Saturday, 12 October 2013

Q2: 2012 Guest Speaker1 Karen Palframan

2. a) Communicate with two people in positions of power or influence to find out what they think about the issue. Attach evidence that shows how you tried to communicate, influence or persuade these people. Outline the views of the two people and compare these with your own view
2. b) Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
This video footage will form the main element of evidence of your communication, though you have a better chance of getting higher marks if there is clear evidence you personally asked a question during the guest speaker sessions.
In the meantime, start to think about what factors may have influenced Karen's responses to your questions. Question 2b tasks you with analysing the differences between the responses of the two 'people of influence' you've contacted, as well as generally discussing why there might not be universal agreement on the goals or methods of FairTrade:
2b: Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
Karen on the left, March 2012. Read the article here.
Its clear from some of the questions posed that many of you have already begun to consider Karen's primary focus on the welfare of producers/farmers in LEDCs (though she did note her belief that better conditions for UK farmers, and trying to buy local produce, are also worthy causes). Look for factors such as these that define her 'subjectivity' as opposed to objectivity - the individual, personal view as opposed to unquestionably following a rational, scientific path. Outside of maths and science everyone has their own subjectivity (and even the choice of what to research/experiment on arguably indicates that science is not entirely objective either!).

You can find a good example of conflicting views in this web page putting forward the opinions of a right-wing think-tank that argues that so-called free market economics should be followed, and interference with these (such as government subsidy) is wrong. A senior FairTrade member responded to the think-tank's criticism of FairTrade as an ineffective organisation, which you can read here.

  1. Pre-prepare possible questions for one or both key speakers; evidence that you asked at least one question will help raise your mark for 2a.
  2. Consider briefly researching your guest speakers and the company/organisation they represent. This will help with possible questions as well as discussing why views may differ on FairTrade, and again will help to push up marks (for 2b).
  3. Make sure you take detailed notes during the talks and question/answer sessions (not just of your own question!).
  4. Supplement these where necessary by using the video footage when it becomes available.
  5. Consider contacting at least one further person as this may help provide more points for discussion for 2b as well as evidence individual work for 2a. If you do so, keep any questions short and clear, and think carefully about what you are trying to find out. Our guest speakers have very kindly given up their own time; bear in mind that not everybody will be so accommodating!
  6. Brainstorm why some people might be opposed to FairTrade: their aims, methods, or even their interpretation of global trade/free markets and their unfairness. What other principles might clash with support for FairTrade? Can you find any articles which present arguments which are critical of FairTrade? (You can find one such on my earlier post on FairTrade) Are either of the guest speakers critical of Fairtrade in any way, or does either see any practical limitations to the Fairtrade concept and project? It would help if you think about this before you've had both guest speaker sessions, as this may help you to frame a question.
  7. Look for differences between the two speakers' responses. It may well be that this is particularly clear through answers to student questions even more than than from their main talk, especially if some similar questions are asked of both speakers.
  8. Looking ahead to Q3, you could ask them what they think of your idea for an action project! They might even make some useful suggestions which could help you with this.
  9. You'll need to tie this into your own views and your own initial ideas for an action project to raise awareness, so start thinking about this NOW!
  • show that you've spoken to two people of influence to find out what they think
  • summarise the different views people have
  • explain why they might have different views
  • explain how this might influence your action
  • include evidence of how you got their views
You can access the markscheme through the earlier post (you may have your own copy of this guide document).

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