Taking Responsibility

Responsible Decision-Making

Family Resources on Taking Responsibility

Lesson Topic

Taking Responsibility

Essential Question

Why is it important to take responsibility for actions?

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Taking Responsibility  – Raphael/Thomas

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed issues of potentially dangerous risk taking and taking responsibility for their actions. In class students discussed risk taking and why even if it is difficult that it is necessary to take responsibility for their actions. In groups students considered a scenario where a teenager took an unsafe risk and assessed the consequences for the person in the scenario.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features a youth named Raphael who was caught street racing by the police. Raphael was sentenced to perform community service; he was assigned to a street cleanup work crew. Students also heard comments from the crew leader and a brain development expert about understanding the consequences for dangerous risk taking.

Conversation notes:
Being willing to take risks is normal for adolescents, but often adolescents take risks without considering the consequences. Raphael made a split-second decision to do something that he knew he should not do and now he has to face the consequences of his choices and take responsibility.

Short explanation of the brain research on why teenagers take risks for UCLA Center for the Developing Adolescent:

Dr. Carl Pickhardt on adolescent risk taking in Psychology Today:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

What did Raphael do and why was it dangerous? What could have happened if he had not been pulled over by the police? Do you think that his sentence (community service street cleaning) was fair? Why or why not?

Some teenage drivers make dangerous choices while driving (such as speeding or texting) and often times the punishment is paying a fine. Is this the most reasonable consequence? Why or why not?

Why is it hard for some people to take responsibility or admit to mistakes? Do you do a good job of taking responsibility for poor choices? Explain why or why not?

Make a list of dangerous or high-risk choices that teenagers can make. Pretend you were in one of these situations. List all the people who would be affected by this event. Describe how this negative experience can affect the relationships of people around you.

School to Home Resources on Taking Responsibility

Lesson Plan

Street Racing

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Raphael says, “He went in front of me like this, and I said, ‘oh no not this guy-I’m going to go for it’”. Describe what you think Raphael was feeling at that moment. Why do you think students make decisions like this?

Good people

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Thomas Tayfoya says, “they’re good people first of all… they’re not bad apples”. Why do you think Mr. Tayfoya says this?

The right thing to do

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Dr. Daniel Seigel says, “at that moment they feel absolutely justified to do it-they feel like it’s ‘the right thing to do’”. Describe how you could recognize when this is happening. What could you do to help improve decision making when you feel like this?

I just acted

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Raphael says, “think before you act, that’s what my father always told me, I wasn’t thinking that day-I just acted”. What do you think Raphael told his father when they talked about what he had done? Why would it be important for Raphael to talk with his father about this event?

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