Mar 04, 2016


Quaker Word of the Month: Discernment

The word of the month in March is discernment, a complicated and important concept. The discernment process helps people think through what to say or not say, do or not do, in a given situation. It consists of intentional reflection leading to an internal, individual decision. 

"I use the process of discernment every day in my classroom," shared 8th grade Language Arts teacher, librarian, and technology specialist Chris Rogers. "I am the teacher, but I am not the only person who says important things."

On Monday morning, Chris and 6th grade student Anthony led a presentation at the middle school assembly about discernment. After defining the term and sharing quotes, they tested out the process of discernment by facilitating a middle school-wide discussion.

Anthony and Chris came up with an issue that impacts many middle school students: the impact of violent video games like Call of Duty. They asked the following questions:

- What is the reason you play Call of Duty?
- What do you think about Call of Duty?
- How might the popularity of Call of Duty relate to the amount of fun violence in the United States?
- How might the habit of targeting "enemies" in video games intersect with the real-life ability of being able to recognize "the Light in everyone"?

Students had two minutes to formulate their opinions in pairs before the discussion was opened up to the entire group. Volunteers gave opinions on both sides about whether fake violence leads to greater violence or a numbness towards violence in the United States.