Page 1

Page 1 of 42

Facilitating Discussion in the Classroom Notes for CTs & co-CTs

Student Development Programme Staff Workshop | 2 January 2014

Page 2 of 42

Content 1. Characteristics of an Effective Facilitator…………………………………..03 2. Responsibilities of the Facilitator………………………………………………03 3. Tips for the Facilitator ………………………………………………………………04 i. Planning and Facilitating a Socratic Lesson ……………….05 ii. Encouraging Participation ………………………………………….09 iii. Facilitating Discussion ……………………………………………. 12 iv. Getting Students to Talk to Each Other ……………………. 14 v. Using Small Groups ………………………………………………… 16 vi. Suggested Guidelines for Classroom Discussion ……… 17 vii. Potential Issues in Facilitating Discussion ……………….. 18 4. For CTs and co-CTs with minimal contact time with the CG i. Creating Rapport ……………………………………………………. 20 ii. Other Ideas for Invigorating Your Class ……………………. 21 Annex I: Suggested group activities for the class ………………………….. 23 Annex II: Lesson plans for staff discussion …………………………………… 27

Page 3 of 42

Page 4 of 42

Page 5 of 42

Planning a Socratic Lesson This plan is designed specifically for discussions regarding ethical choices and moral values. It is a way of using the Socratic method as a tool for helping young people know and do what is right according to their values. 1. Define the lesson that you want the students to learn. Decide beforehand what idea you want them to come away with. 2. Think up a hypothetical situation to use as a point of departure. 3. Devise a line of questions designed to pull the students in the desired direction. 4. Make the students take a position by asking, "What would you do if...?" 5. Plan for a dialogue to move in several different directions. 6. Complicate the situation by throwing in a monkey wrench: "What if this happened, what would you do then?" 7. At each step, raise the ante: "Now what would you do?" 8. Expect to be surprised. Be prepared to think on your feet. 9. If all attempts to achieve a satisfactory conclusion fail, play your trump cards: "What if the hero of a movie did that? How would you feel about the character?" (Pose an objective, hypothetical situation.) "Remember, you’re the hero of your own movie." (Compare the position with the students self-image.) "Would that be the right thing to do?" (A consensus will probably develop. The kids will usually know what’s right when pressed.) Facilitating a Socratic Lesson 1. Give something of yourself — share something personal. Don't just take. 2. Let the students know you don't have all the answers — that you, too, have fears and insecurities. 3. Take a non-judgmental attitude. It is important to appear non-judgemental so that your students feel safe in expressing their ideas. Without their true thoughts and feelings on the table, the dialog is pointless. However, you should not give the impression that anything they may conclude is okay, or that all conclusions are equally valid. This is, after all, about distinguishing right from wrong. 4. Listen. 5. Be honest with the students. 6. Take the students seriously and show respect for their thoughts and opinions. When necessary, disagree respectfully.

Page 6 of 42

Socratic questioning in the classroom: a scenario The Socratic method derives from the Socratic Dialogues of Plato, in which Socrates made people jump through intellectual hoops trying to defend a "truth." He would ask a progression of seemingly innocent questions that ultimately led the respondent to a logical conclusion that was incompatible with that person's originally stated belief. What people have usually overlooked or been unaware of is that Socrates used his method more to shred people than to educate them. His Dialogues, were adversarial and ended with the respondent confused and demoralized - not exactly a formula for building self-esteem. Nonetheless, for use in contemporary classrooms, we can apply this technique in a kinder, gentler way. Consider this spontaneous, unrehearsed dialogue: Facilitator: You're offered a $500 bike for $100. You know it's hot. What do you do? (One boy in the group takes the bait.) Boy: I would buy it. Facilitator: What would you do if you got caught? Boy: I bought it. I would just refer them [the police] to the person who sold it to me. Facilitator: All right, you're in court, and you say, "Well, it really wasn't me. I didn't know it was stolen." Boy: I didn't. Facilitator: But wouldn't that be a lie? Boy: I did buy it. I paid for it. I paid $100 for it. Facilitator: All right, but didn't you know that it was stolen? You're on the witness stand right now. Boy: I’d have no choice but to say I knew it was stolen. Facilitator: What if You weren't on the witness stand, and you were just talking to the cops, and they came over to the house, and they said "Hey, what about this bike you've got here. Did you know that it was stolen?" Boy: Spur of the moment, I may just say, "No, I didn’t know." Facilitator: Okay, what would make you say that? Boy: Initial fear of being locked up. (laughter from the group.) Facilitator: What would you think of yourself now that you’ve said that you would lie to the cops out of fear, that you would probably be the kind of person who would say, l’ll go for this. $500, $100. That’s not a bad deal at all. I need a bike." What vision would you have of yourself at this point? Boy: Well, nowadays , from what I’ve been learning, I personally would feel low. In a yesterday sense, I wouldn’t have cared. I was younger. I was more immature. I didn’t care.

Page 7 of 42

Facilitator: Do you have a different image of yourself now? Boy: Yes. Prideful. I think more of myself today than I would have yesterday. Because I know that there’s better for me out there instead of just running around stealing. You know, that’s no good, that won’t get me to where I want to go. Okay, I’ve got big dreams, hopes. I feel like this: I can make it. (One of the participants in the group discussion can’t contain herself. She speaks directly to the boy.) Girl: But you still bought the bike! (All the kids laugh. The boy gets the point.) As the boy wends his way through the challenging process of making and then justifying choice after choice, he, as well as the rest of the group, is getting a natural lesson in character. Know Where You're Going As the above dialogue shows, a good hypothetical situation is a powerful springboard for discussion. Here is another example from our middle school series, Big Changes, Big Choice: What if you saw an elderly woman in a department store unknowingly drop a $50 bill and walk away? You are the only person who saw it. What would you do? You can usually count on a lot of disagreement over whether to keep the $50 or give it back. Those who favor giving it back typically take the position that keeping it would be wrong. When a student gives a "right" answer like this, we ask questions such as:   

How did you arrive at that choice? How does that choice make you feel? What makes you the kind of person who can make such a good choice in the face of negative pressure?

