You can try carrying out a simple experiment together in your school or college library or learning resource centre. Make sure you get permission to do the experiment.

We often feel uncomfortable if someone invades our ‘personal space’. This is the area immediately around us that we feel is ‘ours’, normally extending to about 1 or 2 feet. We like to keep this space to ourselves if possible, and usually respect the personal space of other people. (For example, if we board a bus, we usually sit in an empty seat rather than sitting next to another passenger – we may even ask if a seat is taken, as a way of ‘gaining permission’ to sit so close to someone else). This operates also in a library or other resource area.

  1. Try leaving a bag on an empty chair in a busy area, and see how long students avoid that seat.
  2. Look around a busy area and see if you can find examples of students ‘protecting’ their bit of desk, with papers, piles of books etc.
  3. In a less busy area, sit down too close to someone and see how they react.