Whose Responsibility Is It?

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

A cooperative game demonstrates that we are all connected and that others are affected by things that we may believe only affect us. They read about and discuss gender inequality in global schools and explore what policies and measures are in place for achieving universal primary education for kids all over the world.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • work as a team cooperatively.
  • identify ways that people are interconnected.
  • analyze facts about gender disparity in education.
  • developing countries: countries with low levels of material wealth
  • global: related to issues across the globe – a perspective that takes into account the interconnectedness of people, countries, and institutions from across the world.
  • gender disparity: the unequal treatment of males and females, often referring to girls/women having fewer opportunities than boys/men.

The Girl Effect: www.girleffect.org


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Play a game that involves staying connected while untying a human knot. For this activity, youth are in groups of about eight to ten. The participants stand in a circle shoulder to shoulder. Tell them to all put one hand in the center and each clasp the hand of someone else across the circle. Then they put their other hand in the center and clasp someone else’s hand. Tell them that they have to untangle the group until they are standing in a circle (sometimes it unknots into two interconnected circles). They may not let go, but they may change their grip for comfort. This activity may take about ten minutes. If they are not making progress after ten minutes, allow them to unclasp and reclasp one set of hands. If they solve it quickly, have them do it a second time.

  2. Ask the groups what made the activity work smoothly and what made it more difficult. Ask how they communicated with the people they were connected to?

  3. After the groups have untangled, say, “We are all connected with everyone else in the world. Our actions affect the lives of others in the world. What are things we can do to act as if we are connected? What are some ways people may act that show they think we are not connected?

  4. Show the website of the nonprofit organization The Girl Effect: www.girleffect.org. Reflect on what they learned about why developing countries might not have universal primary education, particularly not for girls. Write their learnings on chart paper.

  5. Discuss the evidence on the website that educating girls in developing countries can change the world. Ask what people across the world can do to promote education for all children. Encourage them to think about how the world is interconnected.

  6. In small groups, youth research and answer the following questions, using the internet as a reference:

    • What is gender disparity in education?
    • What keeps children out of school in some areas?
    • How are education and jobs related?
    • What are the positive effects of mandatory primary education? Are there negative effects?
  7. After 15 to 20 minutes of research and discussion in small groups, meet up as a whole group and discuss the findings of each group. Write some of their main points on the chart paper. When all groups have reported, discuss the possible effects of educating all children.

  8. Ask youth to reflect on what action they can take to help girls across the globe stay in school.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Explain why needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Give examples of human interdependence and explain why group formation is one strategy for survival.