Can there be Courage in a World without Vulnerability?

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Area: History and Social Studies, Other Areas
Grade Level: High School & Beyond, Middle School
Topics: Courage, Emotions, joy, Society, Vulnerability
Estimated Time Necessary: 30min to an hour with possible extensions or take homes

Lesson Plan

Being open about your feelings does not mean you're weak
The learning objective here is to challenge this stigma around vulnerability. Linking courage with vulnerability and opening student eyes to this new way of looking at the word will hopefully make students reflect the next time they are experiencing shame, fear, or even joy. Leaning in, embracing the uncertainty will lead people down more courageous life paths!

This lesson explores the definitions of courage and the definition of a lesser discussed word: vulnerability. Through a series of questions the lesson is geared to get students thinking about a possible connection that exists between vulnerability and courage. It challenges the stigma often associated with vulnerability in society, while encouraging students to embrace taking risks and leaning into uncertainity, all while challenging the status quo.

The full lesson plan is accessible using the Lesson Attachment above.



Discussion Questions

  • Can one be courageous without being vulnerable? Why is there a stigma around vulnerability? With the way our society celebrates courageous people, why do we have these preconceptions about vulnerable people? What emotion would you say has people feeling the most vulnerable? How many different definitions of courage are there and do they all in some way include embracing vulnerability ? Are creativity and innovation possible without vulnerability?


This lesson plan was created for PLATO by: Lelan O'Brien, Hamilton College K-12 Philosophy Independent Study .

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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