Of course, there will also be those students who would keep the $50 and consider themselves lucky. This is where the Socratic method shines. instead of telling students that they made a bad choice, we ask a series of questions designed to bring the students around to that conclusion on their own:    

How do you justify that choice? How would you feel if it happened to you? Aren't you taking something that belongs to someone else? What's the difference between that and stealing?

Raise the Ante If a student sticks by a choice that may be unethical, we raise the stakes and introduce consequences: What if the woman was very poor and that was her grocery money for a whole month? The student may try to rationalize the decision: "I had to do it because my friends were depending on me." But we keep the pressure up. If the student seems fixed in this position no matter what, it's often helpful to turn the spotlight onto the person making the choice:

Page 8 of 42

Let's say you were watching a movie and the hero of that movie made the same choice you just made. How would you feel about that character on the screen? Or, you might ask the student to reconcile the position with his self-image: How does that choice fit in with your vision of who you are as a person? Don't forget, you are the hero of your own movie. By now, the student almost always becomes unglued from making the "wrong" choice. In the dropped $50 discussion, our final holdout admitted, "I'd think he was a scum." This progression of challenges to the student's position will eventually lead the student to the recognition that he initially made a bad choice. But instead of taking the authoritarian approach and saying it was a bad choice, we ask a series of questions designed to bring the student around to that conclusion on his own. Adjust for Age Hypothetical situations like these work very well with older students, whose abstract thinking skills are well developed. Kids usually know what's right, they just need the confidence and the encouragement to act on it. Because the Socratic method triggers fruitful group discussions, children get to see how their peers are thinking and feeling about these important issues. Very often, they are relieved to learn that others are having the same thoughts and feelings that they are. Of course, all this presumes that you want to teach children how to make good choices for themselves. Some parents and teachers believe that children should simply be told what to choose. Our aim in our videos is to teach young people that they have the power of choice, that they are responsible for the choices they make, and that they owe it to themselves to choose the best. We are also encouraging students to think critically. By discussing real-life dilemmas now, we are preparing students to make better choices in the future. Our experience with the Socratic method shows it to be a highly effective approach for helping children become ethical, respectful, responsible people who think critically, solve problems non-violently, and make choices based on what's right instead of what they can get away with. That's character education.

Page 9 of 42

Page 10 of 42

Page 11 of 42

Page 12 of 42

Page 13 of 42

Page 14 of 42

Page 15 of 42

Page 16 of 42

Page 17 of 42

Page 18 of 42

Potential issues in facilitating discussion There’s one more wrinkle to go — how do you handle the questions students ask YOU? At first glance, the response may seem obvious – answer them! While that is certainly one option, it can limit the learning to only the student who asked the question as the rest of the class tunes out. Instead, you can use one student’s question to engage the whole class. First, you may need to clarify or paraphrase the question first (if you do, check with the student to make sure your interpretation is correct). Then ask other students to contribute their thoughts on how to find the answer or what it might be. In the course of answering the stated question, you also may find the opportunity to elaborate on the issue at hand or link it to other points you wish to make. Deferring the question to the class also can work when students ask questions that have already been covered in class or in the syllabus. This technique discourages students’ tendency to depend on the instructor to give them information they could easily get on their own. If there isn’t time in class to have the student’s question dealt with by his or her peers, you can refer them to the syllabus, Blackboard or other relevant information and let them know that you will respond to any questions they still have AFTER they have looked over the information you’ve already provided. What if you don’t know the answer to a student question? Admit it and use this great learning opportunity as a chance to model how to be a life-long learner! Just as when you deferred a question you did know, you can get the class to talk about how and where you could go to find the answer. If it’s relevant to the topic at hand and you have time, search for the answer together in class. If not, perhaps the class could help figure out a search strategy and then the questioner could bring in the answer next time, or post it on Blackboard. I don’t want to imply that you never just answer the student’s question. Some questions aren’t productive areas for discussion and sometimes time is short. Plus, if you NEVER answer student questions directly, they may begin to feel like you are putting them off. But do pause before you answer, and think about whether this is a good “teachable moment”. It’s also good to think about why the question was asked to begin with. Most faculty who have been teaching even a short time have encountered situations where a question is not prompted by the desire to learn and understand the course material you are teaching. Other motivations behind student questions include: The student wants attention. Sometimes the purpose of the question is just to get the class to focus on the questioner. You can often see the student soaking up the class response. Ignoring them will only intensify their need for attention. Once you have the sense that a student is attention seeking, you may want to try shaping their behavior. Start calling on them when they are NOT volunteering or calling out in class, and compliment their actions when they asking appropriate questions or contributing positively to class discussion. If the behavior continues, speak to the student individually. The student is hostile to the instructor or the course material. Questions can be an act of aggression, a means of expressing dominance and control. Encouraging students to ask questions cedes some classroom control to them, and some students may take advantage of the opportunity. This is a difficult situation, and is best dealt with by asking the student to meet with you privately. Listening to their concerns (although difficult) and paraphrasing them at least can get the issues on the table. Paraphrasing is an important part of listening, because it shows the student that you actually heard what they said. For example, the student asks “Why do we have to learn this stupid material? This course is a total waste of my time.” I would invite the student to discuss their concerns with me privately after class or at a mutually convenient time.

