1. Needs analysis
2. Content analysis
3. Teaching rationale
3.1 education on sustainable development as a basic principle of the curriculum
3.2 media literacy and use of digital media
3.4 teaching principles
4. Learning objectives
4.1 general learning objectives of the four-week syllabus
4.2.1 general learning objectives of the last session
4.2.2 specific learning objectives of the last session
5. Methodical objectives
1. Needs Analysis
The class I am teaching is the 10th grade in English at a general-education Gymnasium in Welzheim. The class consists of a total of 26 students- 14 girls and 12 boys. Since their English reached the B1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, they are able to talk, write and read about subjects they are familiar with. They should be able to critically read tabloids, watch Ted-Talks and discuss current issues.
I already taught this class last year, so I know them quite well. The class has a strong bond, which I am thrilled about every time I can experience it. As far as I am aware, there are no rivalries and no loners. However, we have about 6 students who rarely participate. One of them is a Syrian refugee, who joined the class two years ago. His English skills are not as advanced as the other students, so he needs a little bit of extra care, which I do not mind. The class is also really supportive of him.
Two boys are class clowns, being quite challenging sometimes. The two are always goading each other, giggling in inappropriate situations, and trying to incite the teacher and other students to join in. Luckily, I already know quite well how to handle them. Over the past year, we have got to know each other well and they usually know when to stop being annoying and noisy. Occasionally, when they go too far, I give them some annoying extra work and they remain quiet for the next few lessons. 8 of my students in this class are extremely hardworking and motivated. They always participate in class and regularly do their homework. Usually, most of the time they are the ones participating the most. With these students, it is always quite easy to hold a good lesson, however, the other students then rely on the fact that they do not have to participate and of course, I cannot let that happen. That's why I must call on individual students from time to time or I give them the opportunity to participate by promising them that they will not get any homework for the next lesson. When I feel extremely moody, I just tell them that I am going to do a graded quiz next lesson if they do not come forward. Typically, a lot of students come forward then and participate. I know that this is not the way to motivate them, but sometimes it helps to do this.
When I announced that we would be spending four weeks on the topic of charity and volunteering, two students came right out and told me that they are currently helping out at two local organizations. One volunteer is regularly walking dogs and the other volunteer is at the local soup kitchen. I am touched that two of my students are volunteering regularly and helping out. I told them right away that I would be thrilled if they would talk about their experiences in one of the next lessons.
I know some students who do not show any interest in this topic which is why I am particularly curious about how they are going to do for the next weeks.
Our school is well-equipped with tablets, specifically build for students in school. To make sure I have the tablets for the particular lesson we need them for, I sign up on the registration list. On some occasions, the students are allowed to use their phones for tools like “wordcloud” “Mentimeter” or “Kahoot”. In addition, we have a blackboard which we use religiously.
I teach this class twice a week for 90 minutes. The lesson I am describing is the last English session of week four. This means that we have been working on the topic of charity, volunteering and fundraising for over three weeks already.
Our lesson takes place from 7.50 to 9.20 on a Thursday. Since it is the first lesson of the day, the students are mostly quite sleepy, so I need to prepare the lesson with this factor in mind. At the end of the lesson, the students get quite excited since they have their first big break of the day, so for the last 5 minutes, they are typically restless.
2. Content Analysis
“Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it”, said John D. Rockefeller Jr. pointing out that charity is not always just positive. Charity is always seen as the highest work a human being can do; however, it also comes with several problems. It is quite easy to encourage people to donate, but few people see the hard work that goes into charity and the decisions that individuals must make before they donate. But not only the donor has to face difficulties, but the recipient also struggles while getting help. It is not enough to donate money, clothes, or food to the recipient. The problems did not vanish into thin air just because a little donation was made. Charity is hard work and requires much effort and reflection on both sides.
First, it is important to know what exactly charity is and what it entails. There are several definitions of what charity is but most importantly it is essential to know that it is exclusively for public benefit. It is an organization with specific purposes defined in law.1
The primary purpose of charitable organizations is to prevent or relieve poverty. The greatest difference between philanthropic organizations and other organizations lies precisely in the fact that the goal of the charity is solely and exclusively to benefit the public or a sufficient section of them. It cannot make a profit that is not defined as charitable or provide the private benefit of anyone.2 All the profit or surplus they make must go back to the charity itself to benefit the general. Charities can and do invest their money but only to generate a return. That also means that a charity cannot have owners or shareholders who benefit from it, since this would go against its purpose.
Every organization needs help in form of employees and therefore charity organizations also do have employees. But it comes with certain restrictions. A charity can pay for its staff and services it needs but only because it helps to further its cause. Employees help them establish their goals and they got to be behind this cause.3 The same applies to purchasing goods.
