In the workshop hosted by Derek, we were divided into 5 groups. Each group was given an envelope of resources, which we were told we should use to create a product for a new student attending Dundee University. I myself was in group 1, our pack was full of materials such as coloured pens, pencils, paper, paper clips and other stationary items. My group then easily had a discussion and decided to make a ‘student starter pack’ containing the following items:
- A map of the Dalhousie building
- A personalised timetable
- A guide to DUSA (the Union)
- Tips and tricks to survive University
- A campus map
- Simple recipes designed for students
- A pencil cased packed with stationary
- An events guide
As we ourselves are new students, we believed these items would be extremely beneficial(especially the Dalhousie map as we still do not know our way around!) and to our delight, Derek was very encouraging and praised our group for our organisation, good team work and well planned ideas as we showed the fellow class members our product. We assumed each group would have similar ideas and as group 2 presented they received similar praise as they too had numerous stationary items and ideas in their product.
However, as the other 3 groups began to present, we noticed they had less items to us, making it increasingly difficult for them to come up with an idea. Each group made the most of what they had (some as little as 3 items) and still managed to create a great product and present well. Derek did not take to the groups as well as he did to ours, as he seemed to lose interest and while the last group were presenting he was even checking his phone.
As I was in the group with the most resources, our team as a whole never realised the lack of support and praise the other groups were receiving, when in reality they had a more difficult situation and still managed to make a product successfully. Eventually it became clear to us as Derek explained that this activity was used to highlight the inequalities in society.
This workshop I feel was very important as in joining the teaching profession, we need to understand and be aware that every pupil will come from a different background and have different needs. Additionally, each school will be different and may not have the same resources, similar to each group in our class. This suggests to us that we will need to adapt our teaching methods to ensure each pupil feels included and equal to ensure they reach their full potential.
Derek held the workshop very well and I feel it was very valuable, thus I am looking forward to attending the ones in the future to continue to develop my understandings of the course and further my knowledge of the Values module.