Page 19 of 42

Trying to convince this student of the worthwhile nature of your course is not likely to succeed. If you reflect back their statement with something like “So, you’re feeling like the class is pretty worthless, right?” and get their agreement, you can go on to explore with them why they think they are required to take it, what they might be able to do to make the situation more bearable, what they are really angry or upset about , etc. Some of you may find paraphrasing too “therapylike” but I have successfully used it with hostile store clerks, students, faculty and others. It often helps. If nothing else, you can assure the student that you have listened to and heard their concerns and that the class must go on. The question is inappropriately personal. Some students have boundary issues. They genuinely like their professors and want to get to know them better, but they don’t understand the limits of the relationship. They show this by asking questions about your personal life or experiences, or questions that reveal too much of their personal life and experiences. Many of these types of questions come up in informal conversations before or after class but they also can be triggered by specific class topics and discussions. For example, teaching Abnormal Psychology or many literature and writing courses can prompt more personal questions. Faculty members have varying levels of comfort with sharing personal information or hearing about students’ lives, so deciding how to handle these questions is a decision each individual will make differently. It helps to have some sense of what the questioner really is asking. Is it a bid for connection to you? Is it because they are struggling with a particular situation and would like to know that you understand them and can help? While it’s appropriate to say that you’re not comfortable answering a personal question, you also can explore the meaning of the question with the student. For example, if a student asks you if you are divorced (substitute any other personal experience here!), you could ask them to tell you what it would mean to them if you were, and what it would mean to them if you were not. Depending on the response, you now have some idea of what the student really wants to know. Then you can choose whether and how to respond. Even if you ultimately decide and say that you don’t feel that answering that question would be helpful to the student, you haven’t just blown off their attempt to connect to you. Obviously, if you have a student with a continuing pattern of boundary issues, you will need to talk to them privately. The student has an interpersonal skills deficit. Increasingly, we have students who have difficulty reading social cues, including students with Asperger’s syndrome and non-verbal learning disabilities. They do not understand when they are asking inappropriate questions, dominating the classroom or engaging in other disruptive activities. And their impulse control also may be poor. If the student appears “disabled”, I have found that the other students often are surprisingly tolerant. When the disability is more subtle, the other students are more likely to engage in eye-rolling and other signs of annoyance. It would be helpful to discuss this situation with a counsellor or a parent.

Page 20 of 42

Page 21 of 42

Page 22 of 42

Page 23 of 42

Annex I: Class Activities These activities can be used to open the session and trigger discussion amongst students. You may want to include the entire CG or break them up into smaller groups, depending on the objective of that particular session. 1.1 To foster class spirit and team bonding Birthday Game! [CT may wish to end off with a fun game that will ensure the class knows each other’s' birthdays so that the CG can bond by celebrating each other’s birthdays. CT/Co-CT may wish to join in as well. This would help to create an inclusive and caring classroom atmosphere in future.]  Have the students stand and line up in a straight line.  After they are in line, tell them to re-arrange the line so that they are in line by their birthdays - January 1 on one end and December 31 at the other end.  The catch is that they must do all this without talking or writing anything down. They may want to use their fingers to gesture and organise themselves. I Am Unique!  Each student is given a balloon which they need to inflate. [CT/ Co-CT may wish to join in to break the ice with the class.]  Students write an interesting piece of information about themselves on the balloon. [e.g. “I have 7 cats” or “I aspire to be a national body-builder”, etc]  Each student uses the balloon to collect as many signatures as they can from their classmates within a span of 5 minutes.  -They should introduce themselves and their quirk before they sign on each other’s balloon.  [Optional: The student who collects the most number of signatures within 5 minutes gets a prize.] Balloon Bounce! [Team bonding]  CT to get students to create space by moving the tables and chairs to the side of the classroom.  Students to get into groups of 5.  Give each group a balloon.  Each team forms a circle by joining hands. They are to bounce a balloon in the air without letting go of their hands.  The team which can keep their balloon in the air the longest will win.  [Optional: The group which keeps their balloon in the air the longest gets a prize.] Peas in a pod  CT to break up the class into groups of 4/5. [It would be best to break up any existing cliques which can be seen.]  The objective is for each group to find 3 things they have in common. [But not normal things like age, sex or hair color. It must be three uncommon things.]  After letting the groups converse for 5 minutes, they (as a group) must tell the rest of the groups the 3 things they have in common.  [CT/Co-CT may wish to join in as well.] 1.2 To foster greater confidence in sharing Think-Pair-Share with UNO  CT to randomly assign UNO cards to students as they enter the class/begin the activity. UNO cards must remain face down until students are instructed to turn them over.

Page 24 of 42

 

CTs to randomly pair students according to colour or number or both. Eg. Get a partner with the same coloured card. Get a partner with the same even OR odd number. Get a partner with the exact same card. Instructions could change every 3 minutes or so to maintain momentum and discussion.

