Whose Charity, or, Who’s Charity ?

Learning Intentions:

  • To consider the knowledge problems arising from understanding human behaviours.
  • To give a real life situation for deontology and consequentialism in ethics.

Skill development: (i) writing Knowledge Questions (ii) identifying RLS.

Process.

1. Ask students to brainstorm charities that they have / would give to, or ask them which service learning they would undertake voluntarily. In whole class discussion draw out their reasons for giving to these charities – retain the list of reasons for later.

2. Provide students with some ‘anti-aid’ / ‘anti-charity’ materials. Possible suggestions:

Provocative article from Daily Mail on African leaders using aid money for their own luxuries.

Summary of Dambiso Moyo’s book Dead Aid

My article on why I won’t take the Ice Bucket Challenge (which is now dated, but you could equally use the current internet charity craze)

UK Comic Relief money invested in guns and tobacco

Independent Commission report says that most overseas aid is a waste of money

Ask students to share quick summaries of the key ideas in their article.

3.  Students working in groups to brainstorm reasons why people give to charity.

4. Introduce Deontology vs Consequentialism debate.

(here’s a quick YouTube video to help you with this debate)

You could also introduce Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics at this point, if you feel it appropriate.

5. Ask students to classify the reasons for giving to charity under the broad headings of deontology, consequentialism (and utilitarianism and virtue ethics if you have introduced them earlier).

6. Students to write Knowledge Questions to test whether the Reasons for Giving to Charity have been correctly classified as Deontological, Consequentialist, Utilitarian etc.

( remember Knowledge Questions should

  • Focus on Knowledge, not on the specific content.
  • be open ended – there are a number of possible answers to the question
  • be general rather than specific – it looks at wider knowledge production rather than a specific case.

For more help with Knowledge Questions read my Really Easy Guide to Knowledge Questions 

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