Reflection: Trust and Respect Ethical Restraint: Environmental Justice Scenarios - Section 3: Discussion


I really like to do a lesson like this because while it does reinforce some academic skills, it’s also putting the students in a position of relative comfort because there really aren’t objectively right or wrong answers when it comes to ethics.  Such issues are intensely personal and my students tend to lower the affective filters that might otherwise impede participation.  In this case, they dive right in because they’re experts at their own interpretations of justice and injustice.  These scenarios give them an opportunity to bring their highly developed capacity for moral reasoning to bear on topics that intersect the environmental science content.  

In the following clips, I detail some of the responses that my students came up with during the class discussion as well as touch on the rationales for some of the choices I made in creating the scenarios.

Scenario 1


Scenario 2


  Everyone's an Expert on Their Own Opinions
  Trust and Respect: Everyone's an Expert on Their Own Opinions
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Ethical Restraint: Environmental Justice Scenarios

Unit 2: The Nature of Environmental Science
Lesson 7 of 17

Objective: Students will work with groups to describe both ethical and unethical approaches to solving environmental science problems and describe how people with different worldviews may react to scientific findings.

Big Idea: Controlled scientific experiments are sometimes impossible to conduct because of ethical restraints. Observational studies can still be a good way to find correlation, but how people react to that information remains colored by their worldview and ethics.

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