Tough Issues, Tough Choices aims to help young people tackle problems and challenges. It addresses the difficult issues and decisions facing young people in today’s society, – those with behavioural problems and those without – and promotes the development of emotional literacy, equal opportunities and social justice
Written by Tina Rae and Brian Marris
Tough Issues, Tough Choices addresses some of the real concerns and agendas of teenagers today. It fulfils many of the objectives of the KS3-4/PSHE curriculum, and aims to promote the development of emotional literacy, equal opportunities and social justice.
Tough Issues, Tough Choices is designed to encourage students to develop their own voice, to take ownership of their own behaviours, values and responses and to become reflective young adults who are able to effectively identify and challenge social injustice. A key aspect of this challenge is the ability to counter the five faces of oppression: victimisation, marginalisation, violence, powerlessness and exploitation.
Tough Issues, Tough Choices will help you to:
engage the hard to teach and hard to reach
model a problem-solving approach to teenage dilemmas
enable students to develop emotional resilience
provide materials to assist SEAL development
help your students to resist unhelpful peer pressures
mirror young people’s real experiences with teaching and learning resources
support students in questioning their values and behaviours
record your students’ opinions before and after working with them, which can be used in your school SEF.
Tough Issues, Tough Choices will help young people to:
develop the ability to empathise with others and to respect and understand a different point of view
consider the need to develop a healthy and safe lifestyle
recognise and manage risk more effectively and begin to understand these risks and make safer choices
feel positive and value themselves as members of the school and social communities
gain the ability and personal power to make choices that are informed and make the most of opportunities that are presented to them
promote a sense of ‘peer support’ and highlight the importance of both offering and receiving this kind of support
develop the skills of emotional literacy – specifically the ability to label, identify and discuss the feelings they experience on a daily basis and in a range of contexts.
Easy to use – go straight to the issue you want to tackle
The handbook is divided into three sections and each section has a range of scenarios that tackle a variety of different issues:
Part one – Social Issues
Stories which tackle:
car theft and accident
ASBOs and home loss
boys undermining/disrespecting females
imprisonment and getting sentenced
prejudice against Travellers.
Part two – Emotional Issues
Stories dealing with:
bullying a SEN pupil to suicide
the death of a family member
- a relationship split up and the pain involved
Part three – Behavioural Issues
the consequences of happy slapping
peer pressure and shoplifting
buckling under peer pressure
aggressiveness and weapons.
The structure of Tough Issues, Tough Choices
Each session is divided into six parts: Student Evaluation
The students are initially presented with section A of the evaluation form, which records their attitudes to the key issues presented in the subsequent scenario.
This is to provide a visual image and ice breaker to prompt questions prior to introducing the topic and helps to promote students’ thinking around the issue.
The whole story is here. Students should be allocated characters beforehand and then act out the role play. As explained in the section – the group should pick a signal to stop the role play at any point during the story.
Questions and Answers
The students are presented with a list of questions about the scenario as a small group activity. The facilliator can encourage groups to discuss and record their answers on the questions pages.
Students are asked to complete sections B and C of the evaluation form. Section B measures changes in attitude and thinking while section C measures the effectiveness of the programme and the relevance and usefulness (or otherwise) of the session. Take-home Activity
Finally, students are presented with a take-home activity intended to prompt further thinking around the issue.
Who will benefit from this resource?
head of behaviour support
head of PSHE
head of pastoral care
all support staff.
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