This week I took part in a seminar where we were separated into groups to create an item which would benefit 1st-year University students. We opened an envelope, provided to us, which revealed a few miscellaneous items. We were taken back by this but continued on to develop an idea. However, after describing this to our lecturer she was not thrilled at the idea. At this point, we looked around the room to discover other groups were given more materials and were being praised. We then presented a last-minute new idea to the class, which was rated lowly by the lecturer. I felt disheartened at this point that I didn’t connect well with my lecturer, that I wasn’t creative or smart enough with my idea and didn’t display the correct presentation skills.
It was then announced this was a lesson from the lecturer to reflect on how inequality can exist in the classroom. I have been in a lucky position in my education to have had lots of resources, activities, and support for my learning. However, in this seminar I thought ‘this isn’t fair’ ‘I can’t do as good as them without the same stuff’. This, in turn, brought structural inequalities to reality. I, therefore, have the responsibility to be ever-aware and respectful of the different levels of inequality I could be involved in teaching. As a teacher, I should create a classroom which is built on;
- social justice
This should ensure that each and every child can attain well and meet their personal and general development targets, in line with Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). This seminar made me reflect on how children should not be taught equally but with equity. Within this, a teacher must discover the needs and wants of each and every child and tailor the child’s learning to the best of their ability. Instead of how I was treated in the lesson of this seminar I would lesson plan to be level and individual appropriate, I would provide each group with a fair amount of resources, I would provide praise to each group with positive and constructive advice and I would provide each group with a reasonable score on their work.