As we began our unit on “Sharing the Planet,” unfairness became the word of the week. This week students suffered through several sessions where they were treated unfairly. One group got to do anything they wanted in the classroom while the other two groups did some traditional work like they’ve never experienced. They spelled names of countries, guessed at capital cities, presidents and religions. They did math problems all orally and then they took dictation.
We said we would switch the groups, and everyone held out hope they would get in the fun group, but for 4 sessions, the groups stayed the same.
It led to a lot of expression, feelings and some deep conversations. Our goal was to get the students to think about inequality, injustice and unfairness. As we all found out, they didn’t usually feel that way. They are given choice and a lot of freedom generally. They live in a safe environment and come