1.3 To engage kinaesthetic sharing Think-Pair-Share/Inner Circle-Outer Circle with Blindfolds  Students should have been given time to think about the question prior to this activity.  Ensure there is a large open space in the classroom to move around.  CTs to enlist the rowdier students to volunteer to be blindfolded. Use any excuse to make them the volunteer (“Oh you don’t have a collar badge, congratulations you must be dying to volunteer for this activity.” OR “You want to go to the toilet? Sure, after you help me with this activity.”)  Blindfold half of the CG with towels or writing paper. They are to form a circle in the middle of the room. Non-blindfolded students will form a circle around the blindfolded students.  CTs can choose to verbally instruct students to share or to play music and instruct students to share when the music stops.  Students who are not blindfolded are walk around the blindfolded circle. When cued, they are to share their response to the question with any random blindfolded student.  The blindfolded student needs to guess who this person is. If they guess correctly, they exchange blindfolds. If they guess wrongly, they remain blindfolded.  The activity ends when everyone has had a chance to share their response with at least 1 person. Triangle Catch!  Students to get into groups of 4.  CT to randomly choose the catcher: the tallest, the shortest, the one with glasses, without, etc. The other 3 students are to hold hands and form a triangle.  The catcher is supposed to tap the student directly opposite him on the left shoulder.  They have 60 seconds to achieve this goal.  This activity can be modified/; instead of tapping the shoulder, you may want the catcher to paste a positive/negative adjective on his back. The target should face away from the catcher. This may symbolise how friends help each other to avoid negativity or to invite positivity. Musical chairs  Organise chairs in a linear fashion, with 2 columns. You should have 1 less chair or more, depending on how many people you want standing at the same time.  Arrange the class around the chairs.  Instruct the class that when the music stops, the person who does not get a seat must answer the question flashed on the screen or verbally communicated by the tutor.  You can play this several times but 5 should be the max; it gets boring.  This activity can be modified: Instead of preparing the questions, you can get the class to write their own questions that they would like to ask you as a CT or someone else in the class anonymously. The person who does not get a seat gets to read out the question and answer it. 1.4 Getting immediate feedback from a shy/uncommunicative class Thumbometer  If you think you did very well, thumbs up!

Page 25 of 42

 

If you think you made only a little progress, thumbs to the side. If you think you remain confused, thumbs down.

Fist-to-5 (see Horseshoe for a more kinaesthetic variation)  On a scale of 1 to 5, where would you rate yourselves today in terms of (motivation, clarity, understanding, responsibility, purpose, courage etc.)?  On a scale of 1 to 5, in your own opinions, how would you rate your group’s/CG’s performance in (the lesson, discussion, exam, assignment, etc)? Horseshoe  Create a line or boundary at the front of the classroom with a rope, chairs or any equipment you have on hand.  Arrange students in a horseshoe pattern on the other side of the boundary.  Inform the students that one extreme end of the horseshoe denotes strongly agree OR 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 etc.  Ask a series of simple rating questions and get students to move around to physically indicate their responses without speaking. Students who remain on the same side (consistently weak or consistently on the fence) may require further attention or guidance, depending on the nature of the questions. Activity Map  Create 4 signs that signify 4 quadrants of the classroom. For example, What I Know, What I Don’t Know, What I Want to Know, What Others May Not Know OR Naïve, Cynical, Prudent, Distrustful OR Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree.  Explain the quadrants and the relevance to the activity.  Invite students to move to any quadrant of their choice and answer the questions/ explain their views relevant to the quadrant. They should share their answers verbally. If you need them to write their responses, it would be good to get them to show up with prepared responses. Take A Side  Divide the class into 2. Label the sides “For” and “Against”.  Students should move to the sides they agree with and engage in discussion to share ideas and examples and rationale to support their side.  Line the students opposite each other and number them (F1, F2, F3 etc; A1, A2, A3 etc).  Call out a number at random to share one idea supporting their side. After they have shared, invite the opposing side to counter the idea. Allow the counterarguments to continue on other side as long as there is a focus on the issue. Stop the arguments and move on to the next random number to keep the momentum going. 1.5 Initiating discussion in a shy/uncommunicative class Turntable/Expert groups This is an exercise in perspective-taking. Assume 4 separate perspectives such as Student, Teacher, Parent and School. CTs may modify this accordingly. You may want to use UNO or poker cards to aid in the grouping of students.  Divide students into separate perspective groups.  Allocate time for the group to generate ideas about the issue/question from their allocated perspective. Provide specific areas to address such as Purpose, Rationale, Strengths/Merits, Problems/Concerns, Solutions etc. Appoint a scribe to record these ideas.  After the discussion, separate the expert groups into groups with mixed perspectives. For example, you may take 1 student from the Teacher group with 2 students from the Parent group and 1 each from the School and Student groups.

Page 26 of 42

 

Invite students to present their views and address possible opposing views from other perspectives. Appoint a scribe to record these new ideas. Invite scribes to share the ideas at the end of the discussion.

Wandering Flipchart  Get students in small groups and provide flipcharts or butcher paper for discussion. Each group can be discussing the same question/scenario or a different one. Each group should brainstorm for ideas for a specific amount of time.  Upon completion of the initial discussion, rotation takes place. Each group moves on to the next group’s flipchart to respond to their ideas.  Repeat until all groups return to their original flipcharts. Give them time to respond to the comments on their flipcharts.  Invite each group to share the key ideas they have learnt or been made aware of in the activity. Ambassadorial Sharing  Get students in small groups and provide flipcharts or butcher paper for discussion. Each group can be discussing the same question/scenario or a different one. Each group should select an ambassador to represent the group.  Each group should brainstorm for ideas for a specific amount of time.  Upon completion of the initial discussion, rotation takes place. Each group moves on to the next group’s flipchart to respond to their ideas. However, the group member chosen earlier to act as the group ambassador will stay behind to clarify or defend the group’s stand/ideas.  Repeat until all groups return to their original flipcharts. Give them time to respond to the comments on their flipcharts.  Invite each ambassador to share the key ideas they have learnt or problems they faced in clarifying their ideas during the activity. *All activities have been tried and tested in the Meridian classroom.

