Monthly Archives: September 2018

Equality in Education

Equality is a value that has a profound effect upon the opportunities each of us are granted in various aspects of life. Within education, equality has a significant impact on the ways in which children feel accepted and included in school and, as a result, has a major effect on each and every child’s learning and education. From recently participating in the first seminar of the course, I realised just how important equality is within education and the impact it has on the well-being of each child.

For the first part of the seminar, having been split into four groups of around six members, each group was handed an envelope, in which we were then instructed to use the materials inside to think of an object that would be useful for a first year student. The materials my group were given were various coloured sheets of paper, scissors, glue, paper-clips, pens and more. Having been given more than enough materials to choose from but only a limited amount of time, our group came to the decision to create a ‘Map Book’. When presenting our idea to the remaining groups, our seminar advisor, Paul Cowie, seemed intrigued and enthusiastic with our idea through his use of eye contact, body language and praise given at the end of our presentation. As a result of the positive feedback, our group were left feeling good about our idea.

In contrast, we noticed that some of the other groups were only given a limited amount of materials to use from when creating their ideas. Despite creating and presenting interesting and practical ideas from only a handful of resources, these groups were made to feel discouraged about their ideas from the negative feedback given from our advisor, as well as his lack of interest shown through little enthusiasm and engagement with their presentation. After presenting our ideas, we were then asked as a whole how our overall experience creating and presenting our ideas went. On the one hand, my group and one other found the experience to be positive as a result of the level of praise and enthusiasm we received. From the number of materials we were given, we also found creating an idea to be a relatively easy and straightforward task. On the other hand, when asked about their experience, the other two groups found the experience to be demoralising and discouraging as a result of the lack of interest and enthusiasm shown for their ideas throughout the exercise. Little did we know that the whole meaning of the exercise was to reflect on the wider issue of equality in the education system.

From this seminar, I learnt that it is important to recognise and acknowledge that all children come from a number of different backgrounds and that not all schools will necessarily have the funding for the variety of supplies more affluent schools may have. When treated differently from others, children begin to feel discouraged and disheartened or even frustrated and aggressive, resulting in their confidence and self-esteem to diminish. As a result, this leaves a negative effect on their overall mental well-being. Therefore, regardless of background and affluence, I believe that equality is a value that should be prevalent in the heart of teaching. If each child in a classroom of children is treated with equality, each child will be made to feel involved and included, rather than discouraged and isolated.


Why I chose to study Teaching

For many years, I have held a strong passion to pursue a career within the teaching field. Yet, it was from work experience that gave me my first real insight into the world of education and, for me, truly ignited my drive to become a future Primary school teacher.

During my time at Oaklands school, I learned how to educate and take care of the children, enabling each and every child to interact and feel involved in the activities within their classes. Furthermore, I was able to shadow the teachers and learning support staff on what was required to provide pupils with a safe and enjoyable environment that encourages their learning. Throughout this experience I was instantly captivated by the care and dedication the teachers put into their work. Additionally, as my brother was a pupil at Oaklands at the time, by working alongside him, I found the experience to also be very personal. Although the responsibilities given to me were often challenging and demanding, my time working at the school was very fulfilling and the experience overall was extremely rewarding. As a result of my thorough enjoyment of working at Oaklands, I was, and continued to be, keen on further advancing my work experience in the teaching field in order to become a future Primary school teacher.

In addition, during my spare time in 6th form I volunteered within the primary school, whereby I was given the opportunity to help out twice a week with various classes from younger year groups in both the classroom and in physical education. This experience was beneficial as it added to my experience of working with children in different learning environments. Moreover, the experience of being able to assist in the junior school granted me additional insight and understanding of the teaching world, as well as continuing to significantly enhance my passion to pursue teaching as a profession. Alongside this, my involvement in the school’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF), as well as having attended various CCF camps over the summer holidays, in which I was required to teach a number of younger cadets the basic principles of CCF, allowed me to obtain and use communicative, collaborative and leadership skills; some of the many qualities I feel are vital in the teaching profession.

For me, the Primary teacher is the first of many role models a child looks up to at a particularly influential stage of their life. Therefore, I believe that it is important for any and every Primary teacher to obtain and portray a variety of qualities, such as patience, communication, and understanding that, in my opinion, are vital for each and every child’s character development, let alone in the teaching profession as a whole. Furthermore, I strongly believe that, from obtaining these qualities myself throughout work experience, let alone within the everyday, overtime, my own character has developed for the better. As a result, my passion for pursuing primary teaching as a future profession has not only given me an insight into the world of education, but has also allowed me to obtain and develop various qualities that I can put to use in a classroom environment that will enable me to help shape the minds of the future generations.