What is the value of law?

Rose Tomassi at St. Joseph High School launched a philosophy unit, Person and Polis, with a strong foothold in two of our three Civic Education pillars:

Civic Belonging and Civic Skills

Students are delving into the concept of law by examining:

  • How do laws insure safety? 
  • How do laws support citizens’ happiness? 
  • Are safety and happiness mutually exclusive?
  • How do we create language for amending laws? 
  • How do we question the law?
  • Does a committee need a leader? 

Civic Belonging: Anchored in their reading of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, students will serve as elected members of the “Committee of Elders” tasked with designing laws for their new village. 

Civic Skills: Committees will convene to analyze and evaluate each other’s laws. They will use a probing protocol intended to help each group think more deeply, and possibly amend, their law. 

Probing Protocol:

  • Write up as many questions as you can about laws of your classmates’ cities.
  • Each law should have one clarifying question or reason for objection.
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