Page 27 of 42

Annex II: Lesson plans for staff discussion You will be allocated a one of the 3 lesson plans below to discuss in your respective groups. These lesson plans are from the Chrystal 2014-2015 programme. The key pedagogies that will anchor all 3 lesson plans is that of facilitation and collaborative learning. The Chrystal committee would like to emphasize that no lesson plan will suit every facilitator as we each have our own facilitative style and varying levels of experience with facilitation. Hence, the purpose of the discussion is to 1. Identify key areas of concern that you anticipate in implementing the session with your classes 2. Propose modifications and possible solutions to suit your preferred approach, in keeping with the facilitative and collaborative nature of the session Please appoint a scribe to record your group’s ideas for sharing later in the day. A template for sharing has been prepared to provide further guidance. Area of discussion General flow of lesson plan  How do you see yourself structuring the lesson plan to suit the dynamics of your CG? Objectives  Do you think the lesson plan meets the objectives? Why? Pre-activity  Do the suggested trigger activities suit your style and the dynamics of your CG?  How would you modify the trigger activity?  Which activities in p.20 of the facilitation handout would you feel is suitable, if any? Activity  Which activities or resources would you remove, replace or modify? Why?  How comfortable are you in delivering this lesson plan, based on your modifications? AOB  What are the key issues in the lesson plan that you think requires urgent clarification?

Responses or possible modifications and solutions

An overview of the lesson plans to be discussed today: Lesson plan Objectives Dealing with Challenges  Understand and identify their self limiting beliefs  

Moral Courage 2

 

Performance & Moral Excellence

 

Learn some strategies to eliminate their self limiting beliefs Understand how our thoughts and beliefs affect our resilience Recognise that their value/belief system guides these decisions Reflect on the guiding principles and consequences of their decisions (or world view) Recognise the importance of excellence in all areas by challenging oneself to do one’s best always Understand the importance of setting a good example and being a positive influence

Page 28 of 42

JC1 Lesson Plan X Term X Week X: XX January 2014

Dealing With Challenges By the end of the lesson, students will:  Understand and identify their self limiting beliefs  Learn some strategies to eliminate their self limiting beliefs  Understand how our thoughts and beliefs affect our resilience Resources Annex 1: Identify Limiting Belief Worksheet Annex 2: Possible questions to identify limiting beliefs (CT’s reference) PowerPoint slides

Activity Introduction of Limiting Beliefs  Teacher to introduce and discuss the idea of limiting beliefs using any of the following:

Time 10 min

Resources  Video Clip  PowerPoint Slides

 1) Personal sharing

Teacher may share 1-2 of his or her limiting beliefs.

 2) Video: Panyee FC Short Film Instead of being limited by the belief that there is no space on the small floating village to practise football, the boys improvised and decided to create their own pitch. Possible questions: [0:56/1:07]: What would you do if you were in the same situation as the boys on the floating village? Have you felt you have been in a similar situation before? [2:08]: As a bystander, would you agree that they cannot become champions? Why? What are some of the qualities displayed by the boys? [End]: What do you think this video is about? What do you think today’s lesson is about?

Identify and reflect on Self-Limiting Beliefs  Get every student to reflect on their limiting beliefs. In pairs or individuals, get students to discuss and write down limiting beliefs that they think they have and what contributed to that on a piece of paper.

 Teacher may also decide to use Annex 1 to help

students uncover their limiting beliefs. Teacher may also refer to Annex 2 for some questions to help students identify limiting beliefs.

 If the student is comfortable, teacher may select some students to share their limiting beliefs.

10 min

 Annex 1: Identify limiting beliefs worksheet  Annex 2: Possible questions to identify limiting beliefs.  PowerPoint slides

Page 29 of 42

Activity Strategies to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

Time 15 min

Resources  PowerPoint slides

 Even if students have held some beliefs that limit them

for a very long time, they can still loosen them. Using the ppt slides, suggest to students the following strategies:

1. Turn them into questions. If you are doubtful about your ability to do a job, for example saying, “I don’t have the experience?” automatically makes you start looking for examples of relevant experience. 2. Ask yourself where the beliefs came from. As children we internalize things that people tell us. Now that you have your adult wisdom and powers of logic, would you still choose to take that belief on board? 3. Ask yourself what the belief is costing you. If you go on believing this, what will the negative effect be? If you choose to believe something more empowering, what will you gain? 4. Think Positive and challenge your beliefs. Crossing out the limiting beliefs. These limiting beliefs must be challenged every time they rear in your heads. You must consciously reject any thought or suggestion that you are limited in any way. There is nothing you cannot do. You simply need to find the way and follow it to conclusion. When self-limiting thoughts are starved of attention, they wither and die. Whatever you give attention to magnifies: whatever you do not attend to shrivels up and dies.

 Exercise: Get students to cross out their limiting beliefs

and replace it with something positive and affirmative. OR get students to tear up the limiting beliefs written on the slip of paper.

 ‘Reaffirm yourself and change the negative to positive.’

Egs: I have no time  I will make time because I want to do it. I’m terrible at Physics  I’m not always bad at Physics. I just need to put in more effort for Physics and revise my work. The ABCs of Resilience (option- you may choose to start with this first)

 Introduce to students the biggest influence on resilience is something within our control- the way we think. Many of us believe negative events cause us to react in certain ways. However, research tells us that our reactions are based on our thoughts and beliefs about the adversity.

 The ABC model was developed by psychologist Albert Ellis to help understand how we react to situations, especially how every adversity triggers a set of beliefs

10 min

 PowerPoint slides

Page 30 of 42



about the situation which in turn causes a reaction or consequence.

 Using the PPT slides, explain what the ABC model entails:   

A is the adversity, the situation or event. B is our belief- our explanation about why the situation happened. C is the consequence- the feelings and behaviours that our beliefs cause.

