1.3(c) Remotesville – Different Angles


To appreciate different perspectives and responses to a particular problem.

You need

A large piece of paper, activity sheet 6 and about an hour and 15 minutes and a video camera if possible. Imagine it is totally dark and you can’t see a thing. Three of you are led to a different part of the same object, which you can smell, touch, but not see. You touch it and then describe what you think it is. One person describes a thick swishing snake-like thing. Another a hairy and probably smelly swinging rope; yet another a never-ending solid wall. Each person is correct from his or her own experience and perspective, but you need each other to understand the whole picture: an elephant. You could probably come up with other ideas for this game and try them out in the group.

What to do

 Otter touching elephant's leg Use the story of Remotesville below, or create your own that helps you explore different angles on a particular problem.

a) The town of Remotesville are considering plans to build new bike lanes through the town for young people to travel to school in a more environmentally friendly way. Although in the long term the lanes would mean less traffic and pollution, it will cause months of delays while the roads are resurfaced and a drop in the number of people using public transport. Parents are also concerned about their children using the lanes during rush hour, which is the time many young people travel to school.

b) Remotesville Council decides to hold a public meeting about the problem. Divide into groups to take on the different roles (some suggestions have been added in for you) and take five minutes to prepare what you want to say. Make sure to cover the what/why/how above. You will need to appoint a chair for the meeting to keep order. The chair will need to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. If you have a video camera, then video the session. At the end of the debate (about 20 minutes), the chair could call for a vote on each of the proposed solutions.

Getting to Remotesville by bus
Views on the problem Different groups in the community
Young bike riders Parents of school children Car drivers Public Transport bosses
What is the problem?
Why does the problem exist?
How should it be solved?

What do you think?

 Otter bowing to turtle Make sure everyone gets out of role and feels comfortable. Talk about the debate and what you learnt. How easy was it to take on a role you might not agree with? Who won the vote? Why? If you used a video camera, look back over the role-play and discuss. How did you operate as a group? What are the various ways of putting your point across? Who held most power? What won the day? Was it the power of the argument or the power of the people concerned? Were those with most clout the adults in formal positions of authority? Or did others hold sway? Perhaps it was someone with a quiet but authoritative personality. Some of these themes are picked up in the next unit, when you look at the wider community you are a part of.


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