In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, sexual harassment, assault, and other abusive behavior have never been more salient, and contention over the subject never higher. But a discussion on sexual harassment and the #MeToo Movement is highly critical, not only for adults but also for teenagers... especially in the classroom, which is why we developed our English DP Lang and Lit and DP Theory of Knowledge courses on this topic.
First, in Lang and Lit, a crucial topic is for students to be critical consumers of media and being able to discern was is true, sans bias. To be active and critical consumers, students must analyze the rhetorical devices and bias in media, considering the role the rhetorical devices play in creating arguments and "news." Meanwhile, in TOK, the study of the area of knowledge Ethics--along with the WOKs of language, reason, and emotion--serves as a similar unit as Lang and Lit. In TOK, students must learn about the ethical theories while analyzing the role that our reason, emotions, and language play in helping us make ethical decisions--and is one better than the other? Can we ever make sound ethical decisions, especially considering the limitations of the WOKs and personal/shared knowledge?
With these two focuses in different subjects, we created an interdisciplinary unit that explores similar tools and ends in the same place: exploring the ethical topic of the #MeToo Movement through analyzing media and language in Lang and Lit, while in TOK doing the same but through different famous and real-life people's arguments towards cases in the movement...also analyzing the correct "ethical" decision for each case, if there is one. Finally, the two units will end with an ethical trial on one of the #MeToo Movement cases, where students must take different sides, create arguments using the rhetorical devices and researched evidence, and argue their ethical position.
Ford, Krissy and Bellande, Rachel, "The Ethics and Rhetoric of the #MeToo Movement" (2018). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 416.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.