The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick - Proposal for Schools

About The Project

The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick is a Young Adult novel for teenagers of 14 years and above. It deals with themes of loneliness, alienation and bullying, and the development of self-awareness, self-love and compassion by viewing the world from different perspectives.

The title of the schools and colleges talk: “When we change the way we see things, the things we see will change” is inspired by the Nobel Prize–winning scientist Max Planck’s quote. It is suitable both for Assembly and/or interactive classroom sessions.

Assembly: Hattie will read two short extracts from her book, which deal with the bullying of teenage Oskar and how his very pessimistic worldview has been formed by his childhood experiences. She will then discuss the fact that Oskar, and indeed all of us, see the world according to our beliefs and expectations. To demonstrate this, she will show clips from the neuroscientist David Eagleman’s BBC4 series about the brain and perception, along with optical illusions to prove how we often do not see accurately. The final part of this 30-minute Assembly talk will include a third extract from her book, showing how Oskar’s bleak worldview is shattered when he tries on a pair of very unusual lenses, which erase - momentarily - all his limiting beliefs. For the first time in his life he sees the bigger picture - a world full of beauty, kindness and compassion.

With Hattie for part of the Assembly talk will be Marie-Louise Morris, an accredited teacher of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme, and former Head of Education for the children’s charity Childnet International. She will be leading the 50-minute interactive classroom sessions, where she will expand on Hattie’s talk with exercises to help students become aware of their own often limiting beliefs and judgements about themselves and the world, and how these affect their everyday experience. Using further interactive exercises she will demonstrate how, by questioning our beliefs and expectations, we can change the way we see the world.

Marie-Louise currently works in several London schools including St Paul’s and Lady Eleanor Hollis, training both adults and students in Flexible Thinking and Mindfulness-based stress reduction.

For those wanting a more scientific approach, I will be joined by Rod Sugden, a full-time science teacher for 17 years in state and independent schools, who now works with young people through the educational charity Global Generation. He will talk about perception and our innate interconnection with the world around us.

About The Author - Hattie Holden Edmonds

After doing a B.A in German at Exeter university and living in Berlin, Hattie returned to London to work for ten years as the UK correspondent to the German teenage magazine Bravo. Here she interviewed musicians, film and pop stars, as well as editing the environmental pages. Next she became the in-house writer at Comic Relief, working on comedy projects with amongst others, Richard Curtis, Dawn French, Steve Coogan and Sacha Baron Cohen. She also covered more serious issues, including child carers, Rwandan widows and Sierra Leonean child soldiers. Now she writes full time while volunteering for the refugee charity Care4Calais, and the environmental educational charity Global Generation.