Liberating Structures, Setting the tone activities

Teaching Ethics with Theatre of the Oppressed and Liberating Structures

Engage everyone in making sense of profound challenges. Use to address difficult or confusing topics.

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Teaching Ethics with Theatre of the Oppressed and Liberating Structures
Educator prep: None
Student prep: None
Video conferencing
Duration: 30+ mins

Activity purpose

Engage students in activities to discuss/explore ethical issues in structured ways that enable creative problem-solving.

Useful for

Courses that involve ethical or controversial issues.


Yes, see description for each activity type.



Synchronously, somewhere between 25-60 minutes.

With asynchronous preparation, it may take less or be completely asynchronous.

Adaptations and examples

For Theater of the Oppressed: Can be done synchronously using Zoom, all students in one room; can be done asynchronously via Google docs, writing script instead of acting out, and spectactors participate by using suggest changes to edit the script.

For TRIZ/Purpose to Practice: Can be done using breakout rooms and taking notes on Google Docs or some other collaborative editing tool. Can also have students explore on their own time and record their discussions.

Technical requirements

Different for each approach - see their descriptions.

Useful resources


More 'Liberating Structures' activities:
Equity Unbound Activity
Alternative Approaches to Grading
Consider different approaches to grading and how they can affect the classroom atmosphere and more!
Maha Bali, Mia Zamora, Jasmina Najjar, Laura Gibbs, Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh, Arley Cruthers
Equity Unbound Activity
Tiny Demons/Drawing Monsters
Help people express and face their fears in a way that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Lyse Edwards
Equity Unbound Activity
Survey students early in the semester: Pre-Course Survey
Use a pre-course survey to get to know your students early on in the semester.
Maha Bali

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