A charitable organization also falls under the category of a non-profit organization which is kind of self-explanatory due to the facts stated before.
The procedure of forming a charitable organization varies from one country to another country. To start a charity, one must know the laws and factors required and should even take legal advice. This is particularly important due to its goal and purpose. Since it is a charitable organization, it would not make much sense to pay taxes and that is why it is crucial to apply for tax-exempt status and any charity organization must follow up with this regularly.4
Charity organizations have a few legal obligations to follow which apply to most countries. They must state for example what their charitable objectives are and explain how they are meeting them in their annual reports. Those reports are then made publicly available so everyone can follow up on them. Charities also cannot be part of a political party. They also must be governed by a group of volunteers, which are usually unpaid but there are some exceptions.
Charity can be done in so many different areas and therefore there are numerous categories in which they can engage. There are about roughly eight categories in which charities can be done. “Animal Charities” for example, try to find a way to support, protect and conserve animals and wildlife. Of course, there are a few subcategories in the animal charity world. Another category is the “Arts and Culture Charity” in which a charity tries to preserve artistic and cultural heritage. A third category is “Community Development Charities” in which they try to support and revitalize communities. A big category is “Education Charities” which of course also has subcategories. Educational charities either serve as educational institutions or focus on making education more accessible and effective for different people and communities. “Environmental Charities” become more and more important in our current world and therefore try to preserve our planet, make people more appreciative of the earth, and want to make a sustainable development for the environment. One of the most common types of charities are “Health Charities”, which support and treat people who are sick and disabled, work on cures for diseases and even promote public awareness. “Human Services Charities” includes broader charities, but they contain food banks, social services, shelters, crisis services, even homeless services and much more. The last category is “International NGO Charities” which means that a charity has a headquarter in one country but does a lot of work in numerous other locations and countries.5
There are a lot of ways to fundraise for a charity including benefit galas, charity runs, open-air concerts, auctions, or information events. Those are just the most popular events, but people get more creative and do a lot of different types of events to raise money for their charity.
With every organization, there are of course a few problems and charity organizations also struggle internally with many problems. Paul Rao from Grant Thornton AG writes in his article “The top 10 risks facing the charity sector in 2021”6 about the 10 biggest challenges charities face. The biggest challenge charities faced in the last two years- unsurprisingly- was Covid-19. The biggest risk they face is the sustainability of income and finance. Times have been rough, especially since Covid-19 started and therefore charity organizations face constant fear of not making enough money to keep up. Another challenge is organizational change and digital transformation. The world changed dramatically since Covid-19 and many charity organizations failed to adapt their strategies to the current situation. Safeguarding a charity’s beneficiaries or associated vulnerable persons has always been a big risk factor. Hiring staff and failure of leadership are also risk factors. Weak governance is also a high-risk factor due to incompetent strategy, achieving ethical objectives and failing the charity. A good reputation is always the most crucial factor in any organization, especially in a charity since they depend on other people’s money. Therefore, it is important to keep up a good reputation and that is what any charity is facing. Raising people’s trust in funding and generally in a charitable organization is essential. As mentioned before charities must fulfil legal obligations to keep up their organization and that is another risk factor since many charities face reputational damage and financial penalties due to complying with applicable regulatory requirements.7
These are a few risk factors according to Paul Rao, but of course, there are other challenges charities face.
Let's now look at issues more commonly associated with charity organizations per se. Over the last decades, more and more problems were related to them. Of course, charities are necessary and should be maintained, but many should be overhauled and improved, otherwise, they bring too many problems. Firstly, many charities do not deal with the roots of the problem. One can associate a charitable act with a “band-aid”. It deals with the momentary problem and helps for the moment, but it does not reach the root of the problem. Thinking of helping poor people, a charity can give clothes, food, and shelter but it only works for the moment. The recipients are maybe provided for the moment but not for the future. And it is not over with a few poor people, there are a lot of other people in need. Instead of giving them what they need just now, they should focus on what they can do to improve their standards.8
Improving standards should be the responsibility of the state or government and this is the next point. Charities can benefit the state rather than the needy. The government or state is advertising charity organizations rather than taking care of its citizens. This way they can escape their responsibility and that certainly should not be the case. A charity should be an extra instead of being the first correspondent.9
As mentioned above there are a lot of different charities and with that, some are perhaps not as necessary as others. Some would say that nothing is more important than helping poor people, sick people, or the homeless. Charities raising money to preserve art or cultural heritage is maybe second to raising money for giving people food and shelter. The problem here is that charity may lead to favouritism and not fairness. People can choose to which charity they want to give money, that is their basic right as it should be, but it seems a bit unfair to preserve arts rather than feeding people. This argument is quite subjective, but it should be a factor to consider when donating.10
Another issue to be considered is that most people do not know for sure if their money reached the recipient. Charities may not give the most of their funds to the recipients and that is why all donators should inform their selves before giving their money. Charities are accountable to the givers rather than the receivers.
