What Is the Tragedy of the Commons?

This What Is the Tragedy of the Commons? video also includes:

What's good for all of us is good for each of us. The Tragedy of the Commons refers to a situation in which one person's decision to act in his or her own best interest negatively affects the rest of the population—and ultimately, him or herself as well. Watch a short video that connects the phenomenon to ecology and conservation, and stresses the importance of using shared resources wisely.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Pause at 0:45 to allow learners to solve the introductory riddle before hearing the answer
  • Use in an environmental science class or when discussing the effects of pollution or resource waste
  • Have class members think about ways they or their fellow students may engage in the Tragedy of the Commons
Classroom Considerations

  • Concept is complex; consider frontloading the video with some preliminary discussion on the Tragedy of the Commons
  • Comment section is open to the public
Pros

  • Provides a short comprehension assessment
  • Folds well into different fields of science, social studies, and language arts
Cons

  • None
Common Core