A discussion activity that addresses various issues of discrimination. The students position themselves on a line according to their opinion. A quick method without great costs of materials, but very effective and suitable for heterogeneous groups of students.
- to enable a diverse and controversial discussion about discrimination
- to deepen and broaden the ideas on different forms of discrimination
- to strengthen the analytical competences of the participants in identifying different forms of discrimination
- to show that civil courage is strongly connected to the individual assessment of actual situations influenced by someone’s personal knowledge, experiences and values
- to encourage participants to stand up for their own thoughts and to express their opinions
Prepare two posters – one saying, “Yes” or "I agree" and the other saying, “No” or "I disagree" – and stick them at the opposite ends of the room. Use a tape to draw a line from one poster to the other.
Step by step description
- Explain that you are going to read out several statements (see annex). According to their personal assessment the participants shall take position physically: does the situation describe a form of discrimination or not?
- Point out the two extreme positions “Yes” and “No” and explain that the students may choose any point along the line. There is no “right” or “wrong”.
- Read out the statements in turn. Ask some of the participants why they have chosen their position. Start with those at the end-points and also ask someone near the centre.
- After having gone through the statements bring the group back together for a reflection round in order to discuss their emotions and to avoid resentments against each other.
Reflection with the students / questions for debriefing
- Were there any questions that you found impossible to answer and why?
- Were you surprised by the extent of disagreement on some issues?
- How did you feel during the exercise?
- Did anyone experience already a similar situation?
Any inconsistencies with colleagues or individual statements should be collected and discussed.
Suggestions for adaptations and variations
Allow some discussion between the statements. Let the students talk about their personal experiences. As they listen to each other’s comments they may change their position.
Reference / original source of the method
Karin Bischof facilitated the method during her workshop "Act up against discrimination!" at the aces Academy 2014 in Senec.
Further tips and resources
Ready, Set, Respect! Elementary Toolkit (USA)
Annex: Barometer of Opinions: Possible statements