- Put the expression ‘a good Samaritan’ up. Ask the students to jot down in pairs what this expression evokes. Do any of them have any stories of being a good Samaritan? What questions do good Samaritan stories raise?
- Gather together the questions evoked by ‘a good Samaritan’ and choose one or two to try to answer in discussion in small groups, or as a class.
- Give students the story of Kitty Genovese.
- Ask students what their emotional response to this story is. Ask them to identify why they feel what they do; in other words, what do they think/believe about what happened to Kitty (e.g. anger will stem from the belief that rights have been infringed). This will help some students identify any of their own values that are affected by this story.
- Do the students have any explanation for why so few people came to Kitty’s aid?
Would you save a stranger?
- Play the clip from ‘Would You Save a Stranger’ where a woman called Kate talks about witnessing an attack on a bus and doing nothing about it.
- Ask students to discuss why nobody intervened.
The bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility.
- Play the 3 minute video on the bystander effect.
- Does the bystander effect help to explain what happened to Kitty Genovese and what happened on the bus? Are there other explanations?
Good people doing good things: Kitty and the virtues.
- Ask students to re-tell the Kitty Genovese story, but this time imagining that everyone involved had acted using the 7 principal virtues on the slide on the lesson powerpoint. What would the outcome have been?
Prep: Ask pupils to stand up for something they believe to be right between lessons and to do it in a way that is dignified and peaceful. They should write about their experiences.