School Is Out

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

Youth explore the effects on themselves, the community, and the world if the government failed to provide U.S. children with an education.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • describe the effects of no education on themselves and the world.
  • propose alternative ways to educate children though business, nonprofit, and families.
  • global: related to issues across the globe – a perspective that takes into account the interconnectedness of people, countries, and institutions from across the world
  • government: the administrator of public policy

What are lives like of children in countries where the government does not require education and some students are not able to go to school?


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask youth to imagine the following scenario:

    You have arrived at school and, just as classes are beginning, an announcement is made that all schools in the U.S. will be closing permanently as of noon on that day. The government has determined that it does not have money for education. The announcement says that everyone is to clean out his or her personal belongings and leave the building by 12 pm sharp.

  2. Allow a little time to react to the announcement. Then in three groups discuss the long-term effects of not having access to school.

    • One group may discuss the effects on students and their families.
    • Another group may discuss the effects on the community and U.S.
    • The third group may discuss the effects on the world.

    Groups share their discussion summary with the whole group and decide whether their feelings have changed since their initial reaction to the announcement.

  3. Lead a whole-group discussion with the following questions:

    • What would you do if you didn’t go to school? How would your future change without school?
    • What benefit does school provide to individuals?
    • What benefit does school provide to the community?
    • What benefit does schooling all children have on the world?
  4. Tell the group that when the government fails to take care of the people, other groups step in because they care about the common good. Ask them who might provide education if the government failed to maintain the schools. Talk about the groups that might step up to provide the needed community resource (businesses, families, or nonprofit organizations).

    Discuss why it is in the interest of each of these groups to educate children. Brainstorm how they might get the money needed to educate all children.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify an example of failure in each sector, and how the other sectors modified their roles in response.