For my first entry this week I have chosen to reflect on Team Diversity’s educative experience. I thought their ideas and activities tied together well and that the art project was a nice way to tie everything together. I appreciate how the first two activities (the card game and the privilege walk/game) were simple in their nature but were able to sustain more powerful and meaningful messages. After taking part in the first two activities I think the art project was a nice way to bring everyone back together as a cohesive unit, especially since the first two activities created a divide.
I feel like the first activity was a smart way to demonstrate the troubles some children face when it comes to finding their social space or a place where they fit in. I was a number 7 in the experience and eventually I found my group but it took a little bit of time. My strategy was to see where people were forming their groups and gauge where i belonged based on their reactions towards me. I didn’t even bother going near the high cards because the whole notion of being rejected wasn’t appealing to me. I know it was just a game but I didn’t feel like approaching them only to be turned away; none of them approached me anyways so I caught on quickly that I wasn’t part of their group. When it came to turning some of the lower cards away I felt pretty guilty, especially when they were people I know or have talked to. I didn’t like the idea of having to turn people away and I knew my actions were unkind. When I found my group I felt a sense of relief, phewf… people who will accept me! I think the whole blind aspect of the exercise really emphasized how others perceive you; not knowing where you belong and having other people decide for you is a difficult concept to stomach. This game certainly opened my eyes to some of the struggles children face. The idea of being rejected by your peers is never easy to come to terms with and I feel like this game brought some insight and understanding to some of the challenges children face trying to fit in.
The second activity also brought to light how our struggles, both external and internal, can set us apart. In the activity, I was a twelve year old girl with cerebral palsy and immediately i thought I would be at the back based on my visible disability. As each prompt was read i didn’t find myself to be moving much. I presumed I was caucasian (based on my name) and my card indicated I was cared for at home and at school. I was pleasantly surprised by where I ended up. Thinking back on the activity now, I remember where some of my other classmates were standing and that my character was in a better place than many of my classmates. This really made me consider some of the privileges and disadvantages that are not always so obvious. There are many things that set us apart from each other and at times we are not even aware of the challenges those around us face on a daily basis. This exercise reminded me how important it is to be kind and respectful of others; although we may not fully understand their situation we can be an ally and provide support and kindness. I think this idea is especially crucial for those of us who want to pursue a career in education. Our classrooms could be shaped in a similar way and we need to try and understand our students and support them to the best of our ability.
After the divide of the first two activities I think the art project was a great idea to bring everyone back together to reflect on what we all took part in and to celebrate our difference. I think team diversity delivered a thoughtful educative experience and I am glad I was able to take part.