TOOL 2.5 – THE WATERMELON GAME

AIMS OF THE ACTIVITY
Through a narrative method, the goal of the game is to question our “automatism” when we are in a educational relationship, to play a “disturbance action” concerning our tacit/implicit thought which guides us in our pedagogical actions. A further objective concerns the introspective reflection on our particular way of being in the educational relationship and the pedagogical assumptions and b that guide us.
DESCRIPTION / METHODOLOGY
Everything start from the opening words of the history distributed to students:

“…. One day a traveller arrived in a country known as “the country of fools” ventured into the fields near the village and approaching a wheat field saw many people running away from the field screaming: “The monster !!, the monster !!” the curious traveller came to the camp and found that the so call monster was nothing but a huge watermelon. The traveller then …”

Once read all together, this story is asked to participants to write the end, without literary pretensions but with the intention of telling how it ends. Once everyone has finished the story, it is asked to everyone to tell their final, while the facilitator marks keywords on a sheet and especially the verbs that are relate to the actions that the traveller or the villagers perform. In the end with all the keywords written and narrated stories, trying to find what are the issues and the most frequent actions emerged. Always, or nearly so, many of the stories have to do with the attempt, mostly successful, traveller to convince the people that the watermelon is harmless and tasty fruit. Often the traveller uses the example, other times the words, other times the trick, but usually the story has a happy ending, and it is not uncommon to end with a party and even at times with the coronation of the traveller as the king, hero, power etc. Almost never actually, in the stories people ask the residents why they are afraid of Watermelon monster. At this point, to make more effective the reflection, it is asked to someone to tell a fear such that the plane, mouse, spiders etc. Then it is asked to some of the students that did not have this fear to convince the person of the irrationality of his fear. Obviously, the attempt fails, and at this point the facilitator may ask then how did the traveller do to convince the villagers that the watermelon is not a monster? Now we can think about why it has not been asked to residents why the fear, that there might even be a good reason for their behaviour as a strong allergy to the fruit etc.

Only now is possible to tell briefly the final of the Sufi story that provides the traveller that goes in the village considered (but only considered) fools, spend time with them and after a while ‘of time that he met and became known by the people and has created a relationship of trust, the evening in front of the fire camp while peoples tell stories, the traveller tells the villagers that in his country there is a green fruit, round, with red flesh that are hunted and found it very good. Now the inhabitants have two paths in front: continue to believe that there is a monster or think that it may be a fruit and no one can know what they will choose.

At this point, they have to face a choice: to continue to believe in the monster or to think it can be a fruit; nobody can know what they will choose.

This story is a good metaphor for the educational relationship and helps us to observe how the educational relationship provides us with two possible roads that which tends to bring the other to us in a directive, and it often does not work, and a Socratic road that starts from ‘more for what it is and trust takes time but produces the choice of space.

SUGGESTED TIMING
From 45 to 60 minutes depending on the number of participants

 

MATERIAL AND RESOURCES NEEDED
 
COMPETENCES DEVELOPED
The educational relationship as a maieutic relationship

The suspension of judgment

The decentralization of the map and overcoming mind-sets