 Using the ppt slides, introduce a scenario (Lisa and Jen) that demonstrates how the ABC model can be used to identify underlying beliefs and thoughts that cultivate resilience in the face of an adverse situation. Teacher may get students to discuss and share. Key questions: Identify the ABCs faced by Lisa and Jen. Adversity: Not getting into Exco. (Can be adapted to not doing well for examinations or CCA competitions) Belief: Optimistic belief that spending more time and effort will lead to improvement (Lisa). Pessimistic belief that any additional effort is useless and further improvement is not possible (Jen). Consequence: Lisa takes positive steps to improve (help organise effects, continue to be a team player) while Jen enters a downward spiral which affects her CCA participation. Who displays more resilience? Lisa- does not wallow in her failures, faces her challenges and bounces back. Lisa and Jen faced the same adversity but why did one bounce back while the other did not? It could be possible that Lisa displays more resilience due to family background/support or childhood experience, but the most important factor would be Lisa’s positive belief.

 Emphasise how our beliefs shape outcomes. The ABC

model is useful in identifying our beliefs and also enables us to challenge our beliefs to attain more resilient responses.

 Wrap up the lesson by eencouraging students to come

up with a class cheer/tagline (e.g. high five, 'Hang Tough') for themselves or when they want to encourage friends and family members when they face challenges.

5 min


Page 31 of 42

Annex 1

Student Handout

How to identify limiting beliefs Work (CCA/school) 1. Write down problem(s)

(e.g. I am not able to excel in Band…)

2. Write possible reasons.

Because I do have music background.

It helps to describe the problem, followed by the word “because”

[Problem] because… e.g. I’m struggling in my CCA because….

Because I have no time.

Social relationships


Page 32 of 42

Annex 2

CT’s Handout

Possible questions to identify limiting beliefs 1. What rules have I created in my life that could be limiting my ability to get started with my goal? 2. What pessimistic thoughts reoccur in my head every time I think about pursuing this dream? 3. What unnecessary assumptions do I make about achieving and committing to this goal? 4. What clichés, quotes or other catchy phrases do I entertain in my head that are limiting me? 5. What stereotypical beliefs or cultural myths am I allowing to hold me back? 6. How might my standards about “what” and “how” things should happen, be negatively affecting my ability to go with the flow and to make things happen? 7. What self-defeating meanings have I created based on my past failures with important goals? How do these meanings limit me and become barriers to goal setting? 8. What reoccurring stories, narrative, or mental scripts do I play over and over again in my head that disempower me?


Page 33 of 42

JC1 Lesson Plan X Term X Week X: XX January 2014

Moral Courage Lesson 2 By the end of the lesson, students will:  Recognise that their value/belief system guides these decisions  Reflect on the guiding principles and consequences of their decisions (or world view) Resources Annex 1: Identify Limiting Belief Worksheet Annex 2: Possible questions to identify limiting beliefs (CT’s reference) PowerPoint slides





 This lesson is a follow up from the first moral courage

5 min

lesson. Tutor can refresh student’s memory by recapping the gist of lesson 1: 1. The difference between moral and physical courage 2. The definition of moral courage – the courage demonstrated through holding onto to one's values 3. The universal common values are o Honesty o Respect o Responsibility o Fairness/Equality o Compassion

 Today’s lesson will allow students to look at different

moral dilemmas and allow them to discuss what goes through their decision-making process when put in a situation where moral courage is required. Group discussion

 There are 2 scenarios that students/tutor can choose for discussion. Tutor can split the class into smaller groups to discuss. The groupings can either be by gender grouping or just mixed-small groups. The tutor can decide which scenario to use or let students decide.

 Tutor can encourage students to consider their own

response to the scenario first before discussing in their small groups.

 Tutor can walk around the groups to hear their

responses and if any groups are stuck in their discussions, tutor can direct questions for students to consider.

30 mins

Handouts: Refer to Annex 1 for reference

Page 34 of 42

Activity Facilitation guide for CTs during the group discussion  Using the scenario, bring the students through the 3 components of moral courage – risk, values and endurance. Allow them to voice out what the 3 components could be in the 2 scenarios given. Faciliate the discussion such that the students can see what is the morally right decision to take.

The tutor should not be judgemental during the facilitation. Do not lose your cool even if you get unexpected responses from the entire class. You should use neutral words and tone as much as possible throughout the facilitation. This is to allow the students to express their opinions freely and also to allow them to willingly and unrestrictedly explore other perspectives through your facilitation. Facilitating the sharing of ideas  Tutor can pose the following questions to the group/a student in the group: 1. Consider what is the value that the student is holding on when making his or her decision. It is important that the value is named. 2. Question to ask “What is the value that you are holding on to or thinking of when making your decision?”

 Look at the named value and see if it is in conflict with

any of the other values that the student is holding on to. Eg. Honesty vs loyalty (in the case of friend skipping class or friend cheating in an exam). Eg. Loyalty vs responsibility (in the case of friend skipping a seminar and depriving others of a place).

 If students insist that there is no conflict, up the ante by

modifying the scenario with greater consequences. Examples could include lying at work, lying in relationships, lying to aid illegal activities etc. Identify the double standards that will appear when the consequences change. Encourage the class to identify the real value system anchoring such a worldview (often selfishness or self-gain).



Page 35 of 42




Facilitating to deepen the discussion  Questions can also be asked to help students what the consequences of their decision/actions are and what they are risking for. E.g If students decide to not tell on their friend, qns such as 1. “what could possibly happen if you did?” – to help students see the reason behind their decisions. 2. “what is the worst thing that can happen if you did this…?” 3. “is this something that you are willing to bear and still follow through with your action?” 4. “Will anyone be hurt/affected in the process of your decision?” “what if it happen to someone close to you?” eg in the case of the speaker, if you were the speaker, how will you feel?

 Continue to challenge the student, until they see a

conflict. To do this, tutor can increase the severity of the situation, i.e. bring up the level of the scenario so that he/she will be confronted to make a decision. Tutor can wrap-up the lesson by highlighting to the students:

10 mins

 To be able to consider the value that they have held on

to while making the decision, the risk that they have undertaken in their decision and the consequences that they are willing to be bear in the process.