Another big ethical problem is that some people think of charity in terms of gift-giving. Donators think that the recipient receives a gift with their donation and that they should be grateful for the present they gave. Of course, recipients are grateful for the donation but not because they just received something optional to their life but rather a basic need. If someone is donating to give someone food or shelter it is certainly not a gift- it is a necessity. If they could afford it with their own money, they certainly would but they rely on those donations because they cannot afford it.11
Donating or giving, in general, is considered to be the highest philanthropic act a person can do, and many people do charitable work because they care about the needy, but some people use this for their own reasons. For example, many celebrities are accused of donating to make themselves look good and that can apply not only to celebrities but also to people in general. This ethical issue is a real problem and should be taken seriously as it can be seen as a standard for children. They might assume that charity is meant to improve their image to the public instead of doing a good deed. Teaching charity can be quite difficult with this problem. Celebrities or even normal people should teach that they donate to help the needy instead of looking good. It is important to set a good example for the next generations since nothing is changing for the people in need. They can and should do it better and to make that possible, people should look out for fake donators.12
There are quite a few current problems with charity and donations. The most present and prominent case is Amber Heard and her plead to donate the money she won from her divorce settlement from Johnny Depp. “I wanted nothing”, she said in an interview in 2018. 7 million dollars were promised to two charities: the ACLU and CHLA. ACLU stated that they received 1.3 million dollars – but not from her. Elon Musk, her then-boyfriend, donated in her name. Before that, she claimed that she would donate all her money from the divorcement settlement but that was certainly not the case. All her alleged donations were made by Elon Musk.13 Voices then became loud accusing her of promising a donation to look good in public distracting from the current trial Depp started.14 The problem here is false promises were made to important charity organizations and they heavily relied on the fact that she would make a big donation to help those in need. It even looks like she cannot keep her promise which makes her look bad, especially in the current trial.
Elon Musk wrote on Twitter:
"If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it."15
Elon Musk is referring to David Beasley’s plan to end world hunger with 6 billion dollars. His back and forth with Elon Musk, who claims that he would sell Tesla stock to end world hunger, is still in process. Musk demanded that the plan to end world hunger must be an open-source so that the public can see how the money is spent. Beasley replied, assuring him that this would be the case but since then there is no progress.16
Brian Tyler Cohen twittered:
"Elon Musk told the United Nations he would give them $6 billion to end world hunger if they showed him a detailed plan of how they would use the money. They called his bluff and gave him their plan— and then they never got the money. Now he's buying Twitter for $45 billion."17
The issue that arises from this matter is that he recently made an offer to buy the social platform Twitter for 44 billion dollars. People are unsatisfied because the amount he wants to spend on Twitter could possibly ‘end’ world hunger. Of course, he does not have to spend his money on such a big matter but the claim he made sounds suspicious to some. People always need a scapegoat, but people should be careful making promises in the public.
3. Teaching Rationale
3.1 Education on sustainable development as a basic principle of the curriculum
The “Bildungsplan” of Baden-Württemberg has six basic principles. “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung“18 is one basic principle which specifies that students should learn dealing with social and global inequalities. Current issues should be included in class according to the “Bildungsplan”. “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung befähigt Lernende, informierte Entscheidungen zu treffen und verantwortungsbewusst zum Schutz der Umwelt, für eine funktionierende Wirtschaft und eine gerechte Weltgesellschaft für aktuelle und zukünftige Generationen zu handeln“19 which is more than suitable for the topic of „Charity, volunteering and effective fundraising“. The topic of charity deals with making decisions regarding donations for example, “gerechte Weltgesellschaft für aktuelle und zukunüftige Generationen”20, and current issues in the world.
“Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung” also requires „Bereitschaft zum Engagement und zur Verantwortungsübernahme, Umgang mit Risiken und Unsicherheit, Einfühlungsvermögen in Lebenslagen anderer Menschen und solide Urteilsbildung in Zukunftsfragen“21. Charity is at the top of requiring engagement und taking responsibility. Working in charities or volunteering is also entailing being empathetic to other people’s life.
