Teaching Good Choices

In today’s society, students are facing an increasing number of ethical challenges as they navigate social media, school dynamics, and home life.  In the instant gratification world of the internet and social media, students often feel like there is no time or opportunity for them to think through their choices prior to acting. Plus, there usually isn’t a distinct right or wrong answer when it comes to ethical choices.

Murky forks-in-the-road are influenced by school rules, social pressure, and their own values.  Should I post a photo from a sleepover that excluded one friend? I know my friend cheated on that quiz, but should I tell my teacher? More often than not, students impulsively react.

To facilitate ethical decision-making habits, teachers and parents can use an interactive module developed by The Good Project, a research group at Project Zero co-founded by Howard Gardner. This new tool puts middle school students into two digital scenarios that present ethical dilemmas. By empathizing with the characters, students get to know their own value and see how their decisions can ripple out to affect others in the community.