Three stories

⌚︎ 2 min.


Case study

Three stories

Kind of education

Vocational education at secondary level.

Definition of the learner

Three young immigrants aged 16.

Description of the group

Class of 20 students aged 15-18, welcoming immigrants.

Definition of starting situation

During a break between classes a group of students was standing outside, talking. The conversation got louder and louder, until it finally escalated to shouting. There was swearing, insults and other inappropriate words (including several stereotypes) targeted against three immigrant students, commenting on the colour of their skin, etc. The group, obviously displaying an attitude of superiority over anyone who is "different", got more and more verbally aggressive towards the three victims. The victims stood calm and did not react to the provocations and insults, in spite of feeling extremely hurt and sad. To them, the whole thing simply felt hopeless and pointless, they thought it would be a loss of energy trying to prove to the others that they are not bad people. They simply withdrew and shut themselves down.

However, thanks to their classmate Manja, who explained what was happening during the breaks to their teacher, things started to change for the better.

Description of teaching team

Teaching team in secondary vocational school including trainers with humanistic education, a social worker and a counsellor.

Possible actions and impacts

Discussion following the incident: the teacher presents the topic of migration and the causes for migration, followed by a discussion about diversity, origins, religions, customs and habits, history and culture. Three examples of migration situations should be found in newspapers or on the web.

  • Students are aware that the environment notices, and responds to their inappropriate behaviour.
  • Learners understand that migration is a complex phenomenon.
  • Stimulate comprehension and acceptance of others.
  • Developing empathy for immigrants.

The teacher invites three students to prepare and deliver an oral presentations of a story about migration entitled ''Different, but kind-hearted''. Ideally, if they volunteer and if their history is not too difficult, the victims of the verbal attack can present their life stories and the imaginary world they escape to when they try to hide from reality (their favourite fairy tale).

  • Better understanding of others.
  • Developing empathy for immigrants.
  • Developing self-esteem in immigrants.
  • Help learners to develop communication and intercultural skills.

Active participation of learners: the students are divided into small groups (5-6 students) to discuss and analyse migrants' life stories. They can share their own story and compare it to the experience of migrants. Each group prepares 2-3 questions they would like to ask to the migrants.

  • Getting to know each other.
  • Development of empathy for immigrants.
  • Understanding others.
  • Communicational skills.

Stimulate reason and thinking: in a plenary session, a speaker from each group presents the questions they would like to ask to the migrants.The teacher serves as a group connector so that each group has their turn and not the same questions are asked. He/she summarizes the findings.

  • Encourage learners to develop critical thinking and acquire social-emotional skills.
  • Promotion of tolerance and observation.
  • Respect the other’s opinion.
Advice, remarks, conclusions

Before you start with the assignment of oral presentations on the theme "Different but kind-hearted" make sure that the students are comfortable with sharing their stories – try to encourage the students to open up to the class.

Social inclusion
Verbal assault