Session 6: Conflict resolution: What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 6: Conflict resolution: What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Conflict resolution: “What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?”
Key Messages
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground - Extremists v mainstream society
  • To understand the causes of conflict and appreciate how human activity relies on the resolution of conflict through compromise and regulation. The ability to listen to others in an attempt to understand someone else’s perspective, compromise and patience are key to resolving conflict.
  • To consider what decisions are being made when faced with conflicting interests
  • To investigate effective methods of conflict resolution
  • Students will evaluate real issues, considering actions that are likely to be effective
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the geographical outcomes of this module through a formal assessment
Links to National Curriculum

To develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes. 



  • Recap key points from previous session. Remind students of the mining conflict in Odisha.
  • Split the class into 6 mixed ability groups.  Project Slide 1 of MV Geography Resource 6.1 Stakeholder roles.  Give each group a print-out of one stakeholder role on Slides 2 to 7 for role play debate and pose the statement (framed as a questions) on Slide 8: “The mining in Odisha should go ahead” Depending on your group, individuals or whole groups could defend their positions.
  • After the debate, have a vote with a show of hands.  You could ask the students to vote first in role and then from their personal perspective.

Activity 1

  • Students prepare to take on the role of their stakeholder to argue either for or against the mining in Niyamgiri.
  • After student groups have presented their argument, they brainstorm ways in which each stakeholder could compromise.
  • Display MV Geography resource 6.2 Opinion spectrum and encourage students to stand along the line. They could answer in role and later give their own personal opinion.
  • Consider using the snowballing technique here.  In working pairs, students have a few minutes to discuss their response, note ideas on paper if appropriate, and agree a response. Each pair then joins up with another pair and these groups of four discuss their response to the same questions.  Compromise on a group response.  Point out that this method of “voting” can allow for compromise and group decisions.  Depending on time and number of students, this could be repeated again until the whole group compromises with a group response.

Activity 2


  • Elicit and discuss student response
  • Share and discuss MV Geography resource 6.5 Alternative solutions
  • Introduce formal assessment for homework


  • Students complete a written assignment in response to the question “To what extent should the mining in Odisha be allowed to go ahead?”  Use the assessment criteria in MV Geography resource 6.6 Assessment guide.
  • You can also ask the students to think of a local (school or community) issue where there are conflicting interests in preparation for the next session.