The Coca Cola problem

Matthew Evans

“The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance”

‘A Theory of Justice’; John Rawls (1971)

I was asked recently to fill two hours with wise words to an audience of prospective head teachers. Naturally, I knew that I couldn’t hold their attention for this time without plenty of discussion activities. To start,  I presented this problem…

On the rare occasion that I allow my two children to share a can of Coca Cola I am presented with a dilemma. If I pour the drink in to two separate glasses there will entail an argument about which has more in it and who gets to choose first. There is a strong sense of injustice as one or other of them will think they have been conned out of precious sips of this rare nectar. How do I avoid this perceived injustice?

To their credit, the audience came up with some…

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