Ask young people to talk about what makes it difficult to contribute to a group discussion. They may come up with other people dominating or stating their opinion forcefully, being ridiculed, being interrupted, feeling shy, feeling ignorant. They then draw up a charter or set of rules for themselves. It may include references to taking turns to speak, not making fun of others, not using put-downs, listening to others, not interrupting, trying to seek understanding rather than consensus.

It may then be useful to provide a sample set of groundrules prepared by others, for example EdChange Mulitcultural Pavilion, and to modify and expand their own list accordingly.

The finally agreed groundrules can be put on the wall as a constant reminder.

All the discussion activities in this pack can be enhanced if a set of agreed groundrules has been adopted and is observed.

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