Making the world better

Lesson powerpoint here.

How can I bring about change?

  • Ask pupils to speculate in small groups about how we become aware that change is needed.
  • Discuss their ideas as a whole class and compare with the slide.
  • Ask pupils to speculate in small groups about what motivates people to try to bring about change. Use the quote from Shepard Fairey (designer of the iconic Obama posters) as a stimulus.
  • Ask pupils to individually come up with one thing they would like to change to improve life at Wellington: request that pupils come up with something valuable or meaningful.
  • Ask pupils to discuss their idea with the people around them and to pay attention to the reactions their idea gets.

The D E A L approach.

  • Explain the D E A L approach to making requests/bringing about change. It has 4 steps: 1. Describe the situation/problem; 2. Explain how the problem/situation affects you; 3. Ask for a specific change; 4. List the benefits of making that change. (There is a worked example on the slide, from a teacher’s point of view).
  • Ask pupils to put their change idea into the D E A L structure.
  • Ask pupils to work together to come up with their top 5 ideas for change from the class.

Responding to a request for change.

  • Split the class into groups of 6 (or thereabouts). Give each group one of the top 5 change ideas.
  • Briefly explain the 6 Thinking Hats to the class (on slides). Emphasise that one of the main barriers to change is that new ideas are met with the black hat only, largely because change can create uncertainty and uncertainty can make some people anxious. In response, they block change ideas using the black hat, to keep themselves safe.
  • Ask one person in the group to present the change idea using D E A L: this is important because it helps understand the impact of the suggested change.
  • Ask the group to look at the idea from each of the ‘hats’ and decide how viable it is as an idea.
  • Discuss what would need to happen for these changes to come into being.

Sometimes you need to be provocative…

  • Sometimes people in power are immune to change, even when it would make an enormous difference to people’s lives. The Yes Men are activists who go about non-violently provoking change when all other methods seem to have failed.
  • Play clip from ‘The Yes Men Fix the World’
  • There are 3 questions on the lesson powerpoint about The Yes Men. Discuss as a class.

The whole film Yes Men Fix the World is available here.

Prep: Individually, or in small groups, ask students to try to bring about a positive change: introduce something new or get rid of something undesirable, either in their house, or across the College as a whole. There is no excuse for apathy!