside speakers, field trips, role-playing exercises, group projects and hands-on learning activities.Using issues related to the “School-to-Prison” pipeline as a lens, students will engage in an interdisciplinary examination of the “best interest of the child,” particularly as it relates to creating programs and policies that address the widespread under-education and over-incarceration of large populations of youth. Students will examine a series of complex issues as they consider the problem of the pipeline, including: the theory behind it, the responsibilities of family, the role of implicit bias, how current laws and policies contribute to the pipeline, how trauma-informed practices can inform our laws and policies, and what reforms might be put into place to better serve youth.