How to Use This Course
The Social Justice course presented on SchoolhouseTeachers.com by Kurt Hoffman is designed to educate, enlighten, and empower young people to become modern-day abolitionists. It educates students on the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking and compares and contrasts it to historical slavery. It encourages the student to think critically about why slavery is wrong and empowers them to serve alongside others working toward the abolishment of modern-day slavery. While nothing extremely detailed, graphic, or explicit is brought into the discussions, the reality and methods of modern-day slavery are discussed. Students are encouraged to examine their beliefs and values concerning slavery and knowing and understanding truth. This course counts as a social studies credit. Students who complete the 16-week course can earn 0.5 academic credit. As always, please check your own state’s academic requirements.
Caution: This class might blow your mind! A few years ago, I learned there are more slaves in the world today than ever before in human history. So, shocked to hear this, I decided to study hard and write my first book on the issue. It is called Young Heroes: A Learner’s Guide to Changing the World (Abolish Slavery Edition). It is designed to educate, enlighten, and empower young people to become modern-day abolitionists. Young Heroes educates its readers on the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking and how it’s like and different from historical slavery, enlightens its readers by getting them to think critically about exactly how humans are equal and why slavery is wrong (being such a huge problem, a lot of people obviously don’t think it is!), and empowers its readers to know, develop, and serve others with their talents towards the abolishment of modern-day slavery. Side-effect takeaways include: a greater understanding and love for knowledge, a more robust understanding of what it means to be a human and how we are called to love others as ourselves, a knowledge of one’s unique talents and how to develop them, an understanding of one’s true potential, and a deeper understanding of worldviews, including one’s personal worldview. A Quick Note to Parents: Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, please be aware all students will face some difficult realities and will be challenged to examine their beliefs on some important issues. Thus, we highly encourage you to make sure this content is suitable for your teens and to engage with them as they go through this class! The most challenging areas of content include:
- The reality and methods of modern-day slavery, including sex slavery and the global sex trade (Please note: the discussions are kept academic in nature; there are no graphic pictures or anything extremely detailed or unnecessarily explicit.)
- How the roots of modern-day slavery manifest themselves in popular culture and youth culture
- The necessity for young people, especially professing theists and Christians, to prove humans are fundamentally equal and valuable and how slavery is universally wrong
- The need for young people to examine their beliefs and values in the pursuit of knowing and understandingtruth
To learn more about my book and its methods, please see the following links:
Videos, reading assignments, vocabulary, reflection, and critical thinking exercises.
Taken directly from the book, each chapter includes a range of exercises including Q & A; vocabulary; journaling; self-examination evaluations; and online, media-based assignments. Introducing the chapters, I will include a unique set of instructions to allow youth to get the most out this class.
Week 1: An Intro to the Way of the Young Hero Everyone wants to “change the world.” The question is: into what? You see, Adolf Hitler wanted to change the world, too, and he did a pretty good job. In this light, we have to think very critically about what we want to change the world into and why we are right, versus all the other people who say they want the same thing but mean something different.
Week 2: Understanding Slavery, Part 1
Week 3: Understanding Slavery, Part 2 Book Chapter 1: emphasis on vocabulary and term definitions During these weeks on understanding slavery, we will be exploring the definition of slavery, including the essential philosophical questions surrounding it, such as: Is slavery wrong? How and why? Are humans equal? How do you know? Upon figuring out these answers, learners will be in position to truly love others as themselves!
Week 4: Historical Slavery, Part 1
Week 5: Historical Slavery, Part 2 Book Chapter 3: emphasis on the history of slavery and moral questions in politics During these weeks, learners will explore the history of slavery, including within the United States. Connections from the first weeks come into play when we consider the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution and what these documents have to say about human nature.
Week 6: Modern-Day Slavery, Part 1
Week 7: Modern-Day Slavery, Part 2
Week 8: Modern-Day Slavery, Part 3
Week 9: Modern-Day Slavery, Part 4 Book Chapters 4, 5, & 6: emphasis on developing empathy for others who are suffering In these weeks, learners will begin to understand the unique nature and practices of modern-day slavery—specifically, its method known as human trafficking. We will look at how trafficking works and, for example, how modern-day slaves are used.
Week 10: Connecting the Dots, Part 1
Week 11: Connecting the Dots, Part 2 Book Chapter 9: emphasis on slavery and economics In these weeks, learners will explore how modern-day slavery finds its way into our daily living. Particularly, how it is intertwined with our economics. We will be asking questions such as: Since slaves are supplied, who are the ones demanding them, and why?
Week 12: Cha-Cha-Changes (thyself), Part 1
Week 13: Cha-Cha-Changes (thyself), Part 2
Week 14: Cha-Cha-Changes (thyself), Part 3 Book Chapters 12 & 13: emphasis on how “changing the world” begins with knowing and changing oneself In these weeks, discussions will explore the difference between “who we are” as unique people and “what we are” as equal human beings. In action, this means discerning how we affirm the human dignity of ourselves and others and how to know and develop our unique talents toward the abolishment of modern-day slavery.
Weeks 15: Global Influence Book Chapter 16 In this week, learners will begin to see how changing themselves can naturally grow into changing the world. Plus, in our Case Study of Capitalism, they will begin to consider if, and how—freeing—the Free Market can be our greatest means to abolishing slavery once and for all.
Week 16: Young Heroes Recap! In the final week, we will review all the work students have completed throughout the course. This will include highlighting things that have surprised them most, what meant the most to them, things they do not want to forget, and things that came hardest to them. Overall, this is a week of reflection, where learners will also review their journaling and compile these entries into their own story. Download a printable course outline here.
Example: This course counts as a social studies credit. Students who complete the 16-week course can earn 0.5 academic credit.