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ERIC Number: EJ889443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Politicizing Sociology through a Bill of Rights Learning Module
Sweet, Stephen
Teaching Sociology, v37 n2 p177-187 Apr 2009
Writers in this journal have presented a number of strategies that sociology teachers can use to facilitate the expression--and serious analysis--of unpopular opinions. This article contributes to this dialog by illustrating the application of a Bill of Rights learning module. In this module, students are expected to create a document that reflects core rights and responsibilities as they relate to individuals and society. After discussing and determining these fundamental principles, the class ultimately "votes" on ratification. While this activity was initially conceived for a course in the sociology of families, the author discusses its transferability to other courses that focus on globalization, technology, health, and criminal justice. This module opens dialog between students on issues of social justice while subverting any reliance they may have on the teacher as a figure of moral authority. The pedagogy is consistent with the overarching principles set forth by John Dewey (1916), who viewed education as a means to prepare students for participation in democratic society. As students wrestle with questions of what an affluent society could and perhaps should provide, "givens" are viewed through new lenses, as is the need to reallocate resources. A quasi-experimental assessment suggests that this exercise contributes to changes in student attitudes and beliefs. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bill of Rights