- to let participants share their thoughts and opinions
- to recognise the differences in thinking in the group
- to let everyone to express their opinion and take a stand
- to raise awareness for our responsibility for climate change
1 hour (depending on the number of statements and the questions asked during the positioning)
minimum 8 persons, no maximum limit
Material: two sheet of paper, chairs
Prepare two papers saying „Yes, very much“ and „No, not at all“ and put them on the floor in severals meters of distance, conneting an imaginary positioning line. Prepared list of statements to read out. Prepare a circle with chairs for the discussion.
Course of action:
Positioning 40 minutes
Discussion 20 minutes
The participants are invited to imagine a positioning line connecting to opposite opinions, represented by the paper sheets. They are asked to express their opinion regarding to several statements by positioning themselves along the equivalent place on the positioning line, regardless to the positioning of others.
In the beginning all participants stand together at a place beside the barometer. Then the first statement is read out loud and then the participants are ask to think what their individual answers are according to the barometer and to go there. Only a few seconds of reflection are given for this.
When everybody is standing on the imaginary line the facilitator invites one or two persons standing on the yes-side, the no-side and from the middle to share their ideas regarding their position and the statement. Therefore the facilitator acts like a journalist, going to and asking the participants with an imaginary microphone.
This is done likewise with every statement to be answered. There should not be treated more than 10-13 statements.
Come together sitting in a circle.
Start by inviting the participants to share their feelings during the positioning.
Ask question like:
Would you like to share your feelings? Was there anything surprising to you?
Was is difficult to take a stand regarding the statement? Why?
Then invite people to reflect the statements.
Do the statements reflect reality? In which way?
What is problematic about it?
To finish the discussion talk about options of acting?
Is there need for change? How could this be done? What can you do about it?
Role of the facilitator:
The facilitator should make clear in the beginning that the method is not about correct or wrong answers but about reflection and discussion of individual positions.
The chosen statements should be easy to understand.
It is recomended to read out the statements slowly and to repeat them once or twice.
The answering of statements may be confusing when statements are formulated negatively (Like: I never feel discriminated against because of my ancestors and my your origins). Therefore it´s helpful if the facilitator reads out the statement and then adds for explanation: People who were not discriminated go towards the Yes-side of the barometer, people who felt discriminated go towards the No-side.
The facilitator should take care that the time between the positionings is not too long, because standing without moving can be exhausting.
It´s important to mention in the beginning that the statements may be controversial or confrontative on purpose to avoid the identification of the statements with the facilitator by participants.
In international groups, before asking the statements, the facilitator is recommended to say that people should say if they don´t understand a statement so that it can be explained in other words. If necessary, ask someone with the same mother language to translate each statement.
It is important that the participants step aside to a place beside the barometer after each statement and that the think where to go before positioning themselve after each statement is red out in order to avoid participants to keep standing where they are or follow the positioning of others.
It is important to create an open ambiance in order to avoid self-restriction and to facilitate an open discussion.
When everyone has positioned him/herself and some comments were said the facilitator can invite the participants to change their position on the barometer if anyone wishes to do so.
If many participants tend to position them-self in the middle the facilitator can say that for the following statements each participant must either choose „Yes“ or „No“ and nothing in between.
You can also invite participants at opposite poles to try to convince others at other positions to join them. If you do this it is suitable to reflect on what the arguments used are based on (moral, economic reasons, culture, stereotypes, statistics, etc.)
Statements: (You could also think about your own statements)
It is possible to stop climate change in everyday life.
The consumers are most responsible for climate change.
The politics are most responsible for climate change.
The economy is most responsible for climate change.
Nuclear Power is a good way to stop climate change.
Speed limits on the motor way is a possibility to reduce global warming.
Vegetarian Food is an important step to reduce global warming.
I see consequences of climate change in my home country.
Europe should grant asylum to climate refugees.
Most of the Politicians are not interested in stopping climate change.
Emissions trading is just a green-washing method.
The solution to stop climate change is to overcome capitalism.
Strict Laws has to force people to live environmentally friendly.