Session 6: Resolving conflict: What to consider when there are conflicting interests [AMENDED JAN 2022]

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 6: Resolving conflict: What to consider when there are conflicting interests [AMENDED JAN 2022]
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Conflict resolution: “What should we consider when there are conflicting interests?” using the mining conflict in Odisha as an example
Key Messages
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground: The mining conflict in Odisha
  • Causes of conflict and conflict resolution
  • Empathy, patience and compromise are key to resolving conflict
  • Consider what decisions are being made when faced with conflicting interests
  • Investigate effective methods of conflict resolution
  • Evaluate real issues, considering actions that are likely to be effective
  • Demonstrate their understanding of the geographical outcomes of this module through an assessment (homework)
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. 



  • Project Slide 2 of MV Geography 6.1 Resolving the mining conflict in Odisha. Can the class list the stakeholders in the mining conflict in Odisha?
  • Slide 3 is a list of six stakeholders that will be represented in the following activity.

Activity 1

  • Slide 4 Split the class into 6 mixed ability groups. Give each group a print-out of one stakeholder role from Slides 5 to 10. (PDF provided for printing.) Students prepare arguments for their group of stakeholders, including evidence to support their point of view.
  • Is your group FOR or AGAINST the motion? Why? The motion: The mining in Odisha should go ahead. Hold the debate, with one or two speakers representing each group of stakeholders. You could limit the speaking time to 2 minutes. You may want to remind students of MV Geography 4.5 Structure your debate
  • Slide 11 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.
  • Slide 12 Each stakeholder group thinks of one compromise that they could make.
  • For each compromise, use the Opinion Spectrum on Slide 13. How much do you agree or disagree with the proposed compromise? You could write the categories, "Disagree", "In the middle" and "Agree" on 3 sheets of paper and display them from left to right at the front of the classroom. The students stand aligned to the sign that most closely represents their opinion about the compromise. What can be deduced?
  • Students could answer in role first and later give their own personal opinion.

Activity 2

  • Slide 14 How can we compromise when there are conflicting interests? Try the snowballing technique here. Follow the instructions on the slide. In working pairs, students have a few minutes to discuss their response to a chosen compromise, 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 question. Compromise on a group opinion. This is repeated until the whole group compromises with a single response.
  • At the end of the slide is the question, "This method of 'voting' can allow for compromise and group decisions. Do you agree?" Discuss - and vote on it!

Activity 3

  • Slide 15 Watch the rest of from Session 5, 10:45 to end (around five and a half minutes).
  • Discuss as appropriate for comprehension and reaction, and answer the question on the slide, "How will this story end?"
  • Slide 16 What really happened in Niyamgiri, Odisha? As a class, read MV Geography 6.2 Survival International Article 2013. It explains how twelve Dongria villages in Niyamgiri unanimously voted against Vedanta’s mine in 2013. No more mining has taken place there since then, although you may choose to do some research about the future.
  • Depending on time and your group, you may want to look at MV Geography 6.3 Dongria v Vedanta timeline from 1997 to 2013 for the step-by-step account of what really happened.


  • Slide 17 Discuss: "In the future how will we meet our material needs but respect planet Earth and the rights of people?" Depending on time and your group, you may want to look at MV Geography 6.4 Alternative solutions


  • Slide 18 Students complete a written assignment in response to the question, “To what extent should the mining in Odisha be allowed to go ahead?” You may want students to use the assessment criteria in MV Geography resource 6.5 Assessment guide. You can differentiate
    • by length of the assignment.
    • by format, for example formal written essay, graphic novel, Powerpoint presentation, blog, vlog, etc.
  • You may also want to ask the students to think of a local (school or community) issue where there are conflicting interests in preparation for the next session.