On Tuesday 20th September, I had my very first workshop of the Values module. I found this to be a very interesting and fun first workshop of my University career. It felt like I was going into the unknown, but everyone was in the same boat as no one knew what to expect.
We first got split into two groups and went to two different rooms. Once there we were placed at tables based on numbers from 1-4 which is a basic method which would most likely come in very handy in our profession of being a primary teacher. I myself was in group 3. We were told to introduce ourselves to everyone and get to know people. Each group was handed an envelope and were told whatever was in the envelope was all we could use to make something that could be given to a new student of Dundee University as a guide. This instantly made us excited to see the contents of the mystery envelope and made the task relatable straight away as we were all new students too. Our first reaction when opening the envelope was that of surprise of what we had or indeed the lack of what we had. All we had was pieces of paper, a pencil, a pen, a few paper clips, rubber bands and post-it notes. We all had the same thought which was, how are we going to make something useful with these materials. Having a quick look around we noticed that some other groups had a lot more than us. This made me think already that there was something about this task that didn’t meet the eye. While the groups were working, it was clear to see that the lecturer was full of enthusiasm for the ideas that groups 1 and 2 had and on the other hand didn’t seem to care much about the other two groups. As a group, we all noticed this and began to wonder what was going on and why the task had been made so unfair for us. Again, after everyone’s ideas were created, each group took it in turns to present. During each presentation, groups 1 and 2 were greeted with praise while my group were just told to sit down after we presented and the lecturer was sitting checking the clock and not even looking at the group talking when group 4 presented.
After all the presentations were over, we were all informed that the lecturer was told to act the way she was for a very good reason. It was all done to show us about inequality in society. I believe that the whole task was set out very cleverly and really did make me think that this does happen in real life. It gave me more knowledge and understanding of how people do live in society, ranging from the wealthiest more well off people (group 1) and the most deprived people (group 4). The materials we had were to represent how much some people have and how little others have. This was very evident during the task as group 4 would try and trade with other groups but soon realised that the things they were offering to trade were already on the table of the other groups so there was no point. This can be transferred to people that have so little that they try and steal just to make ends meet and put food on the table. It’s horrible to think but its true that some people haven’t got enough to survive when others have enough to last them a lifetime and longer. The society we live in is not a fair one when there are people in countries who have nothing, not even clean water, something that in this country we take far too much for granted and even thinking about that sickens me. This task was to broaden our understanding about not only this sort of inequality, but inequality in Education and the effects it can cause. Through my experience, I have seen that some children will simply not have as much as their class mates and it does make you stop and think what could be done to stop this horrendous issue. The answer of course is not simple by any stretch of the imagination and that is the harsh, sad but very, very real truth.
Overall this was done incredibly well and I feel like it will help me throughout this module.