About the FREE Course Downloads


The Teen Bill of Responsibilities Course is a 6-part course that can be taught in one day, over a number of days, or one lesson per week over a 6-week period. Each lesson deals with a different aspect of personal responsibility and each lesson builds on the previous lesson.

The course is taught using a combination of teaching methods: the Socratic Method and Guided Discussion. In this course, the views of the teacher – and the author, for that matter – are irrelevant to the students’ learning experiences. Questions are asked and students’ answers are acknowledged but not judged. That is, there are no “wrong” answers. All the experiences discussed are the students’ experiences, and all realizations and conclusions reached about the idea of personal responsibility will be the students’ own.

Let me clarify that when I say teachers make no judgment of students’ answers, I do not mean that this is a course that teaches that judgment is wrong. On the contrary – part of taking personal responsibility is the ability to understand that rights are linked to responsibilities and that people are accountable for their actions. When the student understands this, in his own terms, the student begins to cultivate and exhibit better judgment in determining his own actions.



There are no statements in this Facilitators’ Manual about how a student is supposed to think, feel or act. There is no “lecture” portion of the course. The purpose of the course is to create a context in which the student can have his or her own realizations about rights and responsibilities.

You will note that part of the course is in italics. The italics portion of the manual is provided to “prime the pump” when a particular question elicits no or vague answers, or to guide the discussion back on track if it starts to wander off topic. It is important for teachers to make sure they keep students focused on the questions being discussed and to guide them through to a completion of each lesson. Some questions may require no prompting, while others may require considerable prompting, in which case the italics portion of the manual can be very useful.

young teacher at blackboard“Note to Teachers” appears occasionally throughout the course. These notes are based on experiences the author or teachers have had presenting the course.

Since the answers to each question build on previous ones, it is best to read the questions as written. The one exception to this rule is that if you find, for any reason, that a question might be inappropriate for your students, feel free to delete it from the course or change it to suit your needs.

Many of the answers will be the same from class to class, yet no class will be exactly the same as any other. Therefore, the teacher is encouraged to take notes occasionally that he or she may find helpful in future classes. (That is why space is provided after questions.) A teacher may also access the Facilitators’ Section of the www.responsibility.com website using his or her password. This section on the website features a “knowledge base” created from feedback from other Facilitator/Teachers around the country. You are encouraged to draw from and add to that knowledge base.


  1. Get students to link rights with responsibilities.
  2. Encourage students to start thinking about the idea that as they assume more responsibilities, they receive more rights. Some students believe that “as I get older, I get more rights.” This is only partially true. The key here is that the action of becoming more responsible, or taking more responsibility, is even more directly tied to getting more rights and, consequently, more personal freedom.
  3. Get students to understand the Power of Personal Responsibility and what it can mean to their lives.