How is your belonging shaped by your school experiences? Here is what some of you said about it:
- You can be excluded because you are Asian, religion, African ethnicity, homosexual, because of your skin color or have a “different” physical appearance, because of your style and your values (strong opinions)?
- Most experiences is about somebody you know, but some of you have experiences of exclusion yourself – and it can also happen to a teacher
- It has to do with prejudices
- Being excluded from the friends might cause that it is difficult to meet others
- We often leave someone out of the team
- It is important to have friends you can share your thoughts, happiness and worries with
- When you see people being lonely, you have to do something
- Teachers are also excluding students
- To include others, students need help from teachers
- There can be good reasons for excluding others
- All children want to look as the others in the group
- We must all be aware and able to resist peer pressure
What is important to do different in schools or among you and your friends to promote belonging?
- How can teachers help children to work together?
- What can teachers and students do to protect those who are excluded?
- How can you use your friends when others label you?
- Can you feel different and still be member of the group?
- Is it really only unpleasant to be outside the group?
Step 1: What do you think about belonging? 10 min
- Read the statements in the left column aloud in the group (get help to understand it by a teacher or a fellow student).
- Discuss the questions in the right column in the group
Step 2: Make a drawing of a ”normal” student. 45 min
- Draw a normal student in your school – the most normal one you can think of. Make it full size.
- Make sure that we know: religion, ethnicity, skin colour, family situation, values and style of the person (if you can´t show it, write it beside your ´drawing in a speech baloon).
- Put the drawings up on the wall. Present your own!
- Do you agree upon what is “normal” when comparing all the drawings?
Step 3: What is normal, what norms are ruling in your school? 45 min
- The word ”norm” means everything that we consider to be normal. Norms can be ideas and imaginations that determine how we behave and what we consider right or wrong. We adjust to most norms without even thinking about it.
- Discuss the following Chinese proverb: “Fish are the last ones to discover the sea”. What does it mean?
- What are the norms in your school – regarding ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion, family situation, style and values?
- Can you think of some norms that have changed in the last 100 years? Or the last 10 years?
- Imagine that it was considered to be “right”, “normal” and “natural” to have one shoo size and not another? Would you feel normal then? What would it mean to you and your friends?
- Try to find other features, that we could divide people/students according to? How would school and society look like if that was the case?
- Why do we categorize people out of religion, ethnicity, skin colour, family situation, values and style of the person and not because of shoo-size?
- Are some norms good to have and others silly?
- Could we ourselves contribute to the change of silly norms? In the classroom, in the family and in society?
Step 4: What to do different? 10 min
What to do different in school to promote belonging of all students?
Step 5: Did you learn something new? 10 min
Did you learn something new about belonging? Could other students benefit from working with BELONGING in this way? What other ways could be of use for students if they were to work with BELONGING issues in school?