|Method||Circle of Viewpoints|
|In this method, students have to move between different viewpoints. Understanding how different actors may think and feel differently about things is a key aspect. It stimulates students to abandon their own point of view and to look for arguments for an given one. It promotes understanding for other ways of thinking and skills to form compelling arguments.
Divergent thinking is stimulated to make them list different points of view. Next, students elaborate and question one point of view to develop a deeper understanding. Different points of view are discussed in the classroom.
This method can be used at the beginning of a subject, after reading a book or seeing a movie. It is especially interesting for controversial or complex topics. It is also helpful in the students´ process of problem orientation and formulating research questions in their research.
|Overall aim||To develop understanding of a subject area: considering different viewpoints and perspectives in order to dig deeper into ideas.|
|Target group||Can be used in a wide variety of different disciplines and topics|
|Intended learning outcome|
|Choose source material, e.g. an image, story, issue or topic that is neither not simplistic nor obvious and one that invites students to consider different viewpoints.
As an introduction present a painting or image or multiple pictures of the same object (or Youtube movies from different points of view in a sport game)which can serve as a starting exercise to trigger the skill of perspective thinking. Or an object with students around it describing it from different physical points of view.
Then follow these steps:
|Preparation||The facilitator needs to run through the process of circle of viewpoints before the class in order to identify different viewpoints.|
|Required resources and equipment||The room should be set up in a way so that students sit in circles which supports the idea of different perspectives.|
|Success factors||To contribute roles in case of group work helps students to pass through the process in a more disciplined manner which increases the chance of success.
Give sufficient time for thinking in each step.
|Advantages||When things seem black and white to students, this method can help them see different perspectives.|
|Disadvantages||Student might experience difficulties to go to a deeper level in perspective taking. This needs to be coached and practiced regularly in order for it to become a successful thinking activity.|
|Additional information||Initially, the viewpoints will be very predictable: model other possible viewpoints. Asking questions is also a thinking activity that students need to learn : as a facilitator you might model asking questions in order to go below the surface (not only actual, concrete level, yes/no-questions, …).
On this link you’ll find some helpful questions to support taking a different perspective.
This method is a way of making thinking visible. On this websites you will find a lot of information about the importance of that and how to organize:
This method is a way of making thinking visible. On this website you will find a lot of information about the importance of that and how to organise your class. Here is another useful link which covers the same topic.
Download PDF file:Circle of Viewpoints (111 downloads) Circe of Viewpoints LV (102 downloads)