Author(s): Michael S. Pritchard, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University & Theodore Goldfarb, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook
NOTE: This contribution appeared as a featured resource in the online and printed issues of ENC Focus: A Magazine for Classroom Innovators Vol. 8 no.3, published by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education-ENC.
Richard Tunick, Massapequa High School, Massapequa, Long Island, NY.
The five groups are
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The following materials are distributed to each member of the class for initial review. Then each group is asked to prepare for its particular role.
This planned community would be able to provide decent homes at an affordable price. Remember: You represent a corporation that makes its profits by building and selling homes. Here you have an ideal setting for a model community. Housing sales should be quick and profitable in such a setting, and your company stands to gain both large profits and prestige. Additional points you can make: Houses will use solar heating and natural ventilation, making them more environmentally friendly than typical houses. Housing will also be concentrated that a minimum of land will be under construction.
Questions you may be asked
This project will give LIRR reason to upgrade its services to keep up with the times.
Two general points can be made
In order to reveal the complexities of issues like this, and to allow the students to engage their imagination more fully, this lesson may take several class periods. Although students will probably want more information than this lesson provides, there should be enough for them to see the sorts of questions a planning commission needs to consider. Even though students are right in thinking that more information is needed, they need to realize that, no matter how much information they have, at some point they will have to address some basic ethical and value questions about rights, the public interest, and the importance of the environment. However, perhaps the most important lesson here is that responsible treatment of those ethics and value questions requires being well informed in a variety of areas. Here the social sciences (such as economics and political science) as well as the natural sciences provide important perspectives.
Return to Part 2 - Model Classroom Lessons
Return to Ethics in the Science Classroom: An Instructional Guide for Secondary School Science Teachers