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Summary

Students start by participating in a Citizens Panel, where they are tasked with making an ethical judgment on a community issue. They explore and interrogate their personal value systems and understand how these values were developed. Students determine their ethical decision-making profile and learn about the different profiles that underpin others’ ethical decisions. They then practise integrating different perspectives and developing the skills they need to effectively work with those who see the world differently to them.

Outcomes

  • Participants appreciate that in order to work in the long-term, collective interest they must actively take into account their own and other people’s dominant ethical profile.
  • Participants draw upon a wide range of interpersonal techniques to effectively collaborate with others when working towards common goals.
  • Participants better understand their own distinctive decision-making process and the impact they can have on others.

Activity Details

Choose your Side

Students are given two different options and have to move to the side of the room that represents their preference. The activity is debriefed as a warm-up to help them recognise that we all have our own preferences and that we can peacefully coexist in a world where other people have different preferences

Citizens Panel

Students are co-opted into a Citizens Panel to consider local sentencing guidelines in response to increasing crime rates. Working in small groups, students are given some basic information about a crime, the theft of $10,000 worth of medical supplies, from a local chemist.  They then have to reach a decision, one on which at least four out of six agree upon, about the sentence that the accused should receive.  If they fail to reach an agreement, the default sentencing guideline is used. Each group is then given additional information about the people, the perpetrator and victim, and once again need to make a sentencing decision. Finally, each group discusses whether they support mandatory minimum sentencing or not.

Ethical Profiles

Through a ‘Buzzfeed’ style quiz, in part, based on how they reached their decision in the Citizens Panel, students are introduced to three dominant ethical profiles. To better understand these profiles, they are used to explain the actions of different characters and scenarios from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Students, individually and in small groups, review more information about the profiles and the extent to which they are an accurate description of the individual student’s approach to decision-making.

Effective Collaboration

Students start by competing in a round of ‘Guess What?’ where teams work to correctly identify an everyday object that has been split down into separate parts.  Each team member gets to see one part and then works with the rest of their team to identify the object. Students are then introduced to three different skills: Active listening, active telling and active reframing, that they can practice to become more effective collaborators. To reinforce the learning, students then identify effective collaboration ‘fails’ and recommended solutions from short clips from popular TV shows. Finally, students use these skills in another round of ‘Guess What?’.

I Resolve To

Participants reflect on what they have learnt and make a commitment for future action. Individually, they complete an appreciative inquiry reflection using a traffic light concept whereby they record an action they will continue doing (orange), an action they need to stop (red) and an action they will begin to do (green) so that in time it becomes a new green. Each participant is given an “I Resolve To…” card, to record their commitment. Participants are encouraged to share their I Resolve To with another person and to hold each other accountable. They take the cards away with them and are encouraged to keep them somewhere they can see daily so that it acts as a further incentive for them to take action.

Classroom Requirements

  • Venue: large open space with room for approx. 60 participants to move around and work in both small and large groups (ideally a gym, library, drama room etc.)
  • AV: data projector and large screen, microphone (cordless is ideal), speakers to play videos and music
  • Chair for each participant
  • Pen/pencil per participant
  • Minimum of two staff members for active observation
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Some images from our Better Self workshops