I am corruption
E4J University Module Series: Anti-Corruption
Module 1: What Is Corruption and Why Should We Care?
After introducing the topics of the Module, walk into the middle of the room and announce: "I am corruption. Now, on the basis of me being the actual embodiment of corruption, I want you all to get up from your seats and arrange yourselves accordingly. Please proceed to whatever part of the room you wish. And then please stay put and remain silent."
Students will likely hesitate and give each other sideways glances. If they do not react to the instructions as stated above, the lecturer may wish to clarify as follows: "We are conducting an experiment here. You must imagine right now that I am corruption - that corruption is here, now, right where I am standing. On this basis, you must position yourselves wherever you want in the room." Give students a minute or two to position themselves, remind them not to move once they have found their place, and then once everyone has stopped moving, begin the following two-step debrief.
The first step is to ask the class as a whole: "Why have you chosen this particular place in the room?" Usually several hands go up, but if not, the lecturer may simply call on students at random. It is important to reframe students' responses and ask "is that right?" to give them a chance to fully formulate and confirm their reasons for standing or sitting where they are, and for other members of the class to better process those reasons and begin reflecting on their own. In a class of 15 students or less, it is possible to have an exchange with each student, most of whom will only require 5-30 seconds to give their responses. Students who are called only later, once others have shared their answers, will tend to take less time to give their responses, many simply echoing others who came before.
After exploring several responses to the above question, the second step of the debrief is to ask a number of students to relate their position in the room to their definition of corruption. For example, "Mr./Ms., you mentioned that you are standing far away from corruption in order to escape or keep a safe distance. Why? What are you implying that corruption means or is?" "Mr./Ms., you stated that your close proximity to corruption reflects an interest in courageously standing up to it. But what do you understand it to be? Why is it important to stand up to it?" "Mr./Ms., you chose a position that allows you to critically observe corruption. Why is that important to do? What do you understand corruption to be? Why must it be observed or monitored?"