By Kenneth Hung, Choices Teaching Fellow and high school classroom teacher, Philadelphia, PA
I am putting together a unit on Genocide and R2P to be used in my Contemporary World Conflicts class this January. The goal of the unit is to have students understand and assess whether R2P could have/should be used as a justification for intervention in the recent Libyan conflict and current Syrian conflict. This is what the unit is looking like so far:
Have students define genocide using the “wall” activity in the Choices Confronting Genocide: Never Again curriculum . Have students read the Genocide Convention and Defining Genocide handouts and answer questions. I’ll also ask them to evaluate if certain historical events might be considered genocide (see Day 1 of curriculum again), The Genocide map in the curriculum is a great visual for the students.
Lecture on history of genocide from Confronting Genocide Teacher Resource book and lecture notes on R2P from the 2012 Choices Leadership Institute.
Show the movie The Devil Came on Horseback, which looks at the tragedy in Darfur as seen through the eyes of an American military observer. I’ll use movie to critique the argument that R2P should be used in Darfur. I’ll also use some notes I have on the Arab Spring’s impact on Libya and Syria, including Choices Teaching with the News (TWTN) on “The Conflict in Syria” and other TWTNs on the Arab Spring.
I’ll then divide students into 4 groups – students will conduct research and then debate the following positions, probably in a Structured Academic Controversy format.
- R2P should have been used against Qaddafi in Libya (YES/NO)
- R2P should be used against Assad in Syria (YES/NO)
Students will post a reflection on my website with their opinion on each debate topic. Students must address at least two arguments used by each side in the two debates.
If anyone knows of some great resources and readings that might be useful to me in this unit, please post them in the comments section below.