A group of students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 took part in an extra-curricular philosophy afternoon where Lyfta resources were used as a stimulus for discussion. Most students watched at least three films and this was followed by a student-led discussion.
A follow-up focus group with a small number of these students took place to further gauge students' views of the value of these resources and learning that took place that afternoon.
What resources were used?
What was the impact?
Students talked with passion about the impact of the films and had lots to say about how these types of resources should be used more within the formal school curriculum, especially with younger children. See below for a few selected quotes from a mixture of the Year 10s, 11s, 12s and 13s:
Fostering a sense of common humanity for those that haven’t travelled: ‘I think the ones that focused on building a world around a story [Mohammed / Awra Amba village] both were very, very impactful. They helped structure this idea of common humanity between all of us, this idea of connectivity and diversity across the world and I genuinely think younger children being exposed to that more often would be crucial to their education because it shows them their world is not flat or 2D…When I was younger I grew up in a very rural area of this country and didn’t really see the world outside of it, I didn't see a motorway until I was 10 and so I’ve come a long way since then so if I was younger and I had been shown those things it would have been a lot more impactful for me because i would've seen the world in a whole different way a whole lot sooner’.
Reflecting on judgement and stereotyping: In all of the clips we had already formulated an opinion of what those people were like - their economic situation, their social situation and whether or not we’d be able to relate to them before they’d opened their mouth, before we’d clicked on any video, seeing [only] their house…I had already made all of those assumptions… by watching the video all those assumptions are undone again… just because you don’t immediately feel like you could connect to somebody, doesn’t mean it’s not worth getting to know them… I think if people made less assumptions about other people it could solve a lot of problems.
Reflecting on the way that Lyfta can be used in classrooms: I think it’s [Lyfta] facilitating…..rather than force-feeding the idea because it’s not saying you can’t have opinions about people, it’s accepting that you do. It’s not saying you shouldn’t make any judgement about people before you see them because it’s really difficult to do - virtually impossible….your brain is wired to make decisions based on your past experiences… So rather than saying, you can’t have pre-judged somebody, it’s saying that judgement isn’t necessarily accurate and you have to be willing to explore the idea that you’re not right or explore the ideas that they could be somebody completely different.