fair or not?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HufflePuff, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    Feb 4, 2010

    i am teaching a lesson on fairness and am trying to think of scenarios in which students have to decide if something is fair or not.

    for example, a scenario may be: a handicapped child is interested in attending gym class but cannot go down the steps, and the school will not build a ramp for her wheelchair.

    students have to decide if it fair or not.

    i am trying to think of ones that are arguable, too, so we can have a good discussion.

    any thoughts?
     
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  3. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    I would bring up the issue that fair does not mean the same, but fair means that everyone gets what they need. So even though no one else needs the ramp, the student in the wheelchair does, so that is fair.

    You could do something closer to the room maybe? Like, if a child does not know english yet, is it fair for the teacher to read her the problems from the test when all the other kids have to read it to themselves? Or shortening an assignment for someone because they have learning problems?
     
  4. loveoforganic

    loveoforganic Rookie

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    I'd be careful you don't bring up a topic that's going to make someone feel awkward due to say, having a learning disorder.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    This was a real situation. We had a student with severe disabilities and illness, several colostomy bags, emotional trauma, lost a leg (that poor boy). He was a doll. Eventually, he couldn't come to school any more. His parents brought him in for parties and special events, though, and he participated with the class he would have been in. The kids who knew him and loved him were fine with it, but some kids were new to the group and seemed put off by the attention he got and how his participation changed the party to become a party about him.

    We certainly know that he hadn't gotten a fair shake at his life. But, the question is, was it fair that every party ended up about him even when some kids didn't know him?
     
  6. blindteacher

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    I don't think it's fair to give one person more attention because they have had a fair shake at life. Nor do I think it's fair to make a party about someone that was originally intended to be about everyone, no matter what the reason.

    The ramp analogy for wheelchair users is a good one. It is not giving wheelchair users special attention, just giving them equal access.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 5, 2010

    I would do lots of stuff with parenting-- a common thread they all share.

    1. Big brother has an 8 pm bedtime at age 7. Little sister gets to stay up till 8:30 at the same age because she can get by on less sleep. Fair or not?

    2. Your parents let you play with waterguns because they see nothing wrong with them. Your neighbor is not allowed because his parents hate guns. Fair or not?

    3. Your parents read your sister's diary because they suspect that she's been ____ (drinking, smoking cigarettes, whatever.) Fair or not?
     
  8. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    An interesting one (that might not apply to you, but my students would get into it...)

    --We always have kids from other classes bringing around their birthday treats to share with the other teachers. It makes those 1st and 2nd graders so happy to give you one. But, is it unfair for the teacher to get a treat when the class doesn't?
     
  9. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    "Is it fair for subs to get a Valentine's Day card that was meant for the regular teacher?" (The one time I subbed on Valentines Day in 2nd grade, I ended up with 15 Valentines Cards addressed to me, I imagine at least some of them were meant for the regular teacher)
     
  10. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I've had lots of kids with different food allergies... when we've had a special treat, party, etc., they're allowed to choose one of their "safe" treats, but everyone else needs to eat what they're served... fair or not?
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    You might try using a book to present a situation... I also use the food allergy situation and that really hits home - when you bring it down to FOOD, they ALL seem to get it. ;)
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    My daughter took a CD to her friends house. The father does not allow his daughter to have CD's, so he threw my daughter's CD in the garbage, and did not give it back. Fair?
     
  13. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    When I was younger, my parents would always buy me and my sister a candy bar when we went shopping. She'd gobble hers down, and I'd save mine so I'd have some candy each day until the next trip. However, whenever I went to take a small piece of my candy bar later on, my sister would run complaining to my parents that I had candy and wasn't sharing. I was then made to give her half of my candy bar (and therefore wouldn't have enough left to each day).
    I say that's unfair because she had candy too - she just ate it sooner, and she never gave me half of her candy bar. My parents said that was fair because I should have eaten it when I got it, instead of waiting until my sister didn't have any candy to eat it
     
  14. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    According to "manners," males must remove their hats for the national anthem, but women aren't required to. Fair?
     
  15. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    How about sports? Alot of schools do not allow girls to play on the football team or boys to be cheerleaders, but there is no real reason for that to be the case (my cousin was the star of her schools football team second through twelfth grade, my school never even let me try out for the team)

    The advantage of using something like that is that if the children decide its not fair, it can lead into lessons about activism and how to bring about change, and they may just succeed. I've changed a lot of things at my university with minimal effort, and I know of high schoolers who changed things that shouldn't have been an issue but were big ones (ie like only boys being allowed to wear dark robes at graduation)
     
  16. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Sports, is it fair to allow people to beat/hit/tackle each other in a ring, in a rink, or on a field, but if they (or I) do the exact same thing in the street, it is a crime?
     
  17. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Is it fair for the teacher to call a student's parents, before discussing the behavior/grade/etc problem with just the student?
     
  18. loveoforganic

    loveoforganic Rookie

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    I'm not sure I see a fair argument either way here. A logical argument maybe. I'm a boxer though, maybe my view is distorted!
     
  19. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    There's a no weapons policy at most school, which includes things that RESEMBLE weapons... squirt guns come to mind. Yet most high school marching bands have a color guard where they often twirl rifles and sabres (those are the sword look-alikes)... yes, they're fake, but they still resemble weapons. Those are allowed, but you can get suspended for having a table knife in your lunch bag to cut a sandwich. Fair???
     
  20. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Is it fair for cheerleaders to wear their uniforms to school when others aren't allowed to wear skirts that are even close to that short?
     
  21. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    Feb 9, 2010

    There's an article "Responding to Student Concerns about Fairness" by Ann Welch in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Teaching Exceptional Children (from the Council for Exceptional Children) which lays out 3 kinds of fairness and gives lots of good examples. :) I can scan it and email it to you if you can't get a copy. Just PM me. :)
     

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