Because life is a series of edits

The Database Curiosity Project

In Education, Westminster on January 23, 2008 at 9:50 am

I wrote up a fairly cool little assignment for my Ethics classes this morning and thought I’d share it with you. I’m calling it the “Database Curiosity Project” and it goes like this:

Using the resources available to you through our library, search in these two databases (do not use the others, as they will not be as helpful to you for this particular project):

  • SIRS (Social Issues Resource Series)
  • InfoTrac (Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center)

Enter the topic(s) of your choice and along the lines of what most interests you from what we have been or will be studying in our Sixth Commandment unit. Don’t be afraid to use a combination of terms in your search if you know exactly what you’re wanting to read about. Some terms that you might start with (but are not limited to) may be:

  • Capital punishment
  • Death penalty
  • Self-defense
  • Islam
  • Jihad
  • Suicide
  • Euthanasia
  • Abortion
  • Partial-birth abortion

Look for the most recent articles (that is, search by date rather than relevance) among the titles that interest you most. Your goal is to find opposing viewpoints that will help you understand all sides of the issue, regardless of whether you agree or disagree.

With ten minutes left to go in the class, pick one article most intriguing to you and, using the email function within the database (do not use your own email), include a short paragraph highlighting what you learned from it and email it to me.

Some motivating quotes for the project (Wirt’s quote communicates urgency; Wilson’s quote describes me to a T; Wright’s quote is an example of my preferred kind of humor):

“Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance.” William Wirt (1772-1834), former U.S. Attorney General

“Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.” Eugene S. Wilson (1900-1981), former Dean of Admissions, Amherst College

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.” Steven Wright (1955- ), comedian

Fun and games.

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