During my first workshop with Lina on Tuesday we were spit into 4 groups. She handed each table a large envelope and we were instructed not to open them until we heard the instructions. We were told we had to come up with something that would help new students at the University of Dundee.
We then got 10 minutes to look at the items we had and come up with an idea. My table never noticed that other groups had any different materials as we were focussed on the task and were discussing what we could make.
We then all came back to listen to Lina who then instructed us to make our idea. Once created, we had to present our model. We had made a ‘Student Survival Gude’ as we had a few bits of paper that came in handy to make a booklet.
When all of the groups were presenting their models, I realised that each table had different materials but as each table was different, I thought it had been done on purpose and nobody else in the class had questioned it.
After each group had presented, Lina gave everyone a mark out of 10. It was here that we realised that the groups with the ‘better’ materials were gaining higher marks. In comparison to the other groups, I would say we were in the middle, we did not have the best materials but we certainly did not have the worst.
Lina then asked how these marks made us feel and there were a few comments made about how we could not complete the task to a high standard as we did not have the same equipment but each group did say that they all felt proud with what they had made as some groups did have the bare minimum and had done well considering.
Lina then explained to us why this task had been put in place. I think many of the people in our class were too polite and too nervous to say anything about the differences in materials however Lina explained that this was something she wanted to point out to us. If you believe something is wrong, speak up as it will never change if you don’t.
We then put this into a classroom environment and spoke as a class about being a teacher and having children in your class that are given a homework task of making a rocket at home. When this is due, some children may come in with a huge fancy replica and other may come in with something as simple as a toilet paper tube and some paper. However, we should not discriminate as each child has worked hard and it is not fair that some may have better resources than others.
To reflect, the praise that Lina gave the other group with the better materials, would make a child feel very unworthy if this was in a class and is not how a teacher should act at all.
In reference to the 4 areas of the GTCS SPR under section 1, it is important we have: social justice, to ensure everyone is treated the same and we follow the correct policies to make sure of this; integrity, by ‘critically examining personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice’ to make sure that if we don’t think something is correct, we speak up; trust and respect, to consider each person’s social and economic background and never judge them for this; and professional commitment; to adapt to all situations and work collaboratively with both within and out with the school community.