Holy Ghost Preparatory School
Fall 2014/2015 School Year
Fr. Philip Agber, c.s.sp
This course provides an introduction to the concept of a just society, where "justice" refers to more than the legal system but based on the idea of a society which thrives to give all individuals and groups a fair treatment and a just share of the benefits of society. Students will research and analyze their personal and cultural history in order to strengthen their identity. A strong sense of who we are lends itself to learning about others in order to build awareness, respect, and community. A strong sense of community and respect alongside an understanding and knowledge of our Constitutional and Universal Human Rights will enable students to critically analyze past, present, and future issues that plague oppressed communities. Students will gain the skills to view the world through a critical lens and take action.
Should students recognize the interconnectedness of life and existence, the interdependence of countries of the world; the resultant effect will be an enhanced mutual acceptance and appreciation of people of other cultures and nations of origin. This course will, therefore, promote global awareness, human rights violations, global inequalities that exist, and a basic understanding of opportunities, programs and resources that exist and that can be exploited to combat human suffering and effect a positive change in an increasingly interconnected world.
- To introduce students to a basic biblical theology of justice
- To familiarize students with leading secular theories of justice
- To examine historical social justice movements such as civil rights, and women’s rights movements.
- To explore other social justice issues like: poverty, racism, environmentalism and criminal justice system, violence, genocide, child soldiers and child labor, human trafficking, sex trafficking, war refugees … etc
- To explore existing resources for change like the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, International AIDS Trust, Peace and Society, United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, World Visions, Million Voices for Darfur, Doctors Without Borders.
Critical Reading Skills
In the area of critical reading, the social justice class tries to harness the students’ ability to become a critical consumer of information; driven by desire to seek reasons and evidence as well as analyze, evaluate, synthesize, make inferences, detect bias, and determine relationships between pieces of information, critique an author’s position, determine the literal and figurative meanings of words/phrase, etc …
Exercises to enhance students’ critical reading skills would include
- Asking students to outline main ideas of reading assignments
- Requiring students to define words from reading assignments
- Asking students to write, in their own words, a summary of what they have read
- Asking students to draw a concept map to illustrate what they have read and the relationship of the ideas therein
- Asking students to write about the new insights they had as a result of reading a passage or piece.
- Asking students to predict the outcome or next logical step in the argument
Probable homework assignments
- Distribution of scholarly articles and asking students to summarize certain parts for class discussion.
- Defining new vocabulary words or discipline-specific terms for submission to teacher and following up with a quiz
- Writing a reflection paper or a “Do you agree or disagree?” paper
- Asking students to re-write something or bring new perspectives of social justice issues.
The course will be taught through a combination of lecture, class discussion, writing assignments, short research projects, group work and films, and PowerPoint presentations.
- Justice and Peace: Our faith in Action. Harcourt Religion Publishers, 2007
- Option for the Poor: A hundred years of Catholic Social Teaching. Orbis Books, 2001.
Students will be assessed using variety of instruments like: tests, homework, writing assignments, research work, and class participation. Each assignment will be assessed a point value. Students’ grades will be determined by the total number of points they earn divided by the total of all assignments. Class participation is considered when semester grades are assigned. A final exam will be given. The instructor will review with students the nature of the exam in the weeks prior to it. The instructor will comply with the grading scale as published in the student handbook.
There will be no compromise for cheating or copying from others especially during exams.