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Changing the world

Social and Emotional Learning

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Overview

These SEL activities enable learners to consider wider hate speech issues and prejudices in society towards protected characteristics, how the media and public respond to stories of hate speech/hate crimes, and the importance of ensuring dialogue around these issues (with online and offline stakeholders) is respectful, meaningful and constructive.

Prompt Questions

These questions are provided as examples to initiate and guide discussions around the topic in this focus area.​​​​​​​

  • How do you hear about hate speech in the media?
    • How is it reported? (e.g. news stories, opinion pieces, case studies, social media conversations, blogs, etc.)
    • Is there consistency across media reporting of the same hate speech/crime incident? Why/why not?
    • Does the way an incident is reported change how you feel about it?
  • How do people feel when hearing about hate speech/hate crime incidents?
    • How do you feel about the perpetrators?
    • How do you feel about the targets/victims?
    • What action might people take as a result of hearing about this incident? Why would they do this?
  • What strategies would you use to have a conversation about online hate with someone who doesn’t hold the same view as you?

Warm Up Activity

The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:

“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”

Facing a culture of hate

This short activity is designed to help the group put a face to a hate speech issue and consider the ways the media represent this. Learners should be encouraged to identify the emotions and motives of those involved in the stories (the target/victim(s), perpetrators, reporters, law enforcement and other involved parties).

Review news coverage of hate crimes against disabled people. The links in the document are taken from UK sources and demonstrate a wide range of hate crimes against disabled people and some of the commentary around this issue. You may wish to use different examples that have been reported in national or local media.

Ask the learners:

  • What do you think the people involved in the cases are feeling?
  • Why do you think they are feeling that way?
  • Can you think of a time when you felt the same way?
  • What do they think of media coverage? Is is consistent between outlets? What similarities and differences are there?
  • Does the way an incident is reported change how you feel about it? Why/why not?
  • What could those targeted/affected do as a result of their experience?
    • Who else could take action and what form could this take?

Main Activity

The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:

“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”

Respectful dialogue

One of the challenges we all face when participating in conversations and discussions online is the ease with which comments and content can be misconstrued. Without non-verbal feedback helping us gauge the effect our conversations is having on the recipient makes it harder to maintain respect.

Share the Guidelines for Respectful Discussion from GLSEN a US charity promoting safe and affirming schools for LGTBQ learners.

Ask the group if they can think of situations (in school and outside of school) where these guidelines have and have not been maintained.

Ask for individuals to share these situations and explore this with them, comparing them to the guidelines. Ask:

  • What happened?
  • Who was involved?
  • What was good or bad about the communication/discussion?
  • What emotions did you feel during the situation?
  • How did you regulate back to feeling more balanced?
  • What happened as a result of the discussion? (e.g. positive action/negative action/no action.)

On the slides are a number of videos that provide examples of poor communication and listening skills, as well as tips for effective listening. Share the videos with the group and ask learners to identify the key skills/strategies needed to be an effective listener based on what they have seen and what they already know about communicating.

Ask learners to feed back their ideas. Their responses should cover some or all of the following:

  • Face the speaker - maintain good eye contact.
  • Be attentive, but relaxed.
  • Keep an open mind/be non-judgemental.
  • Listen to the words and try to imagine what the speaker is saying.
  • Encourage the speaker to elaborate (e.g. “Go on…”).
  • Repeat some of the speaker’s words to demonstrate understanding.
  • Question, but only for understanding/clarification.
  • Wait for a pause to clarify.
  • Don’t interrupt and impose solutions.
  • Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
  • Give regular positive feedback (nods, “yes”, etc.).
  • Pay attention to non-verbal cues.

Using this worksheet, ask learners to take the above skills and strategies and apply them to an online context - how can they demonstrate effective listening when the speaker can’t see them?

Tasks

Using the GLSEN guidelines and the online effective listening strategies that learners have written, challenge them to consider how they would tackle the following scenario:

Imagine you see a post online talking positively about someone/something you think is awful or wrong.

  • How would you begin to tackle this? What is your aim?
  • What would you say in your opening response?
  • How can you ensure your side of the discussion remains respectful?
  • How will you know when to close the discussion down, and how might you try to do this?
  • What steps can you take if it doesn’t go to plan? (e.g. if the other person becomes aggressive/disrespectful/hateful?)

Outcome Criteria

  • Identify the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye.
  • Recognise the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

Resources

Identify the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye. Recognise the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

Resource

Facing a culture of hate

Identifying the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye.

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Respectful dialogue

Recognising the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

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Respectful dialogue - Handout

Recognising the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

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Resource

Ansigt-til-ansigt med en hadkultur

Identifying the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye.

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Respektfuld dialog

Recognising the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

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Open
Resource

Der Hasskultur begegnen

Identifying the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye.

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Respektvoller Dialog

Recognising the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

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Resource

Αντιμετωπίζοντας την κουλτούρα του μίσους

Identifying the views, emotions and motives behind hate speech in the public eye.

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Γόνιμος διάλογος

Recognising the skills/strategies required for effective listening and maintaining respectful dialogue around online hate.

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