“The first duty of society is justice.” Wendell Phillips – Duty
Justice is often defined as a sense of fairness and equality which society has a natural obligation to bring about. Seen in this way, justice is a first priority that when met will yield all other benefits to citizens. Others may argue that there are other, more pressing responsibilities like public safety or peace which are more important duties. Different views on society’s duties makes it hard for citizens to unite under a common purpose.
Join Steve and Dan Fouts – founders of Teach Different and twin brothers with over 50 years of teaching experience – along with educators from the United States Joe Schmidt and Nichelle Pinkney, for a conversation about duty enriched by the Teach Different Method.
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Image source: Wikimedia | Southworth & Hawes, Albert Southworth, Josiah Johnson Hawes
Dan Fouts 00:00
Hello, Steve and Dan Fouts here from Teach Different. We’re veteran teachers from the United States bringing educators together from around the world to learn a simple conversation method, which we model on this podcast for you. If you’re a teacher, administrator, or parent who wants to use the power of conversations to build stronger relationships and fight polarization, stay tuned to hear the impact our method can have on your discussions. Then join our Community of Educators at teachdifferent.com for additional resources and to participate in lively conversations among teachers and faculty, free for 30 days.
Dan Fouts 00:29
Welcome everybody to the Teach Different podcast, we have a really great show tonight. Today we have guests, Joe Schmidt and Michelle Pinkney, joining us. They are here as co-authors of a really cool book called Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities. They will be talking a little about their book and some of their other work. We’re happy to have them on the show. Since this is a podcast devoted to conversations, their work is connected and aligned with ours.
Dan Fouts 01:15
Let’s review our conversation method. We start with a quote. Today’s quote will be from Wendell Phillips. I’ll leave you in suspense a little bit. Then, we make some claims about what we think he is saying with his quote. This part often includes storytelling. Once we’re set with the claim, then we push against it with a counterclaim. Making claims that are equally reasonable, but disagree with what we think Wendell Phillips is saying. That’s the critical thinking component. We end with an essential question. We hope our guests will think of some questions during the conversation that they can share with the audience at the end. Let’s begin. Here’s the quote from American abolitionist Wendell Phillips. “The first duty of society is justice.”
Dan Fouts 02:05
I did a little research on this quote, and all the internet sources said this was a quote from Alexander Hamilton, but it actually isn’t. This quote is from a speech by Phillips. Here is why this quote is often attributed to Hamilton. Phillips gave a speech in Boston, on the eve of the Civil War. He quotes Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, who said, “the first object of every human society is safety.” Phillips said, “I think the first duty of society is justice.” He goes on to say that Alexander Hamilton said that, “justice is the end of government.” Because Hamilton’s name and quote followed Phillip’s quote so closely, he gets the attribution. We’re going to give it to Wendell Phillips. “The first duty of society is justice.” Joe and Nichelle, welcome. What do you think about this quote?
Joe Schmidt 03:18
Dan and Steve, I’m so happy to be back. Dan, you said you can’t wait to order the book. I can fill a couple of minutes if you want to order the book right now, because I think your first duty in hosting us to take care of that. So go ahead, everybody, we’ve got this while Dan orders our book.
Dan Fouts 03:42
I’m going to do it, by the way.
