Overcoming Oppression  
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teacher

 

open

  • Invitation to inquiry
  • Open minds
  • Stimulate curiosity


 

Immerse

  • Build background knowledge
  • Connect to content
  • Discover interesting ideas
Icons from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.
Research Scenario

Oppression has been defined as the "unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power." Several specific types of oppression have been identified by social scientists, including political, social, economic, and belief oppression. Throughout human history and in every corner of the world, various groups of people have suffered oppression, often at the hands of their own governments. One of the most well-known historical examples of oppression was the persecution of the European Jews by the Nazis during World War II which resulted in the Holocaust. Examples in American history include the unjust treatment of Native Americans, who were forcibly displaced from their lands and homes, and the injustices inflicted on African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow laws, which prompted the Civil Rights Movement. More recently, the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005 revealed the oppression of impoverished citizens, predominantly African Americans, in the Gulf Coast states and nationwide. In a nationally-televised address from post-Katrina New Orleans, even President George W. Bush admitted that “deep, persistent poverty” in the area “has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America” and acknowledged a “duty to confront this poverty with bold action.”


Despite our own legacy of oppression against minority groups, the United States has made a commitment to promoting human rights for all people. This commitment was expressed in the Proclamation for World Freedom Day 2012 by President Barack Obama.


Today, people around the world look to the United States, the international community, and organizations like the United Nations and NATO for diplomatic, humanitarian, economic, and military aid in overcoming oppression. Often there is an expectation that the United States, a country founded by individuals seeking freedom from oppression and the world's most powerful democracy, should lead the way in fighting oppression around the world. However, the U.S. has been criticicized in the past, both for intervening and for failing to intervene on behalf of oppressed people in other countries. The decision to act or not to act is a diffcult one for U.S. leaders and diplomats, and has been a source of contention among politicians and the public.

Former President Bill Clinton was recently quoted during a question answer session on the topic of U. S. involvement in Syria.

“Some people say, ‘Okay, see what a big mess it is? Stay out!’ I think that’s a big mistake. I agree with you about this,” Clinton said. “Sometimes it’s just best to get caught trying, as long as you don’t overcommit — like, as long as you don’t make an improvident commitment.”

The decision to intervene internationally should never be taken lightly. As the U.S. continues to struggle with its role as a global power all diplomatic options should be examined. During this research project you will be asked to examine oppression and potential options for overcoming such situations.

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Throughout the research process, you may use a variety of inquiry tools and strategies.

Begin your inquiry by using the resources below to build background knowledge, connect to the content, and discover interesting ideas.
  • Begin your Inquiry Journal by responding to these Inquiry Journal Prompts.
  • Engage in conversation in an Inquiry Circle to develop ideas and discuss emerging questions with a small group of classmates.
Review facts about oppression learned in English class by viewing this brief video:



  The Hurricane Katrina disaster will be used as an example of oppression throughout this online research model.

Review some facts about the Hurrican Katrina disaster, if needed, by viewing these video segments from NBC Learn:

Katrina video 1
New Orleans Residents Desperately Try to Flee as Superdome and Other Shelter Becomes Available
Katrina video 2
Analysis of President George W. Bush’s Approval Numbers after Hurricane Katrina

Explore

  • Explore interesting ideas
  • Look around
  • Dip in
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

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Task and Product

Your task will be to research and analyze a modern instance of oppression in another country. You will compose a research essay and a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to that country, in order to inform the Ambassador about the oppression and recommend a United States response. You will support your writing with evidence from your research and from personal accounts of people facing oppression featured in your unit texts.

Explore

Use exploratory search strategies like browsing, scanning, and skimming the introductory articles and videos below. "Dip in" to read and reflect as you explore.
Your purpose in exploring is to choose one of the featured regions for an in-depth analysis of the different types of oppression. (political, economic, social and belief) Each of the videos provides an in troductory example of opressive situations within each region/country.

Use the Student Resources page to complete the Gathering Information Organizer.

  • Here is a Model Gathering Information Organizer to guide your research.
  • Make notes to record examples, evidence, and insights about your chosen international incident of oppression.
  • Use the Evaluating Sources Guide to keep track of sources that might be useful later or will need to be cited for your written argument.
  • If necessary, use the Pair-Share Protocol to clarify your ideas, get feedback, and gain insight.

evaluate

  • Evaluate the achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

Assessments

The following scoring tools may be used or adapted by you and your teacher to evaluate your research process and your final product and presentation. You can use these assessments throughout your inquiry process to plan, make decisions, monitor your progress, and self-assess your achievement of your inquiry-based learning goals.

Research Process Assessments:

Collaboration & Communication Assessments:

Final Product & Presentation Assessments:

Combined Process/Product Assessment:

Identify

  • Pause and ponder
  • Decide direction
  • Identify inquiry question
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

 

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Questions

Overarching Question:
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Essential Inquiry Question: What kind of oppression is present in your chosen country/region?

