The Values Game

Values determine what kind of reaction we have to situations we encounter in life. Some of these values we wear on our sleeves while others lie hidden in our unconscious. Such values cause us to react in different ways. Take for example a man who has no trust. He will see the world and others as out to get him. He may also have fear, and therefore react either aggressively or with terror when faced with a threat.

The Values Game allows students to experiment with root causes to personal and social responses to situations.

1. Ask the class to generate a set of values. These need to include both positive and negative ones. They need at least twenty.
2. Put these into a ‘hat’ and divide class into groups of 4-6. Have each group draw four values from the hat and ask them to use these values to explore possible responses to the following set of unexpected events.

• You win the lottery
• A shadowy figure follows you as you walk through a dark park
• A woman offers you a gift
• A parking attendant books you for parking too long
• You take a friend out for a meal and find they are vegetarian

These scenarios can of course be added to by the class.

1. Have the class reflect on the way they chose responses according to the matrix of values they had.
2. Replay the game a week later and observe any growing sophistication on the part of students in handling the process and thinking.
3. Have the settings role played for greater effect.

For further elaboration of the thinking involved:

Look at history.

4. Choose figures from history and look at their actions and make educated guesses as to the values that underpinned their choices and actions.

Look at the recent history of the group.

5. Consider some recent experiences faced by the group. What were the values that generated the responses to these situations?