#12 An Ethical Island: Week 3- Utilitarian Ethics (Night class)

The Night class has taken on a mind of its own.

Group Dynamics:

Cyber Island implored me to wait on their 4th member to show up before they began the group challenge. I reassured them that I would add up the Ethical Island Award points and then we would start an Island Survival Adventure. The Top Chefs had not arrived. The 3 Guys Island were all ready to go. The MA’s were missing an islander. It was 5 minutes to 6pm (the beginning of class). Smiley Island all appeared quickly and were ready for the Survival Challenge. Soon after 6pm the final member of Cyber Island appeared with dinner for the entire island (they are bonding so well, but are they learning).

The MA’s had 2 inhabitants so they decided to recruit the sole Top Chef’s island inhabitant to their group. T gladly moved over to join the MA’s. I needed him to make the decision of whether he was officially abandoning his island and whether the MA’s would have him. They agreed to have him and he agreed to stay.

The Island Survival Adventure:

The purpose of this fun activity was to address group dynamics and determine whether the students scored better when working as a group verses on their own. 2 groups Synergized while 2 did not. I asked the students to determine why they worked better or worse as a team. I presume it is the “Leader complex.” Many students think the loudest voice is the smartest person and therefore this person should be the “leader.” Many times quiet people have good and often critical reasoning to add. Hopefully this added insight so they could begin the night’s task of learning about Consequentialists.

The Class Agenda

I often over prepare. I learned, through my time in the courtroom, that I need to be prepared for many directions, but willing to change when the class needs change (or the Judge when I am in court). I had a plan and here it is:

  1. Island Survival Adventure (individual ranking and then group, then discussion)
  2. Addressing group dynamics and addressing not receiving homework (2 groups had members do homework but forget to submit it)
  3. Have each group Diagram on large paper everything they knew about Utilitarianism
  4. Group share on their ideas
  5. Short (very short) Lecture on Utilitarianism
  6. Introduce the Challenge
  7. Introduce resources for the Challenge

8.Use Clickers to evaluate the student’s ending knowledge of applying utilitarian ethics. (they performed well)

The Challenge was to judged by a Gallery Preview. What I mean by this was islands were to post their arguments on the wall (on giant paper) and each person was to vote (by sticky note) for the poster they liked best. The criteria which poster demonstrates the best Utilitarian argument. 2 teams tied.

Ethical Island Award this week went to The MA’s and Cyber Island.

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