Searching for China

Creating a Group Report


Your journey of a thousand miles began with one step: exploring the issues affecting the U.S. and China. The next step was to become an expert on one of these key issues and to prepare a Full Report to your team. Now you've almost reached your destination: an informed and thoughtful plan of action to guide U.S. policy toward China.

As your team embarks on this final stretch of the journey it's important to remember that there are no single right answers to our Quest(ion). Your goal should be to see if your team can add understanding and insight to the East-West discussion.

A few things to keep in mind as your team gets into what is often called "problem solving:"


For your team's Group Report to be really effective, it must balance as many of the perspectives as possible while still being practical or "do-able." To help your problem-solving, a "Solution Space" graphic and a step-by-step process has been provided. Successful answers to the Quest(ion) will use all that has been learned in order to make their plan as acceptable as possible to all concerned.

Begin by typing in your names and roles
as you want them to appear in your Group Report:

Team Name:

think of a name your group can be proud of
Team Member Name(s): Team Member's Roles:
Click the check out of the checkbox for any extra rows you don't need

Use the following steps to develop your team's Group Report:

Sharing Expertise

The first step is to find out what has been learned. The quickest and most useful way to do this is to have all group members share the Action Plans from their Full Reports. Go around your group and let everyone read his or her Action Plan. As teammates listen, they should make notes about where their plans agree and disagree with the plans offered.

Once team members have all shared their Action Plans, you'll go through the process again. This time, however, you can ask each other questions to make sure you all understand the Action Plans, the reasoning behind them and the examples that should support them. As you all gain a deeper understanding of each others' opinions, begin thinking about which plans could fit with yours and which would be in conflict with your plan. Don't argue for which is the best plan; use this time to get a clear understanding of each others' main points and the reasons behind each perspective. Remember, you're not trying to be Right, but Reasonable.

Before moving into the next phase it will be helpful to for you to revise your own Action Plan based upon what you've learned form your partners. You might choose to keep your plan as it is, but you may have gained insights from your teammates that would make your Action Plan more acceptable to the others without losing your main objective. If can can revise your Plan to take in other perspectives, this will make the next phase easier and your Group Plan more effective.

Choosing What's Most Important

Your Search for China has been guided by this Quest(ion):

What actions should the U.S. take in its policy towards China?

After listening to your teammates, you may have discovered that finding one answer to this question isn't so easy. Before you all get caught up in the details and deal-making needed to reach a compromise, let's step back to make sure we don't lose sight of what you all think is most important. You should do this so you don't come up with a Group Report that reaches a compromise, but doesn't achieve any of the goals you really value.

The following steps will guide you towards the kind of decision-making used by the most effective organizations, companies, and people. This is decision-making that's based upon a guiding vision of what you hope to achieve. In this way you're working toward long-term goals, not just quick answers that may not even take you where you really want to go.

  1. Look at the graphic and recognize that in the center is your Quest(ion), but surrounding it are the values and goals that should be part of the vision you hope to achieve through your Group Report.

Hexagon of Values

  1. As a group, choose the three main goals you value. This will be a challenge because many of you will want to choose the goal that most clearly relates to the role you took. Recall all of your teammates' Action Plans and try to separate yourself from any emotional connection to your role. Step back and think about the most important goals the U.S. and China need to achieve together. Discuss this selection using reasons and examples from the Full Reports to persuade each what should be your three main goals in creating the Action Plan for yor Group Report. Type in the three goals your team chose as important:

Understanding Implications

Implications are things "entangled," "entwined," or "involved" with a decision. When you decide that certain goals are important, this holds implications. The six main goals have been arranged around a hexagon to help you see what some of these implications might be. If you look at one of the goals your team chose, the goal on the opposite side of the hexagon suggests possible implications. Basically, to achieve one goal, you might have to sacrifice the goal opposite in the hexagon, sort of like a tug of war. Look through the paired sets below to see if these tensions might impact the three goals your group chose as most important.

World Peace & Fairness to All Humans

Peace could be achieved by having one government ruling the world and all the people going along with whatever they were told. Probably a huge army would be used to keep the people in line. In this way peace is maintained, but what's lost are the rights to speak out freely, to disagree, to not be punished unfairly, etc. People call this Totalitarianism. Conversely, if everyone could do whatever he or she wished, the world would be a very dangerous place. People call this Anarchy.

Economic Growth & A Healthy Planet

At different times and in different places throughout history, natural resources have been used to promote economic gain. Slavery, whaling, mining, industrialization, and oil drilling are examples of practices that created an economic boom for at least some people that can at the expense of the planet's resources. Conversely, if no natural resources were used, humans would all live in a primitive state and people wouldn't live nearly as long as they do now.

Preserving Cultural Treasures & Spiritual Understanding

Although museum curators today recognize that cultural treasures should stay with the people who created them, preserving items for future generations might suggest that it's better to remove items that might decay or get damaged if left in their original settings. Also, throughout the generations and across cultures, people who were overly eager to preserve cultural treasures have destroyed burial grounds and temples, brought deadly disease to native peoples, and raided museums in times of war. On the opposite side, spiritual leaders would probably be more interested in serving with compassion, not gathering up earthly treasures.

Obviously, the world isn't as simple as this hexagon, but it might help you see that doing what supports one important goal sometimes works against another.

What impact might pursuing have on other goals?

What impact might pursuing have on other goals?

What impact might pursuing have on other goals?

Planning for Success

For a plan to succeed, it must be viewed as good for everyone involved. If you don't consider the Chinese government's goals, it's silly to think your plan will be successful. Based on what you learned in preparing your own Full Report, you may already have a pretty clear idea what goals the People's Republic of China has. If you don't, explore the Website for the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. Then list what you think are the three main goals held by the Chinese government.

Complete the following sentence three times:

The Chinese government wants to ...

Getting Down to Action

You've made it! This is what you've all been working toward. It's finally time to present your team's Three Point Action Plan. Use what you've learned in identifying goals, exploring implications, considering the objectives of the Chinese government, and creating your own Full Report as a member of this team. The best suggestion is to look again at the Action Plans each of you wrote and see if any match the group's shared goals. Also, remember not to ignore what you've learned about implications and the Chinese government's goals.

If you have to start from scratch and write all new Action Plans, remember that they are statements of what you think should be done to achieve each of your group's three most important goals. Once you're ready to put your goals into specific actions of what should be done, go ahead and type three separate Action Plans (one for each of the three goals your group chose as most important).

Action Plan #1

If we want to promote , then

Action Plan #2

If we want to promote , then

Action Plan #3

If we want to promote , then

Predicting the Future

To make your Group Report complete, you can put together all you've learned by making a prediction about what will happen if your Three Point Action Plan is put into effect. Think about the response of such things as the Chinese government, the economy, international relations, the living conditions for Chinese citizens, the culture, etc. The more specific you can be and the clearer your reasons in support, the more convincing you will be to your classmates and the World Wide Web community.

What do you predict would happen if
your Action Plans were put into effect?

Once you have completed all the work on this page, click "Create Our Group Report." A window will pop open with your customized report. Come back to the page you're on right now as often as you like to adjust your answers and Action Plans. Clicking on the "Create Our Group Report" button again will change your Group Report Webpage. You can use a Rubric to see how your work might be evaluated. Copy/paste or print out your Group Report to use as you test out your Action Plans with real people from the World Wide Web community.

Now You're Ready!

Return to "Searching for China"

Last revised February, 2005
Created by Tom March, tom at ozline dot com
Applications Design Team/Wired Learning