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Response to Rocky Choices

School: The Met High School

City/State: Providence, RI

Grade(s): 9

Format(s): Essay

Subject(s): Social Studies

Type(s): Argument/Opinion

Writing Assignment Description: 

A class of 9th graders at The Met High School in Providence, Rhode Island spent their first trimester learning about different philosophies of justice through watching, discussing and writing about Michael Sandel's Justice lectures, made free online by Harvard University. 

In the second trimester, the class partnered with Meira Levinson, a Professor teaching "Justice in Schools" at Harvard Graduate School of Education. They read case studies and commentaries from the book Dilemmas of Educational Ethics analyzing the dimensions of a persuasive argument.  Then they each wrote their own commentaries from the student perspective, revising many times until the essays reached a level of quality worthy of being published on Harvard's Justice in Schools website.

The students also wrote their own ethical dilemma case study for school administrators to consider based on their own experience participating in a political protest.

How This Writing Can Be Useful: 

  • Excellent example of persuasive writing with an authentic purpose
  • Provides a great model for rich classroom discussion
  • Presents topics that are interesting and relevant to high school students

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