Are you able to have a mission and express yourself in school?
Here is what you said about it:
- It is actually good to have a strong opinion
- I have been lacking a language to express what I felt
- When you are excluded you become silent because you have no voice
- It is important to have self-esteem to act as you yourself think you should act
- I have had experiences of not being able to speak up for somebody, even knowing something really bad happened to them and nobody acknowledged it
- People always believe what they read or watch
- I think that people must not give up their own dreams or opinions because of the judgement of others.
- You can be marginalized if you have strong or other opinions than most and tell them out loud
- Saying bad things in order to being heard – and not feeling good about it
- You can act badly to others, when you do not feel accepted yourself
- You can be scared to tell others your opinion and be scared of their judgement and of being rejected by those others.
- We cannot do anything to avoid stigmatization, because the people is just like this!
- You can feel pressed by a situation or a group of people you like to belong to, to mean something special about others
- If you want to be included in a group, you must have courage yourself and do something
What is important to do different in schools or among you and your friends?
- How can it be ensured that everybody will give their opinion? Even if it is strong ones?
- Why is it difficult to speak up for somebody who are treated wrongly?
- Should teachers ask all students to speak about their problems?
- Can good friends help you find out what is right and wrong to do and express?
- Can we say that those who labels others are weak, cowards, and the like?
- Are there acceptable reasons for stigmatizing others?
- Do teachers allow strong opinions?
- You have to have a moral compass inside yourself, but where do you get it from?
- Can you feel helpless when people you know (and perhaps care for?) are stigmatized by others?
Step 1: What do you think about strong opinions in school? 15 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: Exercise Moving minds, 1 ½ hour
- The teacher reads this case aloud: Your school is to receive children, which have all kinds of physical disabilities. A boy shows up in class one day and distribute material from a right wing organization, which argue that these kind of children have to stay in special schools and not in your school.
- Each of you now have to consider what you will advise your teacher to do about this boy expressing such strong opinions of not including physical handicapped children in your school.
- Now each of you students decide which of the four following stands you mostly agree with. You place yourself in the corner representing this stand.
Stand/corner 1: The teacher should confiscate the material, ask the boy to go home and take contact to his parents.
Stand/corner 2: The teacher should ask the boy to hide the material away and shut up.
Stand/corner 3: The teacher should ask the boy why he does not want the handicapped in his school
Stand/corner 4: The teacher should take up the subject: ”Why handicapped in a public school?” to be discussed in class.
- Now the students in each stand/corner discuss among themselves why you decided to support exactly this stand. The group write all arguments on a large sheet of paper, which can be read by others. The paper is put on the wall.
- On tour, each group presents their arguments to the other groups.
- Students from the other groups can pose questions to the presenting group regarding their arguments, but there should be no longer discussion.
- Now it is time to think it over: each of you have 2 minutes to consider whether there are any of your mates´arguments, which have made you change your mind. What advice to do you want to give to your teacher now?
- You place yourself in the corner where you feel you belong.