Joe Schmidt 03:45
It’s so funny that you have the history of this. Nichelle, I’m going to let you take the first crack at this. I’m going to give you a moment to think about it. I love that Dan actually did the digging behind this quote, because, I think, if you’re going to explore a quote, you need to understand where it comes from. I think that’s part of our due diligence for our students and for educators. The book, Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities, discusses one of those things that I think everybody knows and thinks we need to talk about, but it’s that next level of work. I immediately thought of Dan, when he started talking about the history behind the quote. We spend some time chapter two talking about the quote, “A lie can travel halfway around the world, while the truth is still putting on its shoes.” This quote is often attributed to Mark Twain; however, when I went to properly cite this quote, I learned that it is not from Mark Twain. The most common attribution is for Jonathan Swift, which veered off for two or three paragraphs. Wait a second, even this quote about a lie, for most of us, is probably a lie in how we’ve talked about it. I thought that was a fascinating piece for when you’re using, and thinking about, other’s ideas. I want to reinforce this right off the bat. Dan, you found the quote, and you said that we normally think this about it, but with a little bit of work, we discover this. Before I turn it over to my best friend, Nichelle, and my co-author, I want to reinforce the idea that we need to know where the information comes from. I’m giving you that little nugget if you want to learn a little bit more about the role words play that words do matter in conversations. I want to thank Dan for making sure we actually know the source of this quote. I was reminded of how often that quote is mis-attributed. So, I gave Dan a couple minutes to go order the book, and gave Nichelle a couple of minutes to think about her response. Let me turn it over to Nichelle.
Nichelle Pinkney 06:10
I have notes. Like Dan, I’ve heard this quote before, and then as I kept digging, I was like, Oh, I did not know this. I thought Hamilton said it. I thought Dan misquoted this. That’s how it started. I think when Phillips actually wrote this quote, the first duty of society is justice, I thought of it as a question. I look at Phillips quote made on the horizon of a war on humanity, and think how are we defining justice? How does Webster define justice? Webster defines justice, and I’m going to read it exactly, as a concept of ethics and law. That means that people behave in a way that is fair, equal and balanced for everyone. When I saw that, I thought about when I taught AP government and US history, and what my students would have said. They would have asked me, what do they mean when they say fair? Who determines where balance comes in? Who defines what is actually equal? They would have torn apart each one of those words, because they wouldn’t want to know. I want to know even more. He said this in 1861. When he said this, he’s talking about all those things. Is it fair? Is it just? Is it balanced? Who determines that? At that time, the audience that determined this was not the people they were fighting, the humanity that we were about to fight a war over, it was about this isn’t just practice. He was an abolitionist, and a spokesman for women’s rights after the Civil War, as well. When I hear this quote, and I think about the things that were happening, I wonder how we should define the words? How do we look at concepts so that people can understand what they mean in the long run?
Joe Schmidt 08:25 – Claim
I’ll go back to being on task now, after I got off task for a moment. What is the claim that the quote is making? That justice is a part of society, it’s a duty of society. I think we’re working our way up this. It’s part of society. It’s a duty of society, and it’s the first duty of society. I think there are three different ways to come back and think about this quote. If it fails any of those measurements, then this quote would not be accurate. That’s what I see as the claim. Not only is justice a part, but it’s a duty that we’re supposed to do, and it’s the first one. I’m wondering if that’s actually true.
Steve Fouts 09:29
Well said, Joe. I think this is making a pretty powerful statement about justice, that it’s the first duty of society. I’ll take that one. Dan, was it Alexander Hamilton who said that the end of government should be justice?
Dan Fouts 09:54
Justice is the end of government.
Steve Fouts 09:56
Isn’t it funny how Hamilton and Phillips agree that justice is important? I think you can argue that Hamilton is a little bit more realistic. He’s deferring the happiness into the future. Phillips is saying, we shouldn’t even have a society unless we’re working toward justice. Can I put words in his mouth? You can’t wait for justice to evolve.
Dan Fouts 10:33
Yeah, it has to be…
Joe Schmidt 10:35
Does he say that you can’t have society without justice? Is that implied in the first? And I’m trying to remember exactly what he said. Steve, when you said you’re putting words into his mouth, correct me if I’m paraphrasing incorrectly, that you can’t have a society without justice. Is that what it means? When you say it’s the first duty, does that mean that you can’t have society without it? Can you fail at an attempt and that still be the first duty?
Steve Fouts 11:10
Good question. It should be thought about. It should be one of the first priorities. Whether or not you achieve it is a different question. What do you think?
