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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ethics in Statesmanship

The story 'Test' written by Theodore Thomas is studied in class twelve. It is a futuristic story where people who want driver's license are made to go through a hypnosis. The State hypnotizes the applicants and they are made to experience a traumatic accident. The man who represents the State mentions that the primary objective of the test is to make drivers more careful. But what the State truly intends to achieve through the test is to make the people refuse their driving license. And those people who still want a license even after the traumatic experience are taken into custody.

The theme of the story is very interesting and it presents a lot of room for critical thinking and interactive sessions in the classroom. We can have debates and panel discussions on the theme. The theme is "Ethics of the power of the state to control its citizens". 

So, as expected, discussing the theme was very interesting. It was very interactive. We started with questioning, "Why should the government control its citizens?" The collective response was very intelligent. They (students) felt that the Government/State should control the citizens through good law and policies because there has to be order.  But if the State is not ethical, it misuses its power and that would lead to injustice and rights of the citizens getting restricted.

A story like this came with the new curriculum. As a student the stories I read in my English textbook were very good. The language, plot and the theme were also good but they didn't have pressing issues to discuss. And even if there were, the teachers didn't facilitate much discussion. Through a story like this, I believe, our students will become more critical/analytic of  how the state is functioning and realize the possibilities of the state misusing its powers and their right to question the state.

4 comments:

  1. Way to go, Nobu. Hope other teachers are facilitating the relevant discussions found in stories in the class like you are doing.
    Keep going.

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  2. Sir I too support your students opinions on the need of vibrant and doable policies and laws for any government to control her citizen.

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