An Eye-Opening First Task

Resource Allocation Task – 19/09/2017

Last Tuesday’s task was an eye-opening learning experience for all students on the course. When we walked into the classroom, we were split into 5 different groups. Each group received an envelope from our lecturer and were told not to open them yet. We were given roughly 5 minutes for the first part of the task which was to come up with a useful tool that could be used for future first year students and then to present the idea to the other groups. Our group, Group 2, decided to create a personal timetable as we thought this would be a useful tool to have as we find it hard to access and understand our timetable. The lecturer supervising the task offered our group a lot of help and continuously asked how we were getting on, which helped make our idea better as we received a lot of support. After the 5 minutes, each group presented their idea to the class. Group 1 and 2 received positive comments from the lecturer, where Group 3, 4 & 5 ideas didn’t seem to impress the lecturer as much. Not much thought was given at this point about the lecturer’s behaviour towards each group, little did we know that this was a key part of the task.

The second part of the task was to open our envelope and use the materials inside to create our idea. Inside our envelope there was:

  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors
  • Sticky notes
  • Coloured pens
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Sellotape

We had a lot of resources to work with to create our personalised timetable. We created the timetable however we only used a couple of the resources that we were provided with. After we completed this part of the task, yet again we had to present our idea to the class. Group 1 & 2 received a lot of praise from the lecturer. Our group knew our idea wasn’t very good however the lecturer told us our idea was well thought out. When Groups 3, 4 & 5 presented their ideas the lecturers mood and behaviour changed drastically. She didn’t give them any praise and instead she was making horrible comments about their ideas and telling them they clearly hadn’t worked hard enough. At this point our group realised that Groups 3, 4 & 5 had very little resources to work with and it was evident that they had tried extremely hard to make best with what they were given. However, the lecturer was still acting really cold towards the group and told them that having less wasn’t a good enough excuse and she compared their efforts against group 1 & 2’s.  At this point our group realised that the lecturer was purposefully acting horribly towards Group 3, 4 & 5 to highlight the oppression that those who have less face in this world.

At the end of the task, the lecturer revealed what the purpose of the task was and why she was behaving differently towards each group. She explained that in our future professions we will meet different types of children who all have different backgrounds. She asked if we had noticed her different behaviour towards each group, which we all said we had started to notice nearer the end of the task. She then explained that she was giving much more help and support to Group’s 1 & 2 and was giving little help to Group 3 and basically ignored Groups 4 & 5. The lecturer explained that her help and support should have been directed more towards the groups that had very little as they needed guidance and support to allow them to create a great idea, instead of all her energy being focused on the groups that clearly didn’t need it. That was then related to how that can be reflected in the classroom and how every child should receive support and those who come from worse backgrounds will tend to need more. Groups 1 and 2 were asked if we even noticed the struggles that the other 3 groups were facing due to less resources throughout the task. Both Group 1 and 2 said that they only really noticed their lack of materials and struggles when they were presenting their ideas to the class. The lecturer then highlighted the fact that those who are in a better position often overlook those who aren’t.

This led into an open class discussion where we talked about how every child should receive the correct amount of support from their teacher and that all pupils should be given the same amount of respect and kindness. We also highlighted that different children will have varied learning experiences due to coming from contrasting backgrounds and how they should all be given the same respect and rights. Overall, this task was an eye-opening experience that conveyed how important it is to ensure every teacher supports and respects all their pupils.