”Use the resources in the envelope to create a useful tool for a new student at the University of Dundee”.
The instruction sounded pretty straightforward, but after the task, I had an enhanced understanding of the variables that affect how easy it is to complete a given task.
Our group was split up into 5 smaller groups and each given an envelope. Our envelope was jam-packed with materials – our idea was to make a weekly planner with colour-coded timetable and small map of campus with reminders posted to keep our student on track. We could have made a few of these with our surplus supplies!
We were praised for our creativity, our organisation and presentation whilst being offered help throughout the task. Some of the other groups weren’t so lucky – they seemed to have less resources and did not receive the same attention, their projects were almost scoffed at for not being as colourful or detailed.
Needless to say, we felt a bit sheepish and shook our heads quietly when the tutor asked us if we noticed the other groups had less, had we thought about offering up our discarded items. It had been so easy for us to achieve the task because we had more than we needed.
We discussed how this links directly to inequality within a classroom and agreed that our role as future teachers is to endeavour to spread our time and attention throughout the whole class to develop each individual. We may not all stand on a level playing field but every individual deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential.