Monday, August 19, 2013

Learning about others

Admit it, there is a tendency in every one of us to point the finger at someone other than ourselves when something goes wrong. Or when we 'think' that something has gone wrong.

What we define as 'right' and 'wrong' may, and most likely, is not universal. I always remind my students that there is no 'right' and 'wrong', just 'different'. And it is okay to be different.

I found this list of questions for reflection useful. Students work in pairs to ask their partner each of these questions. However, I think that these questions work really well for self reflection, too, to remind ourselves of the things we prioritise and how those priorities came about. By understanding our own beliefs and goals, we learn to take in other people's beliefs and goals, which allows us to accept the diversity that exists in the world. I find it particularly interesting when students try to tease out the reasons behind their similarities and differences.

Maybe you will find these questions helpful, too.

  1. Whom should you obey? Why?
  2. Who makes decisions (at home, school, community)? Why?
  3. How should you behave with others (elders, children, neighbours)? Why?
  4. Whom should you respect? How do you show respect? Why?
  5. How should you act in public so you bring credit or honour to your family? Why?
  6. What does it mean to be successful in life? Why?
  7. Whom should you trust? Why?
  8. What are the sins of success? Why?
  9. What provides 'security' in life? Why?
  10. Whom should your friends be? Who decides? Why?
  11. Where and the with whom, should you live? Why?
  12. Whom should you marry? At about what age? Who decides? Why?
  13. What is expected of children when they are young? Why?
  14. What should you depend on others for? Why?
  15. When should you be self-sufficient, if ever? Why?
  16. What should you expose toe others, and what should be kept private? Why?
  17. How should you plan for your future? Why?
  18. What should be remembered from your heritage? Why?
  19. What was better when you were younger or during your parents' youth? Why?
  20. What do you wish for your children that you could not have? Why?

Source: Cushner, K. (1998). Human diversity in action (p. 133). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

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