What groups/individuals are involved in your chosen country/region?
How have different groups/individuals influenced your chosen country/region?
Why is there conflict in your chosen country/region?
What factors have led to the oppression occurring?


Essential Inquiry Question: What is currently being done to end this oppression?

Who is the U.S. ambassador to your given country/region?
What diplomatic options are available?
What do you anticipate as an issue to resolving the oppression?
How does your topic link to your novel text?

Consider a variety of questioning techniques as outlined in Jamie McKenzie's Questioning Toolkit.

You may then need to generate some subsidiary questions that would help you to gather some specific information relevant to your Essential Inquiry Question.

gather

  • Gather important information
  • Go broad (search)
  • Go deep (read)
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.


Gather & Sort

Use the Gathering Information Organizer to collect evidence on the instance of oppression you have selected. Use the Model Gathering Information Organizer.

Apply effective search strategies in order to locate and evaluate. Use the Student Resources page to begin your search.

  • Read deeply from the given pertinent resources and apply reading strategies to construct meaning.
  • Use strategies and tools for note-taking, documentation, and reflection as you gather:
    • Consider using a Web 2.0 note-taking tool to collect and sort information: Options for Web 2.0 note-taking can be found in the Independent Research Course.
  • Refine your inquiry question or focus as needed, based on your research findings so far and your new insights and understandings.
  • Use the Evaluating Sources Guide to assist in gather information from reliable sources.
  • Demonstrate digital citizenship and avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing or quoting information, and by citing your sources in a Works Cited list.

Create

  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts to make meaning
  • Create to communicate
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

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Create

Analyze your research notes to reflect on your learning. What new insights have emerged in response to your Essential Inquiry Question?

As you review the information you collected using the Gathering Information Organizer organize the information using the "Essay Pre-Writing" handout.

    As you progress in organizing your information proceed to the Outlining Handout in preparation for composing a draft of your research essay.

    It is important that you review plagiarism and citing sources using the resources “Plagiarism: Just Say No!” handouts before composing your essay.

    Synthesize your findings by creating a product to communicate new meaning and understanding.

    You will use the “Peer-Revision” resource sheet upon completion of your draft to work with a partner on the content of you essay. You will make changes to your draft based on the feedback gathered through the peer-revision process. After revision you will use the “Peer-Editing” resource sheet to polish their essays.

      You will use the "Persuasive Letter Pre-writing" resource to develop a claim to support in your letter with evidence from Night, In the Time of the Butterflies and your research.

      You will use the Student Resources page to learn about diplomatic actions an Ambassador could potentially use to intervene in an oppressive incident. After conducting this research you will compete the remaining portion of the "Persuasive Letter Pre-writing" resource.

      Finally, you will compose a business letter to the appropriate U.S. Ambassador(s) with the power to affect change. You should consult the "Business Letter Format" and "Model Business Letter" in composing your letter.You will address an envelope and with your teacher’s assistance mail their letter to the appropriate embassy.

      Evaluate your research product and presentation according to the scoring criteria. The Research Paper rubric and Business Letter rubricare given as guides to determine whether you have fulfilled the requirements.

share

  • Learn from each other
  • Share your learning
  • Tell your story
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

sunrise

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Share

Present your research findings to your inquiry community twice. Once will occur after composing and editing your research essay. The second opportunity to share will be after composing your persuasive business letter.

After the Research Essay

After completing your research essay your teacher will direct you to gather in groups with your classmates researching the same incident of oppression.  Each group will share key pieces of information from their research and the forms of oppression to which each piece of information relates. As you do this in your groups you will complete the first section of "Jigsaw Activity".

After completing the first section of the "Jigsaw Activity" you will mix groupings to learn about another instance of oppression.  One group member will remain at the location of your home group and serve as the expert for students arriving from other groups.  All other members of your home group will disperse to other locations to learn about another incident from the expert that remains at that location.  At the conclusion of this sharing you will then return to your home group and complete the second portion of the"Jigsaw Activity" handout by sorting information by the form of oppression.   

After the Persuasive Business Letter

You will share your persuasive business letters by addressing an envelope and with yourteacher’s assistance mail their letter to the appropriate embassy.

In addition to sending your letter to the appropriate embassy your teacher may share you letter with the class through a digital platform such as a wiki or edmodo page. Through this sharing you will engage in a reflective discussion or activity of your teacher's choosing.

 

 

evaluate

  • Evaluate the achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
Icon from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

 

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Evaluate:

Evaluate the achievement of your inquiry-based learning goals using the scoring tools in the Assessments section, as directed by your teacher:

Reflect on your learning of the content by writing a response to the Overarching Question; support your response with ideas and evidence from both your own research and your classmates' presentations.


Extend your learning:

The following resources represent organizations that you can get involved with to raise awareness and help end oppression at home and abroad.

anmesty habitat
unicef civic

 

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