True for Who?
A routine for exploring truth claims from different perspectives

  1. Discuss. What kind of situation was the claim made in? (Who made it? What were people's interests and goals? What was at stake?)

  2. Brainstorm. Make a list of all the different points of view you could look at this claim from.

  3. Dramatize. Choose a viewpoint to embody and imagine the stance a person from this viewpoint would be likely to take. Would he or she think the claim is true? False? Uncertain? Why? Go around in a circle and dramatically speak from the viewpoint. Say:
    • My viewpoint is...
    • I think this claim is true/false/uncertain because...
    • What would convince me to change my mind is ...
  4. Stand back. Step outside of the circle of viewpoints and take everything into account: What is your conclusion or stance? What new ideas or questions do you have?

printer-friendly version

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?
The True for Who routine helps students cast a wide net for facts and arguments by imagining how an issue looks from different points of view. The routine also helps students see how different viewpoints and situations might influence the stances people are likely to take.

Application: When and Where can it be used?
What we think is true often depends on what we see and care about from our own perspective. Like the Circle of Viewpoints routine in the Fairness Ideal, this routine helps students consider the roles of context and perspective in shaping what people believe. It can be used at any point in the process of puzzling about truth, once the truth-claim has been clarified.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?
Begin the discussion by clarifying a claim and imagining various perspectives on the topic. After the brainstorm, ask each student to choose one of these viewpoints to embody. Give them time to prepare to speak about the topic from that perspective and to elaborate on the viewpoint using the three sentence stems to structure what he or she says. Taking turns, students can go around the circle and speak briefly about their chosen viewpoint. The circle of viewpoints can be graphically documented on the board or on a poster using the formatted sheet on the next page. After many different viewpoints are dramatized, ask students to step out of their roleplaying and reflect on the issue. What do they think about the claim now? What are some questions about the claim now?