Dan Fouts 11:28
Well, I think it’s interesting. I teach a philosophy elective. Whenever I see the word duty, I think morality, and whenever I think morality, I think of an imperative. It’s something you have to do morally. It’s interesting to think of society itself as having moral duties. A lot of people don’t think of governments and societies doing things that are moral or immoral, but functional. They’re done so that the society survives. The morality part of this has captured me.
Nichelle Pinkney 12:26
I’m looking at when he made this quote. He didn’t make this quote when we were forming our government. He made this quote on the horizon of a war that he knew was about to happen, that everyone knew was about to happen, because we were all in disagreement. We were disagreeing on policies of humanity. I’m thinking that our government was founded on this idea that we weren’t going to be fair, equal or balanced. When you say that justice ends government, you’re telling me that you can’t be fair, equal and balanced. If it can’t be fair, equal or balanced, which is the definition by Webster, and our duty is to be fair, equal and balanced, it changes it. We had a foundation that was already built that wasn’t going to be fair, equal or balanced.
Joe Schmidt 13:42
Based on the timing, is this less the truth, which I won’t get into breaking down that word. Is this more of an indictment? How do you call yourselves a society with injustice? If we can look backwards and say, how dare you or shame on you, or whatever we want to say. Let me start rolling into the counterclaim a little bit. I don’t think anybody would argue at that point that the United States was not a society. If we didn’t have justice, then is that the first duty? I think it goes back to that duty. If you try it and miss it, can it still be the first duty? If you fall short, does that make the quote invalid, right off the bat?
Steve Fouts 14:57
Really good question. Sorry, Nichelle, go ahead.
Nichelle Pinkney 15:02
I was just going to say it reminds me of something I tell my students, to compare it to something that they know. I think of the “I Have a Dream” speech. It was a dream. I felt like it was almost a question. Like you were saying, Joe, is this a society thing, because we’re not doing this. This is not our first duty, and especially with how Dan presented it at the beginning. When I looked it up, I saw that too. It was like they were having a discussion, and then it got heated. I disagree with you. Then, the next one stands up and says, I disagree with you. I would agree with the question, is it a society if we don’t have those components?
Joe Schmidt 16:02
This really has me thinking. This is why Nichelle and I are such a good team. She went through and did all of the notes and research. I’m just going off the top of my head. There’s our push pull. In the past month or two, I feel like more people have done this than I’ve experienced in my entire life. I’ve heard people reference Abraham Lincoln’s quote, where he refers to the Declaration of Independence as the apple of gold, and the Constitution as the picture of silver. The declaration was a promise, an attempt, a goal, and the Constitution is more fleshed out. We know the idea of equality versus the implementation… I’ll go back to the quote. The idea of justice versus the actual implementation of justice. I think what some of us are swirling around a little bit is, can you fail in an attempt at justice? I think a lot of people would say that we didn’t hit all the promises laid out in the Declaration of Independence. As much as the Constitution sets a really good siege, it doesn’t hit everything. When we go back to the quote, if justice is a moving target, how would you define it? That’s what my students would do. That was one of my favorite activities, teaching senior sociology every year. Let’s define fairness. We could never do it, because it’s so subjective. Maybe we need to recognize that justice is subjective. The duty is not to nail it, not to hit it out of the park, but maybe it’s just a promise and a recognition of an attempt. Does that meet the definition? Can it be first if it’s just a promise, and we all agree that it is important, but there are other things we’re actually going to do. Does that still make it first?
Steve Fouts 18:41
Acknowledging that it might take time to get there. I have to share this question, but I don’t know how to fit it. What do you think about the notion that you can’t have justice unless you first have injustice? Nichelle, I want to hear from you here. The whole idea of justice being balanced and fair, or this perfect balance, is there a part of justice that needs the opposite in order to understand what it could mean? I’m going to ask a follow up question based on your response. This is something I’ve always questioned myself.
