In this possible culminating critical challenge, students determine the extent to which ideologies should be the foundation of identity by creating a script for an interview with an iconic ideological figure.
- Write a script for an interview with an iconic ideological figure that explores the degree to which ideologies impact collective and individual identities.
Establish criteria for powerful questions
Introduce the session by inviting students to view two interviews. One interview should demonstrate qualities of effective or powerful questions, and the other interview should demonstrate qualities of ineffective questions (see References).
As students view the interviews, they should record examples of effective and ineffective questions. Invite students to share their examples. Ask students to identify the features and qualities of powerful questions and ineffective questions.
Criteria for powerful questions could include the following:
- encourage responses that provide specific information
- are specific to the person or situation
- are open-ended and not easy to answer, such as questions that cannot be answered by yes or no
- may be unexpected
- are related to a central theme or purpose.
You may want to refer to Asking Powerful Questions (Modelling the Tools) to structure and assess this activity.
Introduce the interview task
Prompt students to select an iconic figure that is often associated with a specific ideology;
e.g., Adam Smith, John Lennon, George Bush, Karl Marx. Ask students to imagine that they have been given the job of interviewing this figure to determine how the person’s identity has been shaped by ideologies. Inform students that this task has two parts: the formulation of questions they would ask the selected figure and the responses the person might offer.
Research the iconic figure
Guide students in researching the views and ideas of the selected person. This research should inform the creation of the questions and responses. Students should attempt to establish connections among the actions, the ideological orientation and the identity of the selected figure. This research will assist students in determining the degree to which ideology impacts actions and shapes identities.
Invite students to use a graphic organizer to record their research. See Guiding Student Research: Action, Ideology, Identity (Lesson Material). Remind students to use the criteria for powerful questions to guide the creation of the interview questions.
Revise the interview
Invite students to present a draft of their interview to a small group of three or four students for constructive feedback.
The feedback should focus on the following characteristics:
- identification of the strengths of the interview and areas for further revision
- consideration of the evidence provided
- the plausibility of the interpretation offered
- the degree to which the interview is written in an engaging manner
- the degree to which the interview meets the criteria for powerful questions
- the degree to which the interview clearly articulates the relationship between ideology and identity.
Encourage students to revise their interviews according to peer feedback.
To structure and assess this activity, you may wish to adapt Peer Critique (Support Material).
- Determine the extent to which ideologies should be the foundation of identity.
Reflect on ideology and identity
Ask students to write a personal reflection on the extent to which ideology should be the foundation of identity.
To help students organize their responses, you may want to use the chart My Position on the Issue in Justifying My Choice (Support Material).