 This underlines the 3 intersecting circles of moral courage.

 Optional: Tutors can share a role model that students can look up to as one who demonstrated moral courage: Aung San Suu Kyi

Ppt slides

Page 36 of 42

Annex 1

Student Handout

Takeaways for Students:   

Be equipped with the thinking and reflecting skills to consider what goes beyond each decision that I make. To be aware of the value/belief system that I hold on to – which guide my decision To consider the consequence of my action/decision.

Scenario 1 Taken from a real-life story. Source: International Business Times, by Ashley Portero on 28 th February 28th 2013 Link: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks Whistleblower, Pleads Guilty to 10 Charges Private First Class Bradley Manning pleaded guilty on Thursday to misusing classified material and nine other charges related to allegations that he illegally acquired and transferred classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. However, Manning pleaded not guilty to the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, when he entered his guilty pleas in a hearing before his court martial, which is scheduled to begin on June 3. The 25 year-old soldier pleaded not guilty to 11 of the most serious charges against him, including aiding the enemy. His case will go forward at a general court martial in June. If he is convicted of all the charges against him he could be sentenced to life in prison. Manning faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison for the charges to which he pleaded guilty. Manning reportedly admitted that he leaked a video of an Army helicopter intentionally shooting civilians and journalists in Iraq, which has become a widely viewed clip known as “Collateral Murder.” He also acknowledged that he released classified State Department cables, an Army field manual, and Army documents on Iraq and Afghanistan that detailed military operations in those countries. According to online reports from individuals in the courtroom, Manning said he attempted to give the documents to both the Washington Times and the New York Times, which both rejected his offer, before he finally made it available to WikiLeaks. He also reportedly offered to give the video to Reuters, which had previously attempted to obtain the content. According to tweets from Nathan Fuller, the editor of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Manning said on the stand that he was troubled because the soldiers in the video “seemed to not value human life by referring to [those shot] as ‘dead bastards.’” He also said he believed the military became obsessed with “capturing and killing” when conducting counterterrorism operations. WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, publicized the material worldwide. Manning was arrested in May 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst at a U.S. army base outside of Baghdad. The young soldier spent more than two years in prison, including nine months in solitary confinement, before finally receiving a trial. On Tuesday a military judge refused a defence

Page 37 of 42

motion to dismiss the charges against Manning due to a lack of a speedy trial, ruling that the delays by the prosecution were excludable and justifiable. Justification given by Manning: In Manning’s words, “It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely "good samaritans". The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have.” According to tweets from Nathan Fuller, the editor of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Manning said on the stand that he was troubled because the soldiers in the video “seemed to not value human life by referring to [those shot] as ‘dead bastards.’” He also said he believed the military became obsessed with “capturing and killing” when conducting counterterrorism operations. In his words, “I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crew members. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare.” Discussion: If you are a soldier faced in the same situation as Bradley, 1. What will you choose to do? Will you do the same as Bradley did? Is there any other alternative choices? 2. What are your considerations in making your decision? 3. Are there any risks involved in choosing any of your options? If so, what are they? 4. For the decision that you make, is that anything that you possibly may lose or have to endure for?

Page 38 of 42

Takeaways for Students:   

Be equipped with the thinking and reflecting skills to consider what goes beyond each decision that I make. To be aware of the value/belief system that I hold on to – which guide my decision To consider the consequence of my action/decision.

Scenario 2 Imagine you are the Class Representative. You were attending your physics tutorial halfway and your tutor noticed that two students were missing. She asked about their whereabouts and the class looked around, not knowing where they had gone. You knew that the two students had skipped lesson and they had told the class to keep it a secret for them. Suddenly, one student spoke up and said that one of them were sick and had gone home while the other was probably sick and on MC. You knew that he was lying but decided to go with the flow as you did not want to get your friends into trouble. The teacher did not look convinced, but had decided to rest the matter since she wanted to finish up the lesson.

Discussion: You feel conflicted as you know it is your responsibility as the class representative to put the class in order. 1. Will you choose to tell her the truth at the end of the lesson? 2. What is your principal value that you would hold on to, in such a situation? 3. Are there any risks involved in choosing each of the options? If so, what are they? 4. For the decision that you make, is that anything that you possibly may lose or have to endure for?

Page 39 of 42

JC1 Lesson Plan X Term X Week X: XX January 2014

Performance & Moral Excellence By the end of the lesson, students will:  Recognise the importance of excellence in all areas by challenging oneself to do one’s best always  Understand the importance of setting a good example and being a positive influence Resource Annex 1: Student scenarios for discussion




Pre-Activity  CT to organise the classroom for discussion. See Annex for a list of trigger activities you may want to use.  CTs may also want to refer to authentic events or occurrences that the CG is aware of to trigger the importance of “walking the talk”. Activity  Focus of Activity: The key objective is to get students to start thinking of the importance of moral character DESPITE performance excellence. CTs should not explicitly use these terms to avoid being prescriptive.

5 min

See Annex A

15 min

Annex A Slides that show vocabulary for PME to assist in discussion

 In small groups, students are to address the real-life

scenarios of fellow Meridians. CTs to inform students of basic requirements for the discussion. EG:  Appoint student facilitators.  Emphasize respect for each other’s views  Acknowledge everyone’s opinions.

 CTs may wish to push the discussion towards students’

personal sharing OR sharing of their own advice for the characters in the scenarios. There is no need for the group to share their own responses to each scenario with the class; this is purely optional if time permits.