Nichelle Pinkney 19:50
I taught AP government and AP economics in my first two years. I’m saying this for a reason, because I had to teach my students a concept when we talked about unemployment, employee versus underemployed. My students didn’t understand why 100% of the population couldn’t be employed. That’s just a simple concept. I told them, it’s not a simple concept. Like you just said, justice and injustice, have and have not. Our structure is built upon that counterbalance. When Phillips said this, I don’t think he was expecting them to say, yes, we were going for justice. When you look at it, it wasn’t going to happen. We’re trained, I guess, or what we see in society is there is always a counter. If there’s a good person, then there’s a bad person. When I watch my Marvel movies, there has to be a protagonist and an antagonist. We have to have both in that scene. We can’t have everyone be good. Why? What does that even look like? I’ll even go to Judeo Christian. They believe there’s a good versus bad. Follow this path versus this one. I think when he said it as a duty it was something to strive towards. It was something that I hate to say, unattainable, because that sounds so horrible. But, that’s the truth. It’s not going to be attainable, because you will have to recognize that there will be injustice. Gandhi has principles of justice, where he talks about access, equity, diversity, participation, and human rights. When I throw that in the room, plus, however you define justice, then you’re like, oh, crap, we’re nowhere near where we’re supposed to be. I think it was a, and I hate to say this, but a utopian idea. Let’s not fight this. We’re not going to get there, but we can strive to do better.
Joe Schmidt 22:04
Applause for Nichelle. I just want to appreciate that moment. We got Gandhi in there. It’s really powerful stuff. I’ll insert our little halftime here, and maybe we’re past our time, I have no idea. What Nichelle and I have spent so much time in the past year thinking about is the potential. I’m just watching where our path is going in this discussion. We’ve brought in religion, different historical figures, and we’ve talked about the idea that justice doesn’t happen for everybody. These could be really contentious thoughts and ideas. I’ll speak for Nichelle and I, what I think about this process is that you have a process. That’s what Nichelle and I talk about all the time. Please don’t just take a topic and jump in. We have a quote that we’re working from. We’re grounded in something that is not personal. This is not Nichelle telling me that she thinks my ideas are terrible. We’re referencing a central quote with claims, evidence, and reasoning. We’re looking for points and counterpoints. We’re building skills. I think the entire idea of this podcast series is that these are transferable skills. You can plug in whatever quote you want in there. When I was on here before, I don’t think we got into anything that was really contentious. It was fun. I had a blast. But, I could see some people thinking, wait a minute, Miss Pinkney said justice isn’t for everybody. I’m not okay with that. I think because we’re grounded in this type of environment and a skill set that we’re working on, that’s such a great connection. Back to the book. I don’t want to give it all away or use all the time from the podcast here, but that’s something Nichelle and I tried to lay out. You don’t jump into these things. You practice certain strategies, certain environments, and you build the community to get to the point. Dan and Steve, you kind of have the same thing, right? If you look through all of your quotes for the year, you wouldn’t be like, ooh, this one would really get the kids fired up. Let’s do that on day one. You think about how you build up to that. I think that this is such a great piece. If anybody out there is listening and feeling like they don’t want to talk about justice or beliefs or Christianity in my classroom like, understand that that’s not what this is. This is a structured approach to having students do claims, evidence, reasoning, inquiry. We’ve had a ton of questions. You purposely look for points and counterpoints. It’s a wonderful structure. As educators, you should feel comfortable saying, I got this. We can talk about contentious issues framed in the sandbox. I’ll end our mini halftime. That was our infomercial for our book, Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Community. Now back to your show.
Dan Fouts 25:20 – Counterclaim
Love it. I thought that was great, Joe. You really captured the spirit of what we’re doing here. In that spirit, I say we get to some counterclaims more directly. I think there are different ways to approach a counterclaim to this quote. You could say, I think the end of the first duty of society is protection. It’s not as moral as Wendell Phillips is making it out to be. It’s more by necessity that you protect citizens from bodily harm. That’s the first thing that society needs to do. Justice might be an important goal, but not the most important. That’s one counterclaim. With counterclaims, even if you don’t agree with them, we have to play the other side. We have to disagree with him, and use reasoning so we can work out our thoughts.
