Everyone sees life through their personal lens, through their point of view. Though we may not see the world through that same lens, and may disagree with that perspective, learning about and listening to different perspectives gives us a deeper understanding of what happened then and how to deal with it.

How do we account for so many different perspectives on the past? How can we learn from diverse perspectives to gain greater insights on understanding the past? 


  • Understand how there are multiple perspectives on any particular issue and the importance of including multiperspectivity in our understanding of the past

Time and Materials

90 mins

  • Flipchart papers
  • Markers (different colors)


Warm-up (15 minutes):

We narrate a short story: Yesterday my mom cooked a huge meal for my two sisters and me  (e.g. Molokheye, Mahshi). I didn’t like the meal, but  I pretended to eat it. My mother caught me and got mad at me and, in turn, I got angry and  left as quickly as I could.

We ask the participants: If we placed ourselves in the narrator’s shoes:

  • What happened from their perspective? 
  • What happened from their mom’s perspective? 
  • What happened from their sister’s perspective?


Group Work (25 minutes):

We distribute Handout 7: Cases to participants and split them into three groups according to each case study.

Each group discusses their assigned case study and prepares a small scene to act it out.  Each group will think about the following questions:

  • What are the different perspectives of the people in the story?  
  • Why are there different perspectives?


Group Presentations (30 minutes):

Each group acts out their scene (2 minutes each). Then asks the other participants to note down  all the different perspectives in the scene, to be addressed in the plenary discussion.


Plenary Discussion (20 minutes):

Starting with collecting the different perspectives from the scenes acted out, we discuss examples of multiperspectivity. Then we ask the group how multiperspectivity may help us understand what happened in the past. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What did we notice in the different cases presented and discussed?
  • What did we learn about perspectives? 
  • What is the benefit of learning about more than one perspective (multiperspectivity)? 
  • Who has a story from their environment that reflects the importance of multiple perspectives? Share examples. 
  • What do we think about the relationship between Oral History and multiperspectivity? How can we learn  from multiperspectivity when dealing with the past?

The facilitator will ask each participant to reflect in writing  ways in which they can bring multiple perspectives into their lives. 

Notes and Tips for the Facilitator

We can change the case studies if we want to have more contextual stories. However, we need to make sure that the case study includes multiple and diverse perspectives.

Sources and Further Reading

Argyris, Chris. Overcoming Organizational Defenses: Facilitating Organizational Learning (Boston, Ma.: Allyn and Bacon, 1990).