Ethics looks at how we should act throughout our lives: what obligations we may have to others, and what rights we enjoy ourselves. When we think about these obligations we often think locally, what we owe our neighbors, those within our communities. Sometimes we expand our inquiry to our borders and to our fellow citizens, but all too rarely beyond. Yet it is equally important to examine our obligations in a global context. Looking beyond those close to us raises tough questions. What do we owe those half the world away? Is it the same as our neighbors or nothing at all? How do nations fit into ethical frameworks? What are rights, and do we have them?
With this in mind, I am excited to offer An Introduction to Global Justice, a class for middle and high school students meeting once a week this fall. In this class, we will examine answers to many of the questions of Global Justice offered by some of the greatest minds of history and today. We will begin with an introduction to some of the big names in Ethics: Kant’s deontological (categorical imperative) and Stuart Mills’ utilitarian frameworks, followed by Rawls’ Theory of Justice and Nozick’s defense of libertarianism. We will then briefly look at Macintyre’s patriotic morality and cosmopolitan frameworks. The meat of the course, however, will be more issue-based classes, revolving around topics such as Human Rights, Climate Change, Resource Inequalities, Transnational Feminism and Immigration.
This course is an excellent opportunity to get an introduction to a vital and fascinating topic that most students usually wouldn't encounter until college. In addition to being valuable on their own merits, the ability to tackle big questions in an open discussion setting will be key throughout the entirety of student's academic careers. Although the subject matter will be complex, a basic understanding and the vocabulary to discuss these sorts of issues are, I believe, necessary to being an educated world citizen. Global Justice is, therefore, appropriate for all knowledge and experience levels. No one needs to have extensive experience with philosophy or anything else to keep up and get the full benefit of this course; I strive to make my introductory classes true introductions, and to make complex topics approachable. I look forward to working and thinking with your children this fall!
Class meets Thursdays from 4:25 - 5:55pm
An Introduction to Global Justice is being offered through the Westfield Academy Annex, and will be taught by Connor Henderson. Details about this course, including class schedules and general information about the Westfield Academy Annex can be found at:https://westfieldacademy.squarespace.com/annex-classes/. To register for An Introduction to Global Justice, please click on the "how to register" tab and follow instructions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email - Connorhenderson@gmail.com - or call me - 860-995-3401. Act soon! Class begins in 1 week and space is limited.
*Intro. to Global Justice is also a powerful complement to the other Westfield Academy courses, as it can be taken as a part of a full or part-day slate of high level classes--including offerings such as Why the West Got Rich, Debate, and Model United Nations. For information on other courses, please visit the above listed website.*
A little about me:
My name is Connor Henderson. I recently graduated with high honors from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, where I majored in Culture and Politics. I am a former Connecticut homeschooler with an interest in education policy. Starting this fall, I am running the Career Beginnings Office in Hartford Public High School for a HArtford education non-profit. I will be in charge of developing and implementing strategies to increase the college outcomes for a large group of students from underserved communities. I also have an academic background (and personal interest) in International Relations, Economics, Philosophy and Sociology. I was a member of the Georgetown Parliamentary Debate Team, and taught philosophy and writing classes in Fall ’14 through the Westfield Annex, as well as literature and theory over the summers at the Great Books Summer literature Program. This summer, I developed and ran a Leadership Program for over 100 middle and high school students at the Westfield Academy Summer Camp. I also run a tutoring and college advising business, which focuses on writing skills, the humanities and college and scholarship application editing, among other disciplines.