Joe Schmidt 26:25
I taught sociology for a handful of years. We always talked about the five characteristics of a society. Justice isn’t one of them. I think it might be in there. We talked about family structures, government structures, religious structures, sports or entertainment structures and education structures. For me, the counterclaim would be the first duty of a society is to provide structures, because if you don’t have those structures, you’re not a society. A civilized society is not groups that run around lacking those structures, they have family, they have government, they have these other pieces that bring them together. Then, maybe as a result of trying to fit diverse, by diverse I just mean more than one, people together, I think it’s inherent. Maybe the first duty of society is to provide structures that inherently lead to a need for justice.
Joe Schmidt 26:33
Interesting. So, justice could potentially be an end. It sounds like Alexander Hamilton would be patting you on the back and just saying, Joe, that’s kind of what I was saying. You can make a better or worse society. They can both not be just, but one of them could be trying, and could be aligned to it.
Joe Schmidt 28:25
Think about some of our oldest societies and laws and structures. Hama Robbie’s code? Would they have defined that as justice, or does it matter? Do we say an eye for an eye, a hand for a hand? I think in today’s society, there are a lot of people who might say that’s not really justice, but that was a justice system for a society. Are we back to who gets to decide what justice is? I went on a tangent there for a second. I think for me, my counterclaim is that the end result of society is having to strive for justice, but not at the beginning.
Steve Fouts 29:12
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I’m thinking of Thomas Hobbes. Life is nasty, brutish, and short, and the only purpose of society is to stop us from violent death at the hands of our fellow citizens. There are people out there who would argue justice, I wish. Society is just there to keep us away from each other, a social contract so we can live in peace. If it ends up being a really good society where everyone has rights in the same manner, where everyone is treated equally, with dignity, and all the other things that I think we expect out of what justice means, then if that happens, wonderful. Would it be the first duty? Probably not, according to certain people, but they have a pretty dark view of the world.
Nichelle Pinkney 30:28
Maybe the first duty would be the idea of peace, because of the time that they were doing this, not only looking at justice, but peace. Our first duty as a society is to accept compromise, because at this point, if they could have compromised on something would it have even gone this far? Maybe their first duty is to recognize differences and respect those differences. Would we have gotten to that point? That is most definitely a counterclaim because I think they obviously should want it to work. For the sake of conversation, what about accepting what we’ve chosen for our backgrounds to be in acknowledging that’s what we decided to do.
Dan Fouts 31:29
That’s great. I like that. I thought of something as you were talking, Nichelle, that might be an interesting tangent in our conversation. What we do with this method, this Teach Different method, is we encourage teachers, when they bring these quotes to class, to encourage storytelling. Get the kids to apply these things to their lives. Make it something that is practical. I was thinking that somewhere in this conversation, if any of our listeners use this, if the kids are a little overwhelmed, depending on your age group, you might want to just stop and say, look, what is the first duty of the school? You might actually have a conversation about that. That gets its own legs, and you can tie it into the wider conversation of justice in a society. Kids might need that in this particular conversation. Anyway, that was a thought in my head that I wanted to pass along for anybody listening.
Steve Fouts 32:48
First duty of a family.
