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Gray Zone of the Week

Use The Gray Zone ethical dilemmas to introduce your students to problems and situations that don't have one specific right or wrong answer. This week’s Gray Zone topic: Effective Communication.

Allison's math teacher, Mrs. Brown, is sick with the flu and will miss several days of school. Mrs. Brown's substitute teacher is from a foreign country, and Allison is having a difficult time understanding him because of his accent. She tries her best to pay attention, but she simply can't decipher the teacher's words. Eventually, Allison gives up and starts working on other homework during math class.

When Mrs. Brown returns to school, she announces that the class will have an exam on the material covered by the substitute teacher. Allison is worried that she will do poorly on the exam because she never learned the concepts. She explains her situation to her teacher, hoping that she can have a few extra days to prepare. Mrs. Brown asks Allison why she didn't go to the substitute teacher for help after class or ask questions when she didn't understand something. Allison is upset with Mrs. Brown. It was the substitute teacher's job to teach the class, not Allison's job to teach herself! What do you think? How could Allison have handled this situation differently?

This Gray Zone comes from the More Than Just Talk lesson module (LAP) and aligns to performance indicator EI:007 Explain the nature of effective communications.


Last week’s Gray Zone topic: Factors Affecting the Business Environment.

Lobbying is a legal activity in the United States. Members of certain business industries or special interest groups attempt to influence lawmakers to pass legislation that is beneficial to their interests or to block legislation they feel would be harmful. Lobbying can be a great way to bring important social issues to people’s attention, but it can also be used by powerful companies and industries as a control mechanism to keep things going their way. Industries with available resources can afford to spend billions on lobbying during the course of just a few years. Some people feel that it’s unethical for businesses to attempt to influence legislation for their own financial gain. What do you think?

This Gray Zone comes from the What’s Shakin’? lesson module (LAP) and aligns to performance indicator EC:105 Describe factors that affect the business environment.