The Thinking Together team (www.thinkingtogether.org.uk) designed this program to promote talking, thinking and learning in the curriculum area of PSHE and Citizenship which emphasises the importance of discussion and of considering the perspective of others in reaching moral decisions.
The aim of the software is to encourage children working in small groups at a computer to reflect on the moral issues presented in the story.
Robert makes Kate promise not to divulge his secret before he confesses to her that he has stolen a box of chocolates from the corner shop.
Was Robert right to ask Kate to make this promise?
Children can discuss Robert's responses to Kate when she says that stealing is wrong.
Do any of them justify the theft?
Are there any other possible excuses that Robert could have offered?
On the next screen children should discuss the moral dilemma that faces Kate before deciding on her action. Should she tell her parents or should she keep her promise? There is conflict here between the two moralities - personal morality - Kate's promise to Robert, and social morality - theft is wrong.
Depending upon the children's choice of action the subsequent screens take the users through the consequences of Kate's decision.
By clicking on the different characters on the final screen children can read what these people think about Kate's decision.
The software is written as a branching story in which children have to make decisions at several points. This will provide opportunities for whole class discussion during a plenary session, as it is almost inevitable that several different routes through the story will have been taken. To maximise the potential of this discussion it may be worth asking one child in each group to make a simple record of their decisions.
The children will eventually be presented with a screen where the characters suggest a suitable punishment for Robert. You should point out to the children that Kate's Mum's and Mrs Cook's names have been swapped over and thus their responses have been reversed.