Groupthink in ethics classes

In my current ethics topic of Tourism, I’ve been asking classes of kids the question: Is it okay for locals to have restaurants charging high prices in tourist areas (compared to low prices elsewhere, where tourists seldom go)?

In most classes the kids have been pretty negative, saying that’s scammy and unfair. But tonight I had a class where all four of the kids thought it was fine, in fact it was smart business.

I followed up with: Would it be okay for a shop to charge locals a low price for a bottle of water, but when a tourist comes in they say the price is much higher? One kid thought that was not right, but three of them thought it was perfectly fine, especially if the locals were relatively poor and the tourists wealthy.

This shows the phenomenon I’ve noticed where the kids in a given class tend to follow one another in their opinions, rather than going out on a limb and disagreeing. I do get kids within a class disagreeing sometimes, but other times there’s a surprising run of agreement on what I feel is an atypical response. I don’t really have anything else to say about this, other than it’s interesting.

I also taught the second lesson in my current 6-week course on creative thinking. The student I have for that is keen and I think will get a lot out of the course, because he’s paying attention and doing the exercises with gusto.

In between I made some more Darths & Droids strips to get a buffer up and running again. And for dinner tonight I cooked calzones, with pumpkin/ricotta/feta filling.

I should mention a new project my wife is working on. She’s been making bangles, to go with the dog bandanas that she’s been selling. She’s using leftover scraps of fabric from the bandanas and wrapping them around wooden bangles using decoupage glue and varnish. They take a few weeks to make as the glue and varnish need time to cure, but she’s almost got a batch ready to start selling. We’re going to do some glamour photography to show them off soon, so she can add them to her Etsy shop. I’ll share some photos when we get that done.

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2 thoughts on “Groupthink in ethics classes”

  1. Interesting (to me) that you only refer to your students by he or she pronouns. Even if you aren’t in the world where gendered pronouns are to be avoided even when the person uses those pronouns themself (see what I did there?), I am surprised you haven’t had a nonbinary or gender-fluid student yet.

    1. I’m still not sure how common that is. But yeah, I haven’t had any students identify themselves to me as non-binary, yet.

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