Can Progress be Made Without Conflict?
Consider how different the world is from the world our ancestors knew. How much more will it change by the time your children and grandchildren inherit the earth? Will these changes benefit humanity or will they dampen the spark of human spirit responsible for great works of art, literature, music, technology… Will our technology exceed our humanity, as Einstein suggested, or will it help us create a better world? Great leaders and thinkers who have brought about significant and positive changes in the world have faced adversaries, challenges, and opposition. Many have sacrificed their lives for the sake of progress. If conflict is the price of progress, then perhaps “conflict is the beginning of consciousness”.
This unit requires us to think deeply about the creative and destructive forces hidden within a conflict. Using literature, history, & current events as backdrops for life, we will analyze situations and relationships while reading and responding to highly original and thought provoking short stories, explanatory text, informational text, films and news stories. You will be introduced to and expected to use are academic and concept based vocabulary that relate to the Big Question as you explore familiar and unfamiliar titles such as “Early Autumn” by Langston Hughes; “There will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury; “By the Waters of Babylon” by Stephen Vincent Benet; “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe; and “The Threads of Time” by C.J. Cherryh. Highlights of this unit include: creating a problem-solution platform, designing a future world, and developing a pro-social message/public service announcement using creative media. Throughout the unit we will be reminded that if we want the world to be a better place, we might have to disturb the universe a bit!
Overarching Goal: The overarching goal of this unit is for us to recognize that while conflicts may be challenging and unpleasant, they often provide opportunities for growth and change.