Ariadne’s ball of string

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A detailed description of the activity will be provided here right after our training session. This will help you reflect on it and comment below by providing feedback to the trainer.

You were given the following scenarios and a set of different versions for the conflict resolution

1. Your group has been assigned a project which must be handed in shortly. You discuss and share the work with your mates. The day before meeting to put up the work together you realize that no one has done their share and they all expect the whole work from you. You are really disappointed and angry.
2. You go back into your classroom and you find your school bag emptied on the floor and your glasses broken. You try to find the person who did it but everybody denies. You notice two of your classmates laughing at you. You go to them and ask them to pay for the broken glasses.
3. You helped a schoolmate with a broken leg carry his schoolbag downstairs. The following day he accuses you of taking a stickers album out of the bag. You feel frustrated and upset.
4. A group of 3 seniors have been calling you names and laughing at you in the breaks. Lately they have been making jokes about your family members, too. You feel really angry but don’t know how to handle the situation. They seem to be stronger than you and unwilling to listen to you.
Step 1 (5 min)
Participants are reminded of the myth of Minotaur, the labyrinth and Ariadne’s ball of string which helped Theseus get out of the maze. They are facilitated to discuss briefly and trigger a connection of the labyrinth and the conflicts at school.
Step 2 (40 min)
One in each group will be given a card which describes the context of a conflict happening within the school community. The rest of the participants will take cards containing cues for the resolution of conflicts and read the scenario out loud to the group. Those of the participants with the cue cards, will read them out loud to the whole group. They decide all together which of the cues relate to the scenario and they leave the rest aside. Then they discuss why they chose the specific cards with your group members and try to remember the steps towards resolution.
Step 3 (5 min)
All groups sit in the big circle in jumbled order. The trainees with the conflict scenario take a ball of string and connect the conflict to the cues which lead to its resolution in the order the actions should be taken. (A colourful web should be created)
Step 4– Debriefing (20 min)
The trainer can go through the conflict case and the steps that should be followed for its resolution. The situation is evaluated and each peer group can be awarded with a Minotaur or ship card.
At the end, the whole group can reflect on the activity and discuss based on some of the following questions.
Did this activity help you realize that conflicts resolution can’t be achieved without the consent and good will of the people involved?
Did this activity help you understand that conflicts may cause painful side effects and have unexpected turns?
Did the activity made you understand that we can all work together and offer our personal qualities and experiences so that conflicts are resolved or prevented?

For the reflection and feedback bear in mind the following criteria:

• Did you like the activity?

• Do you think the activity was designed on the basis of “the head, the heart and the hands” principle?

• Do you think the activity favoured interaction?

• Do you think the activity offered you with reflection opportunities on the qualities of THE OTHER?

• Do you think it can be easily applied?

• Do you think it would appeal to pupils of Primary?

• Do you think the activity can be integrated easily in the English class?