The syllabus for the grades 9 and 10 also emphasizes: “[D]ie Rolle des Individuums in der Gemeinschaft (zum Beispiel Funktionen von Schule, charities/Ehrenamt, volunteering, gap year, making a difference)22 which clearly states that charities should be discussed and integrated into class. Students are required to find their role in society and can connect that to their future careers by checking out if the charity section would be a possible option. The “Bildungsplan” explicitly emphasizes the participation of the students in society- nothing easier than volunteering for organizations and engaging in society.
3.2 Media literacy and use of digital media
“Medienbildung”23 is among the other five basic principles one of them. The “Bildungsplan” is aiming “Text- und Medienkompetenz”, which means that the students learn how to use media and text and how to deal with it. Working with a charity gives lots of opportunities to understand what media literacy is about. The topic offers lots of opportunities to explore authentic material in English, especially for the 10th grade. Because of the destruction of the environment, Covid-19 and the global crisis, people are now more than ever depending on donations and volunteering. The students should be able to watch Ted-Talks24, read tabloids and magazines in English and handle social media posts. Ted-Talks are getting more and more popular and are quite easy to understand at their age. The people who participate in Ted-Talks are instructed to speak loud and clearly and most of the videos are about 10 to 20 minutes, so this gives the perfect amount of substance to the students.
Digital media is getting quite important and the “Bildungsplan” is emphasizing that we should try to implement as much digital media as we can in our lessons. The subject of charity is mostly covered in schoolbooks and can get quite boring for the students. That is why it is crucial to implement digital media in this topic to captivate the students and motivate them to participate. Students should learn to find reliable charity organizations on the internet and differentiate between scam organizations and reliable ones. They also should learn to write professional campaigns for charity events and that is where the social media posts become crucial. The students create posts on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook25 to advertise their events and promote them. They learn quite a few different things.
1 “What does it mean to be a charity now?” NCVO, accessed on May 30, 2022, https://www.ncvo.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/briefings/1742-what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-charity-now.
2 NCVO, “What does it mean to be a charity now?”.
3 NCVO, “What does it mean to be a charity now?”.
4 “What Is a Charitable Organization?” LeHighValley Foundation, accessed on May 30, 2022, https://www.lehighvalleyfoundation.org/what-charitable-organization.
5 “The Different Types of Charities,” GreenDrop, August 20, 2020, https://www.gogreendrop.com/blog/the-different-types-of-charities/.
6 Paul Rao, “The Top 10 Risks Facing the Charity Sector In 2021,” Grant Thornton, January 28, 2021, https://www.grantthornton.co.uk/insights/the-top-10-risks-facing-the-charity-sector-in-2021/.
7 Rao, “Top 10 Risks”.
8 “Arguments Against Charity,” BBC, accessed on May 30th, 2022, https://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/charity/against_1.shtml, accessed on May 30, 2022.
9 BBC, “Arguments Against Charity”.
10 BBC, “Arguments Against Charity.”
11 Bob Brecher, “Against charity: Some preliminary considerations,” Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe) 97, no. 7 (2017): 100. DOI:10.1515/ebce-2017-0008.
12 Karl Zinsmeister, “12 Common Criticisms of Philanthropy—and Some Answers,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, May 17, 2016, https://ssir.org/articles/entry/12_common_criticisms_of_philanthropyand_some_answers#.
13 “Amber Heard didn't pay promised $3.5 million to children's hospital according to witness”, MARCA, May 24, 2022, https://www.marca.com/en/lifestyle/celebrities/2022/05/25/628d5945268e3e753d8b461d.html.
14 Kayla Brantley and Daniel Bates, “Amber Heard Finally Admits,” Mail Online, May 16, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10822375/Amber-Heard-admits-NOT-honoring-promised-3-5-donation-ACLU.html.
16 Jackie Wattles, “UN to Elon Musk,” CNN Business , November 18, 2021, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/11/18/tech/elon-musk-world-hunger-wfp-donation/index.html.
17 Brian Tyler Cohen, Twitter, April 25, 2022, https://twitter.com/noliewithbtc/status/1518658761979842560.
18 “Education towards sustainable development,” in: Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport, Bildungsplan 2016, Englisch als erste [sic!] Fremdsprache, Villingen-Schwenningen: Neckar-Verlag GmbH, 2016: 6f.
19 Bildungsplan 2016: 6.
20 Bildungsplan 2016: 6.
21 Bildungsplan 2016: 7.
22 Bildungsplan 2016: 36.
23 Bildungsplan 2016: 7.
24 Ted Talks can be freely accessed on the platform YouTube and is hence a good source for students.
25 All my students have at least one account on one of these social media platforms and hence are familiar with them in order to create posts.