Category: Workers’ Rights

Halloween specials

We have decorated our website’s header for the season. It’s all gone a bit Scooby Doo. Our site is a mystery machine full of pesky kids.

‘Tis the season to be haunted. So here are a couple of followthethings examples with a Halloween theme.

Letter from a labour camp worker found in Halloween decorations

[click here and you can read our page on this letter – who made it, how it was discussed, and the impacts it had]

Film of workers injured making Mickey Mouse’s ‘Haunted Halloween’ book

[click here and you can read our page on this film – who made it, how it was discussed and the impacts it had].

Playing cards: ftt’s Ethical Trade Trump game

It’s a game

Students at the University of Exeter designed an Ethical Trade Trumps card game in November last year using data from free2work.org. This summer, we worked this up into a ftt-‘branded’  game, complete with rules, and templates so that groups of people could make and play cards with their stuff. You can download its templates here. This was designed with advice from the secondary school teachers involved in our #followtheteachers project. Natalie is using them with her A-level class to help with Globalisation revision: look!

The idea

When you make cards for your stuff and play them with others, you learn about the companies who make your stuff, their labour policies, transparency, monitoring  and worker rights. In one sense, it’s a simple game of trumping –  ‘Ha! My shoes’ worker rights score beats your Kitkat’s!’ – but making and playing the cards also raises questions about what you can find out about your stuff, what ‘monitoring’, ‘worker rights’ and a ‘living wage’ mean, how they are measured, and what to think about this.

Playing cards

Yesterday, we ran our first Top Trump workshop, at Bath Spa University, with Ranji Devadason and her students (a big thanks to them for giving this such a good go). Here we share the cards that were played at this first ever Ethical Trade Trump tournament!

The experience

The atmosphere was tense but fun. Poker faces were everywhere. Imagine being dealt some of these cards! How would you play them? What was it like for them to play with their stuff like this? We’re inviting them to say so, in comments on this post…

PS if you are unfamiliar Trump card games, check this Wikipedia page.

Credits

This game was devised in 2012 as coursework ‘Geographies of Material Culture’ at the University of Exeter by Joe Thorogood, Michael Franklin, Sophie Angell, Florence Flint, Bryony Board, Toby Swadling, Jack Saxton, Jake Pincock, Emma Hargreaves & Joe Harrison. This pack was re–designed by Ian Cook, in consultation with the #followtheteachers ‘user crew’ Alan Parkinson, Oprah Whipp, Victoria Salt, Charlotte Wild, Jenny Thomas, Natalie Batten, Heather Taylor & Mary Biddulph for use in schools and universities.

Update

This pack was revised in 2014 as followthethings.com’s contribution to Fashion Revolution Day, an Ethical Fashion Trump Card Game is part of its Education Pack (download link to be added when this this is live).

Our 2nd #followtheteachers blog post

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Over the course of the 2013-4 academic year, we’re following seven school teachers and they use and adapt followthething.com in their classrooms in England. Our second post is by Natalie Batten. She reflects on how she encouraged her students to use our site last year to help compare and contrast multinational corporations. This year, she will be using one of our new  game-based teaching resources to encourage her students to better appreciate corporations’ diverse policies regarding workers’ rights and monitoring.

ftt Natalie button

I covered a similar topic to the one discussed in Oprah’s #followtheteachers blog post – that of globalisation and multinational companies.  This scheme, however, was implemented for AS Level Geography students (studying the OCR exam syllabus). This highlights the versatility of  followthethings.com site as a resource for a variety of student ages, even when covering the same topic area. For example, while Oprah used the site to introduce globalisation at Year 7, I used it at A level to consolidate pupils’ prior learning and provide them with examples and case studies for their exams.

ftt car seat

Click the seat!

The pupils were not familiar with the site, so time was incorporated into the scheme of work for them to explore it. They really liked the layout and navigation of the site and its recognisable format – like other online stores such as Amazon – which made the site personal to them and their interests.

ftt trump LEGO card

Click to play!

The different forms of data presentation on the site (eg. film reviews, travel journals, newspaper articles and Lego re-creations) provided opportunities for differentiation with more able pupils challenging themselves through interpretation of more abstract research sources. In particular, some used the Ford Car Seat page  – based on a 2006 film called ‘Made in Dagenham’ – to explore social and historical geographical topics such as feminism and women’s rights. This was important as it allowed pupils to ‘find the geography’ and make synoptic links to other geographical topics during their MNC research task.

An extension to a task like this could be to incorporate followthethings.com’s new teaching resource – Ethical Trade Trump Cards as a way to compare and contrast global MNCs on categories such as worker’s rights, policies and monitoring in an exciting and familiar game for pupils.

Both they and myself as a trainee teacher took a lot of positives away from this activity and I will certainly be using followthethings.com in my future teaching for this and other topics.