 Some guiding questions for student facilitator to steer

the discussion: 1) What values do you admire in this student? 2) What values proved to be problematic? 3) What are their priorities? 4) Does their behaviour contradict their values? 5) Why do they (we) do the things they do? 6) Which characters do you sympathise with most in this scenario? Why?

Slides with scenarios and facilitation questions

Page 40 of 42

Facilitating the discussion (CTs)  During the discussion, CT may wish to observe the thought process of students. The student facilitators will probably be dutifully going down the list of questions. Your role is to deepen the discussion before they move on to the next question.  Deepen the discussion by identifying moral paradoxes; challenge students to see the validity of either side.  If students reach a conclusion prematurely, CTs and coCTs to pose ‘monkey wrench’ questions to tease out further responses. [See pg 5 of facilitation handout] Facilitating the sharing (CTs)  Remind students that they have 3 min to share with the class their insights on their scenario.  Note to CTs: 3 mins for each scenario; if your CG typically enjoys talking at length about their ideas, you may want to consider selecting fewer scenarios to allow for deeper sharing.  CTs may want to employ the following questioning techniques to deepen the sharing (see pgs 5, 10 & 12 of facilitation handout):  Play devil’s advocate  Create a hypothetical scenario to up the ante  Refer to real-life events or personalities to link their discussion to larger issues and wider examples of excellence

20 min

Wrap Up  Invite students to reflect on their own behaviour, with particular emphasis on possible differences in their behaviour in public and in private. Commit to a promise to themselves to seek further consistency to their values. They need not share.  CTs may want to share that while there may be a concession that while we strive for excellence on paper, there must be a similar effort to be excellent in the ‘heart’, even if there is no tangible reward. Achieving our personal best often requires us to focus not only on our studies but also on our relationships with the people around us. Despite our best intentions, at some point, everyone makes mistakes. To make the best of things, our values can guide us and help us forgive the mistakes of others as well.

5 min

Slide: Reflection Time

Page 41 of 42

Annex 1

Student Handout

1) What values do you admire in this student? 2) What values proved to be problematic? 3) What are their priorities? 4) Does their behaviour contradict their values? 5) Why do they (we) do the things they do? 6) Which characters do you sympathise with most in this scenario? Why? Scenario 1 Adam is close to his mother but does not like to worry her about his studies. He has to stay in school late everyday but manages to come home before 7 to eat the dinner his mother has prepared for him. However, he is not keeping up in school and hardly has time and energy to complete his tutorials. He does not want to go for consultations as he is not ready. After the MYE, his mother and himself are called up to meet with the VP. While waiting to meet the VP, his mother nags at him and makes him feel guilty for not studying enough and getting into trouble with the school. In his anxiety, he snaps at his mother sarcastically. Seeing her hurt face, he gets angrier at himself. When they are called into the VP’s office, he begins hating the school and regrets going to JC. Scenario 2 Bridget is a well-liked by her CCA mates and was elected as its President. She is known to be a friendly individual who is always willing to help her friends in need. She feels very strongly that her friendships are valuable. Bridget’s parents are uncomfortable with the amount of time she is committing to her CCA. They warn her about her studies but Bridget does not like being made to feel guilty for something she is doing well. She is coping well with her studies and has only received a U for Math. She believes she is unable to concentrate at home because she has a 6-year-old brother who keeps disturbing her. Her parents, however, order her to step down from her position as President. Bridget is angry at her parents’ attempts to control her life and refuses. She stops speaking to her parents and ignores her brother. She starts coming home late after studying in the school library and goes straight to her room after dinner. Scenario 3 Cory is a cheerful student who is always sensitive to the feelings of his friends and tries his best to make everyone happy. He enjoys going to class but his tutors have started telling him that he needs to start consolidating his work as he has been failing his assignments. He promptly arranges for consultations and seeks his tutors’ help. However, when he attempts to complete his work on his own, he continues to struggle and feels helpless. He does not want to bother his friends with his questions because everyone seems to understand it except him. He stops completing his work and copies the answers from his friends to get the right answer. Cory’s tutors observe his improvement and continue to encourage him. Cory feels lost. Scenario 4 Dahlia and Ethan have been in a relationship for 3 months. They spend their time together studying and attending consultations together. They are both motivated individuals. After the MYE, Ethan scores well but Dahlia fails all her H2 subjects. Ethan offers to tutor her but Dahlia is ashamed of her own failure. She begins avoiding Ethan and starts studying on her own. However, she is unable to concentrate and begins to lose her motivation. She believes that a polytechnic education is more suitable as she is a more ‘hands-on’ student and Ethan is more of a ‘book’ person. Scenario 5 Fred is doing badly in school due to his many commitments at home. He is a filial son with many siblings and wants to help out around the house which results in him having less time for school work and revision. On top of that, he works during school holidays and a few hours on Saturday to earn extra pocket allowance for himself as he does not want to ask his parents for more money. His teachers have advised him to put aside some of his commitments for now to put in more time into his studies but he is unwilling to give up spending more time helping out in his family. Fred feels very torn inside as he struggles to try to find a balance and cope with both family and academics.

Page 42 of 42

Sources for the facilitation handout: CCE Facilitation in the Classroom. Pivotal Learning Pte Ltd. Singapore, 2013. Elkind, David H. and Freddy Sweet. The Socratic Approach to Character Education. Educational Leadership. May 1997. Gottschalk, Katherine K. Facilitating Discussion: A Brief Guide. John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines. Cornell University: NY. 1994. Available at Accessed October 2013. Teaching Tips: Questions from Students. MUteaches. Miami University: FL. 2011. Tips for Facilitators. Corwin Press. Corwin University: CA. 2005. Available at Accessed October 2013.

Staff Workshop | 2 January 2014  
Staff Workshop | 2 January 2014