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The Corporation: Resources for Classroom Teachers

Secondary

Description

This document is intended to provide teachers with ideas and resources to structure lessons relating to TVO’s presentation of 'The Corporation', a documentary that examines the ethics, organization and practice of America's corporations.  It provides curriculum correlations, lesson ideas, and reproducible blackline masters for use in a variety of secondary school courses. A list of relevant Internet Web sites that represent different points-of-view has also been provided to allow for extensions of content in the film. Key themes covered include:
• Ethics
• Corporate social responsibility
• Politics and ideology
• Economic and social interdependence among individuals, corporations and nations
• Impacts of commercial activity on individuals, communities and the environment
• Impacts of globalization
This document is fully hyperlinked, so teachers can navigate to any point using the “Document Map” feature in Microsoft Word, or by clicking on entries in the Table of Contents.

The resource focuses its lessons around the video The Corporation.  The Corporation addresses three different themes. In the first program, The Pathology of Commerce, filmmakers examine the pathological self-interest of the modern corporation. Planet Inc. looks at the scope of commerce and the sophisticated, even covert, techniques marketers use to get their brands into our homes. The final program, Reckoning, examines how corporations cut deals with any style of government — from Nazi Germany to despotic states today — that allow or even encourage sweatshops, as long as sales increase.

The 5 lessons in the resource:
1.    Debate (2 to 6 classes) on a topic of choice related to the video and the students' interest
2.      Ethical analysis of the issues (1 class) discussion of ethical issues through a structured handout
3.      Investigative Journalism (2 to 6 classes) looking at investigative journalism, bias and omission in current media
4.      Examination of Expository Programming Themes (2 to 6 classes) small group discussion on program of choice
5.      Stealth marketing (2 to 6 classes) research on stealth marketing, making a marketing action plan and research at their local school

This resource has good teacher notes and some scaffolding is provided.  There is a substantial amount of additional resource material in the form of books and websites provided.  The film The Corporation is key to this lesson, teacher will have to obtain it from their school library system or through TVO.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource teaches detecting bias, reading into the media, debating skills and market research skills.

Strengths

This is a great resource to support the video, The Corporation.  There is a good quantity and quality of background material for both teacher and student.  The handouts are all together and there are assessment and evaluation strategies provided.  The package is up to date, relevant and there is an extensive list of websites to check out.

Weaknesses

The resource requires access to the video The Corporation, which could be difficult to obtain.  There are no action skills or action experiences included in the lesson and no chance to clarify values.  The resource relies heavily on computers and the Internet.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
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        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
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        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
    • Grade 12
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      • Economics
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        • Macroeconomics 30: Course Content
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        • Economic Theory 12: The implementation of economic theories has profound effects on social and political decision making and movements
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        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society
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        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
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    • Grade 11
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        • Analysing Current Economic Issues (Univ. Prep.) Firms, Markets, and Economic Stakeholders
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        • Global Connections
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        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Economic Theory 12: The implementation of economic theories has profound effects on social and political decision making and movements
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Justice 12: Defining Social Justice
        • Social Justice 12: Moving Toward a Socially Just World
        • Social Justice 12: Recognizing and Analyzing Injustice
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Media
  • Economics (1)

    • Corporate Social Responsibility

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The video presents different points of view but definitely has a point it wants to make.  In-class research allows students to be exposed to diverse opinions.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The multiple dimensions of problems are addresses but very few solutions are given or asked to be looked at.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

You would need to complete all 5 activities and watch the entire 3 hour miniseries to entirely understand the complexity.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered

Poor

There are no action experiences provided.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered

Poor

During the debate, students are encouraged to express their own beliefs and values but are not given time to re-evaluate and clarify those values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

Poor

This could be a focus is students research different and diverse groups.  The video and lesson plan itself is very knowledge based.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

Poor

This is very much an in-class human-focused lesson plan.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Poor/Not considered

Poor

Lesson 5 has the potential but the resource focuses on the broader issues.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Students are encouraged to find an area that interests them, research it, take a position and be able to explain and defend it. Students are not steered toward one right answer.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The resource provides opportunities for learning in English, Media Studies, Marketing, World Issues, Economics and World Politics.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Poor/Not considered

Poor

This lesson is very much concept and language driven, which requires a vocabulary that could be challenging to some.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The debate and the stealth marketing activity are examples of experiential learning. Depending how it is facilitated, this could either provide a simulated or an authentic experience.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Very Good
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered

Poor

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

The video and Internet research allow students to explore relevant case studies and descriptions of real events related to the video.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

In Lesson 1,3,4 and 5 students are given the opportunity to choose elements of program content.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.