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 blown apart 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, Lady Eleanor Hollis and Westminster UTC, training both adults and students in Flexible Thinking and Mindfulness-based stress reduction.


Testimonials

King Alfred school, Hampstead:

The talk was exactly what we always dream our lectures will be. Students loved the mix of reading from Oskar Dunkelblick, videos, discussions and the whole tone of the talk.
— Sheila Hanlon, Assistant Head of Sixth Form

St Paul’s school, Hammersmith:

Hattie’s sessions were highly informative and provocative. As well as emphasising the importance and skill of empathy, they invited the students to consider the nature of their beliefs and how they perceive the world, and they propelled the students towards reconsidering even their most deeply held views; something we should all take time to do!
— Philip Gayden, Head of Philosophy

St Marylebone school:

Hattie showed her deep understanding of the range of complex issues so many of our students have to deal with in their daily lives. Her enthusiasm and love of writing was infectious.
— Caroline Lasko, Head of Sixth Form Enrichment

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 homeless charity Refettorio Felix and the environmental educational charity Global Generation.