At the Pearly Gates
A successful entrepreneur dies and reaches the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter opens his Book of Life and notices a series of ethical breaches in the running of his business. The entrepreneur is sent back to Earth to make ammends. You can continue his story.
The general aim of the tool for learning is empowering the youngsters/learners to make a change for the
better both for themselves and for the others in various contexts and situations.
The tool is a combination of theory, technology and group work that converge in order to enable the participants to reflect on their behaviour and to empower them to make a change for the better both for themselves and for the others. This combination of theory and practice is aimed at running the participants through all the stages of meaningful learning: acquiring new information, seeing the information put into practice, performing a similar activity yourself and, eventually, reflecting on your own learning outcomes. The tool improves the workshop named “Ethics in the Workplace” that I presented during the LTT that was hosted by Glenamaddy Community School from Glenamaddy, Ireland between February 27th-March 5th 2018, as it continues the learning process with the reflection stage.
Step 1: Presenting the concepts
-the trainer presents the concepts of ethics and workplace. Then, the trainer introduces the 12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives: honesty, integrity, promise-keeping and trustworthiness,loyalty, fairness, concern for others, respect for others, law-abiding, commitment to excellence, leadership, reputation and morale and accountability.
The participants listen and, if applicable, ask questions.
Step 2: Watching and discussing a video
-The trainer presents a video illustrating the gist of the 12 principles: morality, humanity, law-abiding and leadership.
-The participants watch the video and comment on it by answering the questions: What character did you like best and why? What have you learnt? Can you describe the entrepreneur?
Step 3: Group work and role play
- The trainer divides the participants in 5 groups: an NGO, a bakery, an online store, a minimarket and the Town Hall,
-The participants agree on a common set of rules at their workplace.
-The trainer gives each group different challenges that they have to deal with in a creative way.
-The participants perform a role play, depending on the group they belong to and the challenge that has been given.
Step 4: Adaptation
-The trainer explains that ethics has been defined as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation,
a set of moral principles and a theory or system of moral values. From this perspective, the tool can be adapted
quite easily to fit other topics, such as human rights, active participation, intercultural dialogue, social inclusion
or mental health. Youth workers can use the tool in their current work by bending the tool that I propose. They can assist the youngsters in the process of making the difference between right and wrong and subsequently empower them to take action and make things right again.
-The trainer goes on to say that the principles of ethics for business executives and the video can be the starting point for discussion. Depending on the specific point of interest, the 5 groups can be different and the common set of rules and the challenges that follow can be adapted to fit other topics.
For instance, if the main focus is on human rights, the 5 groups can consist of individuals / groups whose rights were violated. All the 30 basic human rights can be covered by the tool. The common set of rules will focus on ways in which the targeted human rights can be respected. The role play can be adapted, depending on the specific environment of in which the human rights were violated. Such examples of fundamental human rights can be: the right to life, the right to liberty and freedom, the right to control what happens to your own body and make medical decisions for yourself, the right to freedom of thought, the right to the pursuit of happiness etc. The youngsters can play out 5 different situations in which 5 different individuals / groups saw their rights violated and the way in which the situation can be reversed.
Or, if the main focus is on active participation, the 5 groups can revolve around 5 different environments that the youngsters can (re)shape through their actions. The common set of rules will focus on ways in which that specific environment can be influenced by the youngsters through their actions. The role play can be adapted, depending on the specific environment, such as local, regional, national, international, online etc. The youngsters can play out 5 different situations in which 5 they can influence various environments through their actions.
Or, if the main focus is on intercultural dialogue, the 5 groups can consist of 5 different cultures/values, as far apart as possible, such as East vs West, Christian vs non-Christian, rich vs poor, men vs women, young vs old etc. . The common set of rules will focus on ways in which linkages and common ground can be established among these different cultures/values. The role play can feature places, actions, people etc. that can foster the interaction among these cultures/values. The youngsters can play out 5 different situations in which 5 different cultures/values can reach a level of understanding and acceptance.
Or, if the main focus is on social inclusion, the 5 groups can consist of individuals / groups that suffer from social exclusion or are discriminated against because of various factors, such as: religious affiliation, ethnic origin, educational status, living standards or disability. The common set of rules will focus on ways in which the people in the categories listed above can be socially included. The role play can be adapted, depending on the specific environment in which the exclusion took place. The youngsters can play out 5 different situations in which 5 different individuals / groups were socially excluded and the way in which the situation can be reversed by the oppressors.
Or, if the main focus is on mental health, the 5 groups can consist of individuals / groups that suffer from various mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders, moods disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders or post-traumatic stress disorders. The youngsters can play out 5 different situations in which 5 different individuals / groups suffering from various mental health disorders can be dealt with and even helped in various circumstances. In all the cases mentioned above, the youngsters can also film a new video illustrating their ideas.
-The participants listen, ask questions, reflect and share the best way in which they can use the tool in their home organisations.
In order to present the learning tool I will need a PC (either with or without Internet connection), high-quality speakers, an OHP, a few flipchart sheets and a few crayons.
-increased awareness of the challenges in the communities the participants live in;
-increased awareness of the possible solutions to the challenges in the communities the participants live in;
-increased confidence in the participants’ own power to make a change for the better both for themselves and the others; -increased drive to get involved and be a part of the change they want to see in the community;
-increased confidence in the Erasmus+ programme as a powerful tool for change in the communities the participants live in.
The main advantages of the tool are:
-as the video is both artistic and technically attractive, it can appeal to many target audiences.
-as the video originated from the students’ vision on life and features high-quality acting, it can constitute a source of inspiration for future youth work.
I have not identified any disadvantages. Ethics is a generous topic, with a wide range of fields to be applied in, and the video has proven to be attractive.
-the tool can be adapted quite easily to fit other topics. I have explained how it can be used with topics such human rights, active participation, intercultural dialogue, social inclusion or mental health, but these are only a few examples.
-some adult learners may be reluctant to role play. It is not a general rule, but it can happen.
This is an interactive tool that energizes the participants. I have enjoyed delivering it.
DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.