Where Do You Stand?
This exercise contributes to develop competences on debate and argumentation, and at the same time, raise awareness of participants’ own attitudes and limits in working on the issues of participation.
The dynamic of the exercise is quite simple.Explain that you are now going to read a series of statements with which people may agree to a greater or lesser extent. Point out the two extreme positions “Agree”-“Disagree”. Mark these positions with a poster in each side of the working room.
Read aloud the first statements and allow some time for participants to position themselves. Participant who don’t know can position themselves in the middle.Ask participants to explain why they have chosen their position, what their point of view is on the question.Explain that participants are allowed to change their position during the discussion. Try to leave space for everyone to expose their argumentation
Once argumentation becomes repetitive, invite everybody to the middle and read out the next statement. Do not take all the proposed statements. Choose (or create) around 5 statements that you are interested in discussing deeper.Count that you may need 10-15 minutes per statement depending on the engagement and energy of the group. Take few statements to be discussed.
When you have gone through the main statements, bring the group back together for the debriefing. For the debriefing of the exercise ask participants the following questions:
• How did you feel during this exercise?
• Was it difficult to make a choice where to stand? Why?
• What arguments were used? Those based on facts or on emotions?
• Which were more effective?
• Are there any comparisons between what people did and said during the exercise + reality? Are the statements valid?
The facilitator could put special emphasis on the following questions:
• How much do we actively listen to other peoples’ arguments?
• How well do we make our point clear? How consistent are we in our opinions and ideas?
The dynamic of the exercise is quite simple, but keep in mind that as facilitator you should not take positions or add comments at this stage. Notice that this may prove difficult.Do not take all the proposed statements. Choose (or create) around 5 statements that you are interested in discussing deeper.Remember: good statements are those where you have doubts yourself.
The exercise should bring to a reflection to participation of young people in their communities and the importance of collaboration between various actors and the challenges of participation in participants’ reality