Using a Social Networking Site to Engage Students in Online Discussion about War

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Using a Social Networking Site to Engage Students in Online Discussion about War. Just War Ning. Just War Home Page. Participating Teachers. Brian Bechard Pioneer Ridge Middle School, Gardner, Kansas (7 th grade social studies) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Using a Social Networking Site to Engage Students in Online Discussion about War

Using a Social Networking Site to Engage Students in Online Discussion about War

Just War Ning

Just War Home Page

Participating Teachers

Brian Bechard Pioneer Ridge Middle School, Gardner, Kansas (7th grade social studies)

Thomas Fulbright Hope Street Academy, Topeka, Kansas (9th grade world history)

Kori Green El Dorado Middle School, El Dorado, Kansas (8th grade U.S. history)

Nick Lawrence East Bronx Academy, Bronx, New York (8th grade U.S. history)

Jamie Sawatzky Rocky Run Middle School, Chantilly, Virginia (8th Grade U.S. history)

Behind the Scenes

Dr. Joe OBrien- University of Kansas

Professor of Social Studies Education

Tina Ellsworth- University of Kansas

Doctoral Student

2 Groups of Students

School-based, face-to-face (f2f) Groups (Used for f2f, synchronous discussions)

Interschool, online class period groups (Used for online discussions)

Sample School-based f2f Group Page

Sample Online Discussion Group Page

Instructional Approach

Formative Round: Students engage in f2f and online discussion to generate list of reasons for what justifies going to war.

Application Rounds: Students engage in f2f and online discussion to apply their list of reasons to handful of hypothetical situations grounded in U.S. history

Summative Round: Students synthesize their list thinking, finalize the list, and present online to group of teachers in mock U.N. hearing.

Common Core

Grade 6-8 Standards

Write arguments focused on disciplined-specific content:

Introduce claims about a topic or issue

Support claims with logical reasoning

Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship(s) among claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

Establish and maintain a formal style.

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and support the argument presented.

3 Rounds of Discussion:Round 1 - Formative

Students are placed in role of advisor to the president as described earlier and post their initial thinking. They then engage in online discussion between several classes of students.

Should this man use the U.S. armed forces or find another solution?

Students take on a similar roles with peers from 4 other schools

on this site to engage in a series of online discussions about what justifies war.

As with any class or social situation there are appropriate ways to act. For example

Discussions depend upon respect for one another

Discussions are an exchange of ideas

Critique ideas, not people

Discussion require broad participation

Opinions are a beginning, reasoned thinking is the desired end

How will we get started?

Presentation to Students:

Since you are the most important people in this series of ongoing discussion, we would like to start by learning about what you think justifies a war.

To help you get started, we have created the following situation for you

Setting Stage: Opening Activity

One of the hardest decisions a leader has to make is whether to send people off to fight, and possibly to die. While few people ever face such a decision, as citizens we are expected to elect a president who is required to make this decision. What is it like to confront such a decision? What should leaders consider when deciding whether to use military force against another nation? What ideas might guide them when selecting among several options?

While the president consults advisors, in the end the president alone decides. On rare occasions the decision is an easy one. After the Japanese bombed the U.S. navy at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, President Franklin Roosevelt knew that declaring war was the right decision. He realized though that a lot of people would die because of his easy decision. At other times the decision is harder to make since what is right or just is not as clear. For example, how many people would have to die to make the decision to declare war against a nation a just decision?

You are about to embark on a several month online journey with your classmates and those from around the U.S. to try and answer such questions. You first will decide when it is just or okay for a leader to declare war against another nation. You also will discuss what types of military action are just or okay for a president to use against another nation. For example, should a president use a nuclear bomb if this might help the U.S. win a war? After crafting some guidelines for when a president is justified in going to war and what military actions are justifiable to use, we will consider situations where presidents faced such decisions.

The U. N. has asked each nations leader to decide on a list of reasons that justify going to war

What Reasons Justify Going to War?

In groups you need to answer this question

Student List of Justifiable Reasons to Go to War

1. Self defense another nation(s) attacks the U.S. Examples include:

A. Another nation bombs us

B. If U.S. ships are invaded

C. Make sure soldiers/citizens outside U.S. have access to food/shelter

2. Preemptive self-defense if another nation seems prepared to attack or harm U.S., then is justified in attacking first. Examples are:

A. Stop another nation from developing weapons of mass destruction.

B. If it appears another nation(s) planning to attack U.S.

C. Ensure national self-respect if U.S. doesnt act, other nations are likely to lose respect and believe U.S. wont act if a future crisis arose.

Reasons cont.

3. Help allies/friends even if U.S. is not attacked, U.S. can go to war. Examples include:

A. Another nation forcing one of our allies to stop trading.

B. Another nation is keeping us from entering our allys territory.

4. Protect what we believe in. There are some ideals or democratic principles that are so important, the U.S. needs to make sure that they are honored. Examples include:

A. Freedom if another nation keeps a people from becoming free, then U.S. can go to war.

B. Religious beliefs if another nation is killing or even persecuting people because of their religious beliefs, then it is okay to use military force to protect them.

C. Oppose dictators the U.S. is permitted to remove bad dictators from power

Reasons Cont.

5. Protect U.S. economic interests health of U.S. depends upon getting goods such as oil and food. If a nation keeps oil from U.S., then U.S. can use force to get the oil.

6. Protect innocent & punish the inhumane treatment of other people. Examples are:

A. Killed citizens on live television.

B. Another nation is killing a large number of people.

7. A nation is not willing and/or able to stop something that harms U.S. Examples are:

A. Mexico & drug cartels are fighting a war. Mexico is unable to stop flow of drugs into U.S. Also, U.S. citizens are getting killed in the drug war.

B. A nation cant stop illegal shipping guns. These guns are a threat to U.S.

Reasons Cont.

8. Stop war between other nations. If a war threatens U.S. interests, such as the shipping of important goods such as oil or food.

9. Fight threats to U.S. that are not caused by a nation. Examples include: terrorism.

10. Remain strong if other nations realize your strength, then they are not likely to take advantage of you. It is okay to fight simply to prove that you can and you will.

Chief Diplomat Page:Additional Audience

TO: U.S. President and advisorsFROM: Joe OBrien, International Delegate

First and foremost, I am very impressed with how well you have thought through this question of what justifies war. For those that had a chance to participate in the online discussion, your thinking and the respectful manner in which you carried on the discussion impressed me. I reviewed what you wrote, grouped together common ideas, and gave a name or title to each group of common ideas. For example, most everyone said that self-defense was a good or just reason to go to war. I used ideas expressed during the online discussion as examples of how you defined each group of common ideas. For example, when talking about self-defense, people said things like if another nation bombs the U.S. or attacked U.S. ships. Since so many people participated in the discussion, forgive me if you do not recognize your exact words.

On the following page is a list of reasons for going to war and examples to help explain each reason. The order of reasons roughly follows how much support each reason received. For example, since most everyone thought that self-defense was a reason to go to war, I put it first.

Round 2 (Application)

Last year, after generating list of reasons when it is okay for a president to go to war, they applied their thinking to 5 hypothetical situations, grounded in U.S. history. Added one for this year

Adams & undeclared war with France

Native Americans

War of 1812

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

Sampling Situations

Setting Stage

Do you remember what it was like moving from elementary to middle school? While exciting, for some of you, did it also seem a little scary? How big did