Category Archives: 1.3 Trust & Respect

Resource allocation workshop reflection

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.

Values as embodied and culturally specific – my thoughts

Prior to watching the videos provided on MyDundee and attending Tuesdays lecture, my thoughts on the topics provided were;

Race – Skin colour, your origins that are similar to others

Ethnicity – your background, social group that you and others are alike in

Prejudice – a preconceived opinion on something or someone for no apparent reason

Discrimination – racist remarks, unfair and unjustified treatment of people who may look, sound or behave differently to you

The words above are ones I thought I knew well due to their frequent appearance in the news and current events, however after this weeks lecture I soon realised my understandings were not entirely accurate.

I learnt that racism is very much still apparent in every day life, on a greater scale than I previously knew.┬áDuring the lecture, we were taught about the origins of racism and the sociological perspectives. We explored key events in American history such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Jim Crow Laws and the murder case of the young boy Emmet Till. Each of these topics I have previously learned about during my Higher History course in high school. This certainly did not make them any easier to listen to, as the brutality and injustice faced by African American’s in the late 1800’s to 1970’s was ridiculously high.

We also explored cases of racism in the UK, something I was not aware was so drastic. For example, in the 1964 General Election a Conservative MP was elected with a campaign based on a racist slogan. As a result Malcolm X, a human rights activist and huge figurehead in America for black pride, visited the town of Smethwick at this time to offer support to the local community. To me, this suggests just how severe the racism and injustice truly was in the UK. Not only did this election and Malcolm’s appearance shock me but it showed that only 50 years ago racism was very much supported in our country. Fifty years is within my parents generation, this thus shows that we have come a long way in a short space of time but certainly does not mean there aren’t changes that could be made.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/15/britains-most-racist-election-smethwick-50-years-on

The article above discusses the 1964 election in depth.

In November of last year I had the amazing opportunity to visit the once Nazi occupied concentration camps named Auschwitz, this experience is something I will never forget and I believe links perfectly with week 3 in the Values module. I became so inspired after my trip and I feel I have been reminded to keep the memory alive now more than ever as it is essential to take the information I have learned and pass it on to others. This I hope to carry out in the future when I have my own class of pupils, to teach them to be inclusive and respectful of all types of people, no matter where they come from or what they look like. It is so important to discuss the terms mentioned above to ensure young people are aware that horrible things do happen outwith our control but in turn this will hopefully lead them to carry forward an open and accepting mind set.