Leading Classroom Discussions About Population Policy in Singapore, pp. 3 of 5

Extending through a Fishbowl Activity (10-15 minutes)

To extend this initial activity, a teacher can further cultivate discussion with a fishbowl activity. To begin this fishbowl, the teacher asks students to take turns sharing their completed statements: “My view on population policy in Singapore is…. My reasons are…”  When the small group’s time is completed, the teacher asks the outer circle of students if they have any questions for discussants in the inner circle.  This is a good time for the teacher to model appropriate comments or critical questions, such as: “What type of evidence did you find most convincing?” Then the teacher can ask four or five outer circle students to exchange places with the inner circle students.  The new inner circle students can repeat the process (i.e., discuss their concept maps for approximately five minutes).  As the inner circle discusses the topic, the teacher encourages the outer circle to take notes.  Again at the end of the discussion time, the teacher can ask for questions from the outside circle.

Note this fishbowl activity requires about 13 minutes of instructional time (10 minutes for discussion, 5 minutes for each inner group (2 groups total), and 3 minutes for transition times, 1 ½ minutes for set up and exchange of students).

Part 2: (Optional) Clarify Background Knowledge (10-15 minutes)

After this preliminary activity, the teacher might decide to provide some clarifying background knowledge (to possibly address misconceptions that surfaced in Part 1). However, if the students seem to have a grasp of the key components of this population issue, the teacher might want to just move ahead to the sources in the Part 3 activity.

If the teacher wants to ensure students have a grasp of key ideas, the following two sources – an image and a YouTube video – offer useful background knowledge.

Background knowledge - Source 1: Graphic- “The Singapore Population”

Background knowledge - Source 2: Youtube video: Population projected at 6.9 million by 2030 with strong Singaporean core

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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