Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chapter 91 Cognitive Dissonance

(Somewhat) quietly working in groups. Little heads bent over sociology worksheets, arguing about what scenario would best present co-existing yet conflicting ideas.

Group work called to an end and examples asked for.

Hands waving, students standing up in an effort to be more visible, last minute negotiating on story details.

The first group:

"It's like when someone thinks stealing is wrong but will take money if they see it on the street and make up all these excuses why it's ok."

"uuuh kids, that's the example I gave you in the worksheet. It doesn't count"


"Told you! Miss Sara I told him!"

A few more lacklustre examples from the other groups.

The last group:

"It's like the people who say they hate Israel, but then go there anyway."

"Errmmm...." not a topic of conversation I generally encourage in class but this is, by far, the most coherent, relatable example anyone has come up with so far, and I wasn't relishing the prospect of having to re-explain the entire concept.

"Errrmmmm... ok. Let's go with that then. How can someone in this situation decrease the dissonance they feel?"

A moment of silence then a flurry of hands in the air:

"They can say things are cheaper in Israel."

"And things are better quality."

"Maybe they go there for work."

"Or their mothers make them go!" (These are 11 and 12 years olds after all...)

"They want to go to the sea! They have to go to Israel if they want to go to the sea!"

"What if they need medicine. They can go there for medicine."

Hours put into making a worksheet about a complex concept using simple, easy to follow examples and images.

All it took however was a few bright kids who live in a complex world making a simple connection.

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