Nichelle Pinkney 32:54
The first duty of the community. We talk about this in the book. I had a conversation today about this. You don’t start with something like this. Are you crazy? You don’t start with this. You start with little things that allow the students to, like you said, relate to where they are, and what they see. Then, it progresses to something else. In the book we talk about what this looks like when you give this to them. I joked about it before, that I researched the quote, because I wanted to make sure I understood. You gave us the quote ahead of time. You gave us something that guided us. You gave us time to think about it. We had enough time. You didn’t have us come in here and say, here’s the quote, good luck. No, we had time to think about it and process it. I dug for information, because I wanted to make sure that I could do what I needed to do to respond effectively. From there, we are asking these questions, and giving each other time to talk about this. Joe knows where I’m going with this. You have the option with this conversation if I really don’t want to comment, I can sit back and say, I’ve done my research, I’ve talked about it, I’ve turned this into my teacher, but I’m not feeling like I want to express my opinions here. It’s a strategy that we have in the book that I use with my students. Now I’m going to add this to that strategy to allow students to see how you go through conversations and allow students to do this. You give them so much that they can’t back out of it, or if they choose to back out, they still have learned from the conversation.
Joe Schmidt 34:52
I think you’ve put a lot on the table and you’re referencing this great information, this great setup that Dan and Steve gave us. Is there an easy way to remember all of what you just said? Could you sum up that last paragraph or two in one word? How would you sum that up in one word so teachers can remember?
Nichelle Pinkney 35:10
I call it the GUIDE strategy, to guide my students to be able to respond to conversations. We had to guide students to write and respond, because I would have unresearched responses. I had to let them know that scholars research, smart people research. We look at different things before we talk.
Joe Schmidt 35:39
What does GUIDE stand for? If you’re saying Dan and Steve set us up for GUIDE? What is the GUIDE?
Nichelle Pinkney 35:44
So in the guide method we give our students a guiding question, or in this situation, a quote. That’s the letter “g.” Then, for the “u” we do uninterrupted thinking time. We allow them time to think about what we presented to them. We allow them time to really think about the guiding question. They can ask clarifying questions. They can talk to a neighbor, or anything else that prepares them. For the “i” we provide information for them. In this particular situation, we’re scholars, we’re intellectual people, we were able to dig it up before our students. I would most definitely not send them on a wild goose chase on the internet. Who knows what can pop up. I’ve always provided a smorgasbord of information for my students, so they could have educated conversations. We’re going to make sure that you see all sides, which sometimes is not a good aspect. The “d” is a dedicated question and answer time. Once again, allowing kids the opportunity to ask questions about what they’ve read, and working the room. The last part, “e,” is to allow kids to exit the opportunity. If they’ve done all these other parts, then I already have a grade. They have done all the work. They can say that this is too much for me right now. I’ve never had a kid exit out because they didn’t want to, but because it was a hot topic and they wanted to sit back and take notes. That’s fine. They’re still building the skill set. They’re still getting the content and information. That doesn’t mean they have to sit here and have that conversation. That’s a guide strategy that I never realized was a good strategy until writing this book.
Steve Fouts 37:56
I love it. It’s great.
Joe Schmidt 37:59
Congrats to Steve and Dan. There’s our second infomercial. If you need more information, you’ll have to get them. That’s for listeners. Steve and Dan, set us up with that. I don’t think that they necessarily thought all that through, but they’re great practitioners. We got all that information ahead of time. They set us up for success. That’s why the podcast works so well, because they don’t surprise their guests. They guide us along the way. Thank you, Dan and Steve for following the guide method.
Steve Fouts 38:30
I love it.
Dan Fouts 38:35
Well, I think this is a good natural end to the conversation. We have to end with a question or two. Does anybody have one that has organically been created from this conversation that you would leave your students, or yourself with?
Joe Schmidt 38:57 – Essential Question
Does the order of this matter? If a society says here’s what we need to accomplish, and justice is one of them, whether it’s first or not. Societies are very deep, layered, complex living organisms. It is not a paint by number, and I think that’s one of the things we do poorly in social studies. We have this very linear cause and effect, but when you get into it, A caused B, but also D, F, G and H. All these other things were happening. I would ask, is the order really important? Does the order matter, or is it about a society understanding what it owes its citizens?
