9 -The Pillars of a Constitution
In this lesson the class thinks about rules and expectations in society in the context of both Apartheid and Fairtrade
N.B. For more information, resources and lessons relating to Apartheid and the history of Fairtrade, see our KS3 History Resources.
This lesson plan links to Curriculum aims and programmes of study in Citizenship, Geography, History and PSHE.
To understand that each society must have rules and expectation underpinning it and to apply this logic to fair trade.
To weigh up what is fair and unfair in different situations and understand the values which are fundamental to a democratic society.
From Chile, Malawi and India, Large pieces of paper and markers.
Between 1994 -1996 the first fully democratic parliament of South Africa, sitting as the constitutional assembly drew up South Africa’s new constitution which guarantees equality more extensive than anywhere else in the world. At its heart are 7 fundamental values: democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom. These are the pillars of the constitution.
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” Nelson Mandela
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In pairs students discuss how these quotes are connected. What inequality could have led to the creation of a constitution which guarantees equality more extensive than anywhere else in the world? Who was Nelson Mandela? Discuss apartheid with the class, its features and its legacy.
Write each of the 7 values on a large piece of paper and place each on a separate table. Split students into small groups and explain that they are going to visit each piece of paper. They need to write down what they think each value is and include an example of each. (e.g. equality is when everyone is treated the same. This means that women can do the same jobs as men and get paid the same money. Each time they move they need to read what has been written before and tick it if they agree with it, and, if they don’t agree with it they need to explain why.
Feed back as a class. Did the students agree with how each value was defined? Were they good examples to use? Do the students agree that these values are important? What would happen if these values weren’t present in our society?
In pairs students discuss what we mean by 'a constitution'. What is its role? What does it do? Is it effective? Does the school have an equivalent of a constitution? (rules by which the school community should live). Hold a brief feedback session with the class. Why are constitutions important?
Ask students whether they think that democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom are the most important things in building a society. In pairs students decide on 3 pillars of society in the UK.
Return to the seven themes/values explored at the beginning of the task. How do they relate to Fairtrade? Split students into groups and give them the producer group profiles and stories from Chile, India and Malawi. Taking each value, students look for evidence in the producer stories of how Fairtrade relates to it. (e.g. democracy – each producer group has a Fairtrade premium committee to decide how to spend the money best in the community; equality – in the co-operatives, everyone is equal and everyone receives an equal proportion of the profits made by selling their crop)
'To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others' Nelson Mandela
Look at Nelson Mandela’s quote again. Can what he says be applied to Fairtrade? How does supporting the Fairtrade movement 'respect and enhance the freedom of others'?
Students produce a 'Fairtrade constitution'. What ideals will they include?