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ERIC Number: EJ1046188
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0093-3104
Ethical Reasoning of U.S. High School Seniors Exploring Just versus Unjust Laws
Kohlmeier, Jada; Saye, John W.
Theory and Research in Social Education, v42 n4 p548-578 2014
Because a pluralistic democracy is inherently conflictual, public deliberation of issues holds the potential to expand the thinking of participants by revealing new insights, perspectives, information, or logics into the participants' consideration. These are ethical questions that ask citizens to decide whether policies, actions, and decisions are "right" or "wrong." The Persistent Issues in History (PIH) Network ( is a decade-long professional development community of practice encouraging, modeling, and supporting teachers in increasing inquiry-based social studies teaching. For this qualitative study, we created a professional community of practice including 4 U.S. government teachers, a university researcher, and a political science professor. This team created lessons enabling high school seniors to dissect and apply Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to 3 specific scenarios to explore the students' moral reasoning on just versus unjust laws.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A