Re: Ethics in Action syllabus wanted
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 19 Aug 1995 01:18:44 -0400
For a number of years I did Ethics in Action training for both Roundtable
and Basic Training.
This is a relatively simple thing to teach, because the emphasis should
be on doing and not so much on lecture. Consequently, I did not write a
syllabus. But I can give you a rundown on what I did.
My approach was as follows:
* I asked the group how many were interested in a great idea for a den
activity - lots of hands and comments.
* I asked how many wanted to make sure their son's learned in Scouting
how to make good decisions, when confronted with tough situations -
* Pointed out that a great way to handle both was Ethics in Action
* What is Ethics in Action - a set of activities designed to help
Cub Scout aged boys to learn to deal with things like stealing,
handicaps, discrimination, . . .
* How does it work? Let's find out.
* Everyone put a piece of paper on your head and take out a pencil.
* Draw a picture of yourself. Grimaces and groans. Embarassed looks.
Laughs at end results, etc.
* Poll the audience with Ethics in Action Questions
* How did you feel when you tried to do a good job (feeling)
* What words would better describe how you felt, rather than saying
you felt dumb, or stupid? Why? (Judgemental)
* Are you the same or a different person, because you could not
do this activity well? Would this be the same or different for
a person with a learning disability? Why? (Judgemental)
* Think about what it must be like to feel frustrated every time
you tried to do a certain thing that other kids seem to have no
trouble with. What might you do? (Guiding)
* Can you think of someone who has difficulty doing one thing, but is
really god at doing something elese? How could you help this person
feel good about the things he or she can do?
* Tell the group that they all had great answers and summarize, explaining
they have just seen a sequence of Ethics in Action questions - Feelings,
Judgemental, Guiding and Concluding. This is the heart of each exercise
doing and learning through discussion. You can do it.
* Remind them to respect and encourage answers - no wrong answers. Always
use guiding questions to keep things on track.
* Try another exercise - here I have alternated between Lost-in-Space and
the Potato game. In either case I usually ask for volunteers to come
forward (eight) and they go through the exercise.
* Ask for comments from the larger group on what happened. What was good?
What worked? How could they do this in a den?
* Talk about group size for a moment - keep it to a den, not good for a
* Then, if time allows, I run the Training Video with Lost-In-Space on
it as reinforcement. Usually, I run a bit of the boys playing the
game and skip to some of the questioning and skip ahead to the section
Usually this can be done inside 20-25 minutes, but you have to keep it
moving. If you have less time, drop the video. If you have more - then
While this method is far from perfect, it does teach the questions,
because they particpate in the questioning. It also teaches how it feels
to participate. Later they see how it is well adapted to a small group
and learn this too. By commenting on the example - how they felt, what
they thought, and how to use it, they by accident have gone through
another round of Ethics in Action type questioning that will help
reinforce the value of the discussion method of teaching.
Hope this helps you out.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City