Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lifeboat, what is this supposed to teach?

So I ran into a reference to an exercise that's taught in schools called "lifeboat". I'm rather unclear what this is supposed to teach.  I believe the idea is to explicate how values lead to morals, but if someone has used this exercise and would like to weigh in I'd love to hear.

The exercise is below


Values Clarification Exercise

The Queen Elizabeth III, a major ocean liner, left the coast of England two days ago.  The ship is on its way to New York.  There is an international passenger list and the majority of the people have just entered the dining room for lunch.  All of a sudden there is a major explosion in the engine room.  Life boats are released and the passengers start to board them.  The ship is slowly sinking and there remains only one more lifeboat.  It holds six people, but there are ten people on deck.  Here is the list of ten people:

1. African-American activist, second-year medical student
2. Rabbi, 54 years old
3. Swedish bio-chemist
4. Hollywood actress-singer-dancer
5. Arab diplomat
6. Japanese accountant, 31 years old
7. his wife, six months pregnant
8. Brazilian athlete-all sports
9. Hispanic poet, 42 years old
10. CIA agent with interpreting skills

The task for your group is to decide which six people will board the last lifeboat and which four will down with the queen Elizabeth III.  You will have ten minutes to decide.  Which four will you eliminate?  Why?