Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a high school student in the classroom.
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Gender-based Distinctions

Video Summary: When does the government have the right to treat men and women differently? Students in Tim Rockey's twelfth-grade A.P. Government and Politics class have been studying the civil rights movement. In this lesson, students analyze and evaluate legal interpretations of gender discrimination based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, its amendments in 1972, and related court rulings.

In the lesson, students engage the rules of civil discourse by debating controversial gender discrimination laws and by working together to reach consensus. Mr. Rockey gives each group a list of gender-based distinctions -- some legal and some illegal -- and asks students to discuss the issues surrounding each. Next, he asks students to make a determination (a legal term meaning "judicial decision") as to whether the distinction is reasonable or unreasonable. Each group then produces a poster stating when they believe it is reasonable to discriminate based on gender. They explain the criteria they used to arrive at their determination, and also discuss the quality of the interaction among group members. The lesson concludes with a lively class discussion between the two genders.

Class at a Glance
Themes and Disciplines Addressed in this Lesson

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