Monthly Archives: September 2016

The ‘ugly’ doll

During our Values lecture this morning, we were discussing the ideas of racism. During the presentation, we were shown the history of racism towards African/American people from the 19th century up until the present day.

It was seen that racism was a big part of history and a story in particular we spoke about was Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered by two white people. During their trial, they were found to be not guilty, despite all of the evidence against them.

What really struck me about today’s lecture was the vast amount of racism still ongoing today, particularly in America. Although black people do have more freedom and rights now as opposed to the 20th century, racism is still a large issue.

We found out that over the past couple of years there have been a large number of incidents in which unarmed black people in America have been shot and killed by the police force. This really shocked me as, although it is shown on the news a lot, I did not expect the number of these cases to be so high.

At the end of the lecture, we were talking about how racism can be seen in our profession. I feel that with children in education, other people influence their views, for example, their parents, who may express racist views and opinions in front of their children. This means that the children  may pick up on these views and express them also.

When I arrived home, what really struck me was that I found a video that was shared on facebook called the ‘doll test’.


In the video, a group of black and white children were asked their opinions on the dolls in front of them. When asked ‘which doll is the ugly/bad doll’, almost all of the children chose the black doll. When asked why, they replied because it was black. On the other hand, when asked ‘which doll is the good/pretty doll’, again almost all chose the white doll.

What really struck me about this video is that the children who were darker skinned chose the darker skinned doll as the ugly doll. This gives the perception that they are lead to believe that their own skin colour is ‘ugly’ and that they are considered to be ‘bad’ because of their colour, and that their white peers are more ‘pretty’ and more favourable in society.

This really got me thinking and shocked and upset me quite a bit, as even young children are exposed to racism in today’s society, and proved to me that it is having an effect on not only adults, but children too.

Structural Inequalities

Last week marked the first full week of having modules, and I loved it!

One of my modules is called Values: Self, Society and the Professions. On the Tuesday afternoon, we had a workshop for this module. When we arrived in the workshop we were all sat in to four groups and each group was handed an envelope numbered 1,2,3 or 4.

Derek, our lecturer, told us that our task was, using the resources inside our envelope, to create something that would be useful to a student starting at Dundee university.

On my group opening up our envelope, we found:

A post it note

A rubber band

3 paper clips

A pencil

We were all pretty confused as to how we would manage to create something with such little resources. However, we continued on and managed to create something with the little amount of resources given. (We managed to create a pencil topper that was complete with a map of the campus on it). On doing the task, I looked around at the other groups and noticed how different each groups resources were.

Group 1 had loads of resources such as pens, paper, post it notes, scissors, sellotape to name a few. Group 2 had very similar resources but of a fewer number. Group 3 had even less than group 2 and then our group had the least.

What I also noticed was that Derek highly favoured group 1 whilst being very ignorant to our group and not helping us in any way, which made our group feel embarrassed, dissapointed and jealous.

In the end, the whole point of the exercise was to identify strucutural inequalities in communities. Derek was showing that people, generally higher class, get treated better and have better resources whereas people of a lower class do not have access to as many resources and often fall off the radar.

Upon reflecting on this workshop, I thought about how children in schools may be like this, where some children have a lot of support and money for resources whilst others struggle and do not get the amount of support they should. If I were a child who was of a lower social class and wasn’t getting the support I deserved, I would feel very isolated and would feel like I had less chance of succeeding than those who were better off.

Overall, I feel that the exercise was really useful in helping everyone identify that there are structural inequalities everywhere, whether it be in school, work or in everyday life. It is in our profession to try and overcome these structural inequalities and ensure everyone has equal chances in life and that all are able to succeed and do whatever they want to do, regardless of their personal lives and upbringings.

I would also like to apologise to Derek for all the dirty looks that Danielle and I were exchanging between the workshop about the way in which we were treated. At the end of the workshop, he actually told us that he had to leave the room to stop himself from laughing at our expressions.


Why teaching?

When I was in the process of applying for university in my last year of school, I was very much set on choosing Primary Education as the profession to follow. However, when I told people what I wanted to be they always asked the same question.




Whenever someone asked me this question, I always replied with ‘I just always have wanted to do it’. When thinking back to being a child, I always said that I wanted to be a teacher, yet I never really knew the real reason as to why I really wanted to be a teacher.

When I was writing my personal statement I had to write a section on why I chose education as my choice of career. Honestly, I struggled so hard with this, and spent weeks trying to figure out what I wanted to write. When I was doing this, I had second thoughts. Was teaching really the profession I wanted to follow or was I just choosing it because it was embedded in my head from being a child.

I can remember sitting in the library whilst trying to write my personal statement, still struggling with figuring out why I wanted to teach. As cheesy as this may sound, I stopped writing and looked around the library when I saw a quote on the wall.


On reading this quote, I suppose I could say a light bulb switched on in my head. I wanted to be able to make a change to children’s lives. I had a very good upbringing, and an excellent education, and I have realised that I have chosen teaching because I feel every child deserves a good education like me. Being a teacher means I can educate children, and help them to become well-rounded adults who can be whatever they want to be, regardless of background, race, religion or gender.

Also, I want to be a teacher because working with children is generally something I have always enjoyed doing. I love engaging with children and learning about how they learn and work, and being able to part of that is something that really interests me.

So, if anyone ever asks me now, ‘Why teaching’ I don’t say it’s because I have always wanted to, I can say that it is because I want to be able the change the world, even if it is just by teaching a child their ABC’s.