Teaching Decision Making in the City: Two Experiences
Greer Graumlich Henry H. Houston Elementary School
Baron Jonathan University of Pennsylvania
This chapter reviews two attempts to teach decision making in Philadelphia Schools. The teachers were the two authors. Baron is a psychology professor with only a little previous experience teaching secondary-school students. Graumlich is an experienced teacher. Both efforts used the versions of the DSC course described by Laskey and Campbell (chapter 6). This course emphasized the analysis of decisions in goals, options, outcomes, and probabilities (GOOP), and it included discussion of actively open- minded thinking, goal trade-offs, simple multiattribute analysis, probability, self and others, and future consequences. Although little formal evaluation was done, we believe that we have learned something from these efforts that should be of use to others who try to teach decision making in urban schools.
Graumlich taught the lessons over a 6-month period to a class of 18 mentally gifted sixth-grade students in a large urban public school. Each lesson was presented on the same designated day of the week and lasted approximately 1 hour. We provide here a discussion of each of the lessons, which were not quite the same as those used in other versions of the course.