Language

A Fresh Start

Type of tool: 
Activity
Duration: 
0-30 min
Topics addressed: 
Group dynamics
Social inclusion

There is an experiment about founding a new society on an isolated island. You are in the jury to choose who can participate.

Aim: 

The aim in this exercise is to realise how we are using images for instant decisions and develop a critical and reflexive attitude concerning such daily acting

Methodology: 

The next method is called “A Fresh Start” and how it works is explained on this handout: There is an experiment about founding a new society on an isolated island. Only eight people are allowed to go. It is your task to choose those eight people out of the list. Please think and choose first on your own whom you would send. After about 5 minutes come together in small groups. In the small group you are asked to discuss. Present your arguments and try to find a joint decision in the group. For this process you are having 20 minutes time.

Step by step process: 

The next method is called “A Fresh Start” and how it works is explained on this handout: There is an experiment about founding a new society on an isolated island. Only eight people are allowed to go. It is your task to choose those eight people out of the list. Please think and choose first on your own whom you would send. After about 5 minutes come together in small groups. In the small group you are asked to discuss. Present your arguments and try to find a joint decision in the group. For this process you are having 20 minutes time. Implementation (Single work + Small groups) Plenary: Please think and choose first on your own whom you would send.
Then discuss your decisions in the small group. Present your arguments and try to find a joint decision for eight people in the group together.

Materials and resources: 

Printed copies of the handouts with the list of candidates to send on the isolates island. Coloured Pens Paper

Outcomes: 

We all have images and biases about other people in our mind, that we are using every day to deal with the world. These biases are sometimes based on our own personal experiences, but more often they are based on an assumed knowledge that is socially constructed and shared via the media, advertisements, school books, family etc. These images in our heads often come out automatically, instantly, whether we want them or not. Such biases and prejudices on themselves are not yet discrimination – but usually they contain certain behavioural orientations and suggest a discriminatory behaviour. The attention of the participants should be directed at the ways how they use their biases to come to a decision – in the exercise as well as in the “real world”. The aim in this exercise is to realise how we are using images for instant decisions and develop a critical and reflexive attitude concerning such daily acting It is not possible to get rid of prejudices completely. Therefore it is crucial to develop a consciousness for one’s images, biases and prejudices to be able to reflect one’s behavior and maybe change it. Therefore we need to get to know first our own prejudices and images about groups of others in order to be able to react in a different way and not to be guided by them.

Evaluation: 

Think about your own prejudices! Remember one prejudice which you discovered in yourself recently. Where did you get it from? What functions does it fulfil for you? Think about situations of generalization and categorization...
a) ...in which you have been categorized, „put in a box“
b) ...in which you categorized others, treated them according to the image you had in mind about their group/background/culture

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