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TEACHER'S NOTES ON TRIDENT PACK

Introduction

This pack has been created as an adjunct to Scotland's Long Walk for Peace (information in pack) and in response to the call by Tony Blair for a national debate on the issue of replacing Trident. As with our other education packs, it has been designed to be used as flexibly as possible and can be adapted for lessons across several disciplines, though it is organised around three main topics:

  • debating the issue of replacing Trident
  • observing a pressure group in action
  • the moral issues related to nuclear weapons, and, more widely, to weapons in general

1. DEBATING THE ISSUE OF REPLACING TRIDENT

Materials provided

  • Trident: A Briefing (Quaker Peace and Social Witness Peace & Disarmament Programme)
  • QA Replacing Trident (CND Fact Sheet)
  • The long, long half-life (Article from The Economist, June 10th 2006)
  • Assessment of the section on Nuclear Defence Strategy and Arms Control from the Government's Strategic Defence Review (House of Commons RESEARCH PAPER 98/91 15 OCTOBER 1998 The Strategic DefenceReview White Paper)
  • Activity Sheet based on the above
  • Notes on the above
  • Lesson Plans provided by the WMD Awareness Programme Web-site, with suggested activities

1.1 The material provided allows the presentation of arguments at a relatively simple or a more complex level. The Economist Article and the House of commons research paper extract require levels of comprehension and analytical skill expected only at levels S5/S6, the CND and Quaker material could be used from level S3 upwards.

1.2 The material could be used simply to provide the basis for debate, using any of the activities suggested in the WMD Awareness Programme Lesson Plans, but it could also be used to evaluate arguments and to look at how language is used to influence opinion.

2. OBSERVING A PRESSURE GROUP IN ACTION

Materials

  • Trident: A Briefing (Quaker Peace and Social Witness Peace & Disarmament Programme)
  • QA Replacing Trident (CND Fact Sheet)
  • Leaflet on Scotland's Long Walk for Peace
  • Poster displaying the proposed route of the Long Walk
  • Lesson Plan with suggested activities

2.1 The material allows for comparison of the approaches of two different lobbies to the same question. The Economist article and Parliamentary research paper could also be used to compare the different approaches of a newspaper article and a research paper.

The actual presence in the vicinity of a peaceful demonstration, the Long Walk for Peace, presents an opportunity to observe the local preparations for the event at first hand and also to devise projects related to the theme of the Long Walk.

3. EXTRACT FROM GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

3.1 This is no doubt the least expected item in the pack. It has been included because it illustrates so clearly that the problem of destructive weapons is not a new one, although the levels of destructiveness are unimaginably higher with nuclear weapons, and because it asks us, in a very clear-sighted way, to consider how we would react to news of such weapons if we had no prior conception of them. It can be used in a variety of ways - as a simple study in the use of irony, as a launchpad for debate on moral issues, as a trigger for imaginative
  • On Wednesday 21 June in the House of Commons Tony Blair said "There should be the
    fullest possible debate on this issue [i.e. replacing Trident]." He has since confirmed that the issue will be put to the vote in Parliament.

 

 
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