Topic outline

  • The Dragons’ Apprentice - Introduction

    Watch this introduction by Professor Rory Ridley-Duff recorded in 2014 when The Dragons' Apprentice was published, then you can start the course.

       

       

    •  The Dragons' Apprentice - Introduction File
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  • Lesson 1 - Chapter 1

    Lesson 1 Questions

    Read the attached chapter, then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. What are the differences between municipal enterprises, social enterprises, private enterprises and nationalised enterprises?
    2. What is a mediator and why might one be more helpful to a co-operative than an HR consultant after a dispute at work?
    3. What is a member-owned business?  How does it differ from an investor-owned business?


    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 1 - Chapter 1 File
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  • Lesson 2 - Chapters 2/3

    Read the attached chapters then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. What is the "rule of law"?
    2. Is the process of law-making fair to all sections of society?  (if yes, how is this fairness achieved?  If no, how would you make it fairer?)
    3. Is social justice possible without sending people to jail?  What alternatives would you consider?

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 2 - Chapters 2 and 3 File
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  • Lesson 3 - Chapter 4

    Read the attached chapter, then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. Ed is quick to correct Warren on the use of the word 'business’. What is the difference between a 'social enterprise' and a 'business'?
    2. "You mean I actually have to do some work before I can invest?" (Warren)  Create a list of examples of the ways people can take profit from a business without working for it?
    3. What is a solidarity co-operative?  How might it differ from other co-operatives and social businesses?
    4. Activity: Draft a short statement arguing for or against the creation of solidarity co-operatives.

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 3 - Chapter 4 File
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  • Lesson 4 - Chapter 5

    Read the attached chapter then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. Can you think of real examples where investment activities have been harmful to human/social well-being?
    2. What is the difference between charity and social enterprise?
    3. What is civil society?  What would disappear from a community if civil society did not develop?

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 4 - Chapter 5 File
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  • Lesson 5 - Chapters 6-8

    Read the attached chapters then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. What is the effect of stock market trading at all hours of the day, all around the world?
    2. Would the measures suggested in the novel (fixed trading days, criminalisation of stockbroking) stabilise the economy?
    3. Should ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders) be extended to punish people who invest in projects that harm people and the environment?
    4. Activity: Draft a short statement for/against the proposition that ASBOs should be issued for 'anti-social investing'

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 5 - Chapters 6 to 8 File
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  • Lesson 6 - Chapters 9/10

    Read the attached chapters then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. How credible is Polyana's idea for a working people's bank in which only basic rate taxpayers can hold shares?
    2. Who creates value in a business?
    3. What is a credit union?  How does it differ from a conventional bank?  (Hint: check out the website of Desjardin in Canada)

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 6 - Chapters 9 and 10 File
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  • Lesson 7 - Chapters 11/12

    Read the attached chapters then discuss/debate the following questions:

    1. Find out all you can about Creative Commons.  Should a 'commons' approach or a 'private' approach to ownership of creative works be the preferred norm?
    2. What does Warren mean by a 'qualifying contribution' for shares?  How do people qualify for shares in a FairShares company?
    3. Find out all you can about Caja Laborale (Bank of the People's Labour) in Mondragon.  What is the role of the Caja Laborale in developing the social economy in the Basque region of Spain?
    4. Activity: Draft a short closing statement supporting either Polyana or Warren's position.


    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 7 - Chapters 11 and 12 File
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  • Lesson 8 - Chapters 13/14

    Read the attached chapters then discuss the following questions:

    1. Warren admits that he used to denigrate people as 'radicals.'  Have you been hostile to a 'radical' person, but later changed your opinion of them?  
    2. Should Judge Patricia lift Polyana's ASBO?  (If yes, why?  If not, why not?)
    3. Should Warren support Polyana's bank?  (Why/why not?)

    •  Dragons' Apprentice - Lesson 8 - Chapters 13 and 14 File
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  • Class Role Plays

    •  Role Plays File
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    •  Dragons' Apprentice - full text File
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  • Final Assessment

    Dragons' Apprentice is a 'science faction novella' (a mix of fact and fiction in a short novel).  The facts that inspire the story are detailed in its footnotes.  The final assessment for this course is based on your reading of the footnotes, rather than the novella. The quiz asks you about the 'facts' which are discussed in the footnotes of the novel.  

    To prepare for the final assessment, go through the story's footnotes.  You will be presented with a random selection of 10 questions from a question bank.  Choose the best answer in each case, or select 'True' or 'False' for True/False questions.

    •  Final Assessment (Footnotes Quiz)
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