My first impressions:
The Day class arrived sceptical. I first asked the students to organize the room into islands. The students (now islanders) joined the islands. The make up of the islands were random in the morning class. The islanders were then asked to decide whether they needed rules. The morning class was mostly maybe’s and a few No’s.
Scrabble: The goal of the Scrabble game was to get the students to realize a game is more fun when everyone plays by the same rules. To achieve this goal 1 team played by traditional Scrabble rules. The other group was asked to make up their own rules. Each Island played Scrabble by their rules on their island and then the Traditional Scrabble island came over to the Our Rules Island nad played each other. The Our Rules Island won by about double the other team’s score. The Our Rules Island was very kind and cordial only changing some traditional rules. These minor changes frustrated the Traditional Scrabble Island. At the end of the game, the Traditional Scrabble Island changed their vote on the diagram to YES and added, “we needed the same rules.”
Syphilis Video: The goal of the video was to demonstrate the need for rules and rules that follow the person and not just the “Island” (or country). The video demonstrated that when it became unethical to do human experiments in the US, some medical professionals may have taken these experiments to a “friendly” nation where the rules didn’t apply. At the end of the discussion after the video, many students were outraged and changed their vote to, Yes (we need rules). Although some students thought that there was plain evil taking place, an evil that rules couldn’t control (this is next weeks topic- good and evil).
Island Flags: The students all participated in creating flags that created a collected identity for their island.
Code of Conduct: The Islands then proceeded to make a Code of Conduct that would control the conduct on their island by the islanders and all visitors. The Day class did not finish and will continue next week.
I asked all the students to go home and answer a few “exit” questions. These are the questions:
- What did you think about the first class?
- Answer any or all of the following:
- What did you think about the island theme? Why?
- What did you think about the scrabble game we played with 2 islands? Why?
- What is 1 thing you learned today? Explain.
- What is 1 thing you want to learn? Explain.
- What did you think this class was going to be before Day 1? Did it change?
- Anything else that came to mind during the first class?
The responses blew me away! One said she thought this was going to be the most boring class, that she might reconsider, and that she was shocked that she could learn from Scrabble. Another student said she didn’t realize how important rules were.
I shared that rules are not what ethics is, but that ethics is the why behind when we follow our rules. I need to instill this more.