This lesson uses a Philosophy for Children approach to explore moral questions raised by armed drones. Do people behave well if no-one can see what they are doing? It draws on an update of the myth of Gyges (Guy-jeez), the Lydian shepherd who, according to Plato, discovered the power of invisibility and made himself king. In this re-imagined version, Gyges is a school pupil who sees a lot that is unfair around him. This echoes the reality of armed drones, which can strike unseen, but the real adventure here is the multitude of questions children create.
The workshop is a good companion to Workshop 1 from Fly Kites Not Drones, which looks at children’s rights and armed drones.
• Use philosophical questioning to explore how “good” and “bad” behavior are affected when we’re watched.
• Explore what this tells us about our own lives and the issue of armed drones, which fly above unseen.
• Pupils learn how to think up and phrase philosophical questions
• Pupils offer critically thought-out opinions about moral questions, including a proposition and a reason.
• Pupils listen and evaluate ideas from peers.
• Pupils learn about an example of moral philosophy from Plato.
• Pupils apply their moral thinking to a real-life situation.
Age range: 10-14 (Suitable for a whole class or smaller groups)
Duration: 90 minutes (can be divided into 2-3 sessions) Resources:
• Gyges at School story printed (and cut-up into sections depending on how you want to explore it)
• What is an armed drone video: https://youtu.be/6C_UyIlzLAg
• Workshop 1 from Fly Kites Not Drones: Why can't Aymel fly his new kite?
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