Activity 6: Euro-rail a la carte
This is an exercise about prejudice and the limits of tolerance as well as about images and stereotyping about different minorities. It aims at challenging the student’s stereotypes and prejudice about other people and minorities, and about the images and associations the text raises. Students will reflect on the perceptions they have of the minorities. Self-awareness about the limits of tolerance will be raised.
The teacher gives a copy of the learning material to each person, briefly describes the scenario and tells them to read the descriptions of the people travelling on the train.
Then each person is asked to choose individually the three people they would most like to travel with and the three they would least like to travel with. Once everybody has made their individual choices, ask them to form into groups of four to five and to:
- Share their individual choices and the reasons for them.
- Compare their choices and reasons and check where there are similarities
- Come up with a common list (the three pluses and the three minuses) by consensus
In plenary, ask each group to present their conclusions including the reasons for their common choices. They should also say in which “cases” there was most disagreement within the group.
Debriefing and evaluation:
The debriefing and discussion will be based on the group’s reports. Comparing the different results is a good way to introduce the discussion. You may continue by asking questions such as:
- How realistic are the situations presented?
- Has anyone in the group experienced a similar situation in real life?
- What were the major factors that determined your individual decisions?
You can work with the participants on the fact that there was very little information presented about the persons. People tend to add information then about the travellers based on the stereotypes we have in mind when making our decision.