Our first seminar this semester consisted of us being split into five groups within the room, each group containing five or six students. Each group was given a large brown envelope and we were instructed to make a resource, only out of the things we were given, that would benefit a student starting at the University of Dundee. Whilst we were all given the same task each group was given a different amount of contents in the envelope.
My group were basically given the bare minimum, with one piece of white paper, two pens, a pencil, two paper clips, two post-it-notes and a small piece of blu-tack. We were pretty shocked to begin with as we looked around the room and almost every other groups table seemed alive with different coloured paper, pens, scissors, glue, sellotape and the list goes on! Despite this we decided to not let that get us down and just to make the best out of what we had been given, although it took us a while to actually think of something valuable we could create out of these limited resources.
Throughout the task, my group received very little attention from the group leader, and we found that we were being treated very unfairly. We created a “Uni Essentials Starter Pack” which was a small pouch which had our timetable and other bits and pieces that we thought would be useful to a student joining the university based on our own experiences. After we had made our resource each group was given a mark out of ten. These scored were very varied around the room, with our group being rewarded the lowest, very poor 1/10. Needless to say we were pretty disheartened by this as we couldn’t understand why we had been marked so low when we had made the best out of what we were given.
We were then asked how personally felt we were treated throughout the task, and we decided to be honest and explain that we felt we were not being treated equally by the group leader. We also put forward the opinion the it was unfair to mark all the groups out of 10 when we were not given the same resources to begin with. There was no way that we could’ve produced items of the same standard as other groups purely because we didn’t have enough resources. This then led us to think that it was extremely unfair to judge children in a classroom by what they have, in terms of money, education or any other social issues that may arise.
This seminar taught me a great lesson that I will most definitely take on throughout my careers a teacher. It made me more aware of the variety of children and their backgrounds that will walk into my classroom. It made me realise that it is my duty as a teacher to treat every student as equally and fairly as possible in the classroom and not have a prejudgement of any student or family as this can have a great impact on a childs education.