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Four corners

PeerThink Standard Sheet: Input/Method/Exercise

If a question cannot be answered, leave it blank.

Based on RealGeM & GemTrEx, with adaptations referring to Blickhäuser & Bargen1

Name of the Input/ Method/Exercise
Four Corners
15 – 30 minutes, depending on the number of questions and participants
Target Group/Criteria for Access
Adolescents from the age of 12 years
prepared questions and answers
Learning Outcomes
  • Getting to know the other people and getting first hand knowledge/information
  • Learning diversity of individual backgrounds
  • Migration as a common experience in society
  • Visibilitiy of migration in everyday life experiences
  • Listen to the others
  • Telling something about themselves
Method Instruction
Introduce the method as one to get in touch and that the answers should not be discussed.
Step-by-Step Description

The participants answer several questions by taking over a place in one of the four corners of the room. Each corner is for one particular, provided answer.

The participants answer one questions like: How many languages do you speak? Each corner symbolises an answers: Corner 1: One Language; corner 2: two languages; corner 3: three languages; corner 4: four and more languages. The participants choose one corner to answer the question. The participants discuss with each other on why they are in this corner. The facilitator goes around and asks for the background of the answers.
Other questions can be:
How many brothers and/or sisters do you have? None, One, Two, more?
How many times did you move house in your life?

The questions can refer on the issue of migration without focussing it:

1. Language competencies can point to a migration background. Young people with a migration background often grow up with at least two languages. Regarding their language competencies the youngsters often are addressed in a problematic way that they don’t speak any language perfectly but here they are addressed in a positive way like, “Wow, you are speaking like three languages, German, Turkish and English!”.
2. The questing of moving home place is concerning that young people perhaps moved across borders or they have moved houses inside of a country.

It is also possible to use the four corners method in a way that the participants have to argue more. The questions would not be that individual but general like, for example:
Where do you think Violence comes from?
  • people who experienced violence often become violent themselves
  • violence is a human condition
  • violence is a result of bad social conditions
  • violence is a way to secure a dominant position
Frame Conditions
(Room, Space)
A room, large enough to move, with 4 separated corners (shouldn't be too close).
  • group size
  • recommendation about point of time or process (e.g.“starter”)
  • Framework/Related Methods
  • The group should not be bigger than 25 and not smaller than 10
  • It is a real starter method which may consider themes like migration without marking people as migrants/others
Possible difficulties
  • group situation
  • point of process
If people have mobility problems it can be difficult to move for each question to a different corner

If someone does not correspond to any four corners answer they can stay for example, in the middle.
Comments and Experiences/Evaluation
respect/Bremen, Bildungsteam Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.


1 Blickhäuser, Angelika / Bargen, Henning von (Hrsg.) (2006): Mehr Qualität durch Gender Kompetenz. Ein Wegweiser für Training und Beratung im Gender Mainstreaming. Königstein/Taunus.

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