He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
– Edwin Markham
We want to be judged by who we are–our words and actions–not by mere appearances or social standing. Yet our world is filled with inequalities. In this unit, students examine the issues of equality and rights recognizing that, in our society, we need to balance personal needs with responsibilities and demands required of citizens. There is both pain and pride in being human.
What is equitable treatment?
- Why is it important to step in or speak out in someone’s defense? When is it important to keep silent?
- What role does socio-economic status play in inequality? How can wealth be distributed equally? How does the unequal distribution of wealth affect the power that groups of people hold?
- What role do political, racial, and religious issues play in inequality?
- What role does gender play in inequality?
- How do we give all individuals a voice in our society?
Perceptions: Judging and Misjudging People and Their Actions
How do we form judgements about people?
- What things do we value in people? Are these things the same in all cultures?
- How accurate are first impressions based on appearances?
- How important is race or socio-economic status in forming perceptions of people? What role do language and culture play in perceptions of people?
- What role does stereotyping play?
- How can discrimination affect one’s judgement of people? How can we prevent discrimination?
- Why do people sometimes hurt others who have done nothing to them?
- Why do some people become victims in our society?
Rights and Responsibilities
How are our rights and responsibilities determined?
- Who is responsible for our lot in life?
- What can we do if we feel our rights have been denied?
- How are rights related to responsibilities?
- Is everyone in a society responsible for others in that society? How can people exercise their responsibilities?
What role does race play in a pluralistic society?
- How might the values of one group differ from those of another in a pluralistic society?
- What racial tensions exist in our society? Why might there be racism in the justice system? What role did colonialism play in racism?
- How do we resolve racial tensions and conflicts in our society?
- What accomplishments can the world communities recognize and celebrate?
- What is the best way to ensure world peace?
Justice and Fairness
How can we ensure justice and fairness for everyone in a society?
- What is fair and just? When is a situation fair?
- What is right and wrong?
- What is the purpose of the law? When are laws fair? What might cause an individual to ignore the law?
- What is “legal”? What is the difference between “legal” and “moral” justice?
- How is fairness dealt with in the workplace?
- How should we deal with unjust and unfair situations? How should we speak out or act against injustice?