Steve Fouts 40:15
I like that. You almost personified society. It’s full of people, but what is it? Oh, its citizens. I really like this question a lot, because the one I was going to ask was, do you need injustice to have justice? I’m gonna take your question, Joe, and say that your question is bigger. If it’s a question of what the society owes its citizens, and the society has had injustice in its history, then that will paint the picture of what it owes later. That accommodates injustice. I like that a lot. Thank you.
Joe Schmidt 41:12
Do you want me to come back on a future episode so we can do the points and counterpoints to my quote. Joe Schmidt 2022 said,…. What do you think he meant by this?
Steve Fouts 41:21
It could be the next quote. Joe, you’ll be the starting point.
Dan Fouts 41:25
My question would be, what is justice? I think we’re assuming it means something because of the context of Wendell Phillips, but I bet if you pull 20 kids in your class, they’re going to have very different conceptions of what justice is. Some are going to say the only thing justice is, is your equality of opportunity to take it, it’s not equality of result. It’s equality of opportunity. I would go with what is justice, and leave them confused in a good way to see the complexity of language like this.
Nichelle Pinkney 42:15
I like that, because we’re really defining that concept for what it is and what it looks like. My question would be, how do societal beliefs influence justice? How does the society we come from and our backgrounds influence what justice looks like? That will piggyback off what Steve said, is there injustice and justice, or is it just by itself? Is that something we owe to our society, or is that something that we have personified at this level that we need to reach?
Joe Schmidt 43:02
I thought the clearest line was back to Dan. The one quote you didn’t mention goes right back to what is justice? If one society says this is justice, there’s a lot of other societies that are going to say, no way. What portion of that society would need to say, we’re good with this. I felt like that was the intersection you were getting to, because that definition of justice really depends on who’s figuring it out. Maybe that goes back to who is in power? I think we have a lot of built in societal norms across many societies where some people would say does this lead to injustice? This is why I invited you, Nichelle. This is so much fun. We’re 50 minutes in now, and I’m ready for another 15 minutes. Now, I am ready to start talking about this, because I’m super pumped. I just told my methods kids last week, that when you get to the point where everybody’s hand is up, and everybody’s super engaged, that’s when you have to let them go. If you let the curiosity die, then you transition out of a quiet classroom. I’m guessing Nichelle, they’re going to tell us our time is up.
Dan Fouts 44:34
Joe Schmidt 44:34
We’re super excited now.
Nichelle Pinkney 44:36
I know, right?
Steve Fouts 44:39
Dan, before you end I have to put a plug in for a book, Plato’s Republic. Fifth most read book of all time and it tackled the question, what is justice? People asked Socrates what his definition was. He pointed out to everyone else the problems with their definitions. No, it’s not giving back what we owe. No, might does not make right. He obliterates everybody’s definition. Then he says, I need 280 pages to describe my own definition of justice. I’m going to paint a picture of a future society, this is what it looks like, and this is what happens. So, anyway, Dan, your question has been asked before.
Dan Fouts 45:37
There are so many answers, which is what’s so great about it. Well, thank you. This has been a really great conversation with you guys. It has been invigorating. We asked some really good questions at the end and talked about some really important ideas. We cannot be afraid to challenge kids with big ideas. If we have to water down the words a little bit, that’s okay, but they can handle these big ideas. As teachers we have to have the courage to present these big ideas to students and believe in them. Thanks for being here. The book, Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities. Get it as soon as possible.
Dan Fouts 46:37
Steve Fouts 46:37
Thank you, everybody.
Dan Fouts 46:38
Thanks, everybody. We hope you’re walking away feeling energized by some great ideas, and have a sense of confidence that you too can master the art and science of conversations to make a lasting impact. We at Teach Different are dedicated to supporting you along that journey. Please visit teachdifferent.com to join our Community of Educators for additional resources and engaging discussion among fellow teachers and administrators, free for 30 days. We’ll see you there and next time on the Teach Different Podcast, take care!