Ethical Concepts and Nature

  Topic: Ethical Concepts and Nature - What is nature? What is natural? Does our definition of nature and natural change how we relate to nature? Should our understanding of nature and natural change how we think about and relate to nature? 

Description of Activities:  Community of Inquiry

Stimulus - Concept Game - Natural, Not Natural

1. Each student must write their own definition of Natural and answer the question "What is our relationship to nature?"

2. Students explore the concept of natural through a concept game. Each student is given a concept game card (each card will have a different idea, item, or short phrase that refers to something from the world - with specific reference to items found in and around Moreton Bay, Stradbroke Island and the Brisbane area). 

3. Each student must place their card in a column (or a Venn Diagram can be used) - Natural or Not Natural. They must also provide a reason for their selection.

4. Once all cards are placed and all reasons recorded students are invited to question the placement and reasons of each of the cards. They may agree with the placement as well but must provide an additional reason for why they agree.  Once a re-sorting of the cards has occurred students are invited to look at the reasoning and construct a new definition of nature.

This new definition should then be used in the question "What is our relationship to nature?" and does this definition change how we currently think about nature and our relationship to it?

5. Further explore ethical decision making by asking students to reflect on their relationship with nature. Are they concerned with their actions, the consequences of their actions or do they hold some other kind of 'principle'?

6. Students can then reflect on their original definition, look for changes or additions that occurred and share those with the other students.


Resources:  Concept Game - Natural, Not Natural

(This concept game will be constructed while on the expedition as specific items will be located during the time their, however, some obvious preliminary items could be - dugongs, turles, seditment, a water way, plastic bag, phosphorous.