My Year 10s are working on a unit about Globalisation at the moment. We have done all the intro activities, looked at global economics, fashion, global links, globalisation at school and globalisation of media (including the class and me getting in trouble for writing in washable chalk on school buildings – must remember instruction of ground good wall bad for next time!). Today I split the class into random groups and gave them 2 lessons to investigate the 3 most positive aspects and 3 most negative aspects of globalisation. Essentially a basic research task but with the added critical thinking of what are the most important pros and cons.
The class know that they then have to give a 2-3 minute explanation to the class of their most positive and most negative aspects on Friday. To follow this up the class will enter a philosophical chairs discussion on “Is globalisation good or bad?”
In this way, they will have discussed in groups what are the significant positive and negative impacts of globalisation before then deciding their own opinion and having to justify it in a formal discussion. This is a similar process to how I used philosophical chairs with great learning success last year (see this learning story).
I really enjoyed watching the class work in their groups today. Without any prompting of how they should operate, the groups chose various methods to collaborate. Some split into pairs with 2 investigating positive aspects and 2 investigating negative whilst other groups worked as a 4. Some were using their own devices, some using the library computers and some just using the notes already in their books and their prior knowledge. Notes were taken in books, on A3 paper, on Google Docs and Facebook groups were created. This was all students personalising their approach to a common task and knowing what works for them. Without our inquiry experiences last term I wonder how confident they would have been approaching this task?
I look forward to seeing their justifications first and then how they go in the discussion task and will share the outcomes at the end of the week.
Sounds like an awesome exercise in inquiry based learning. Would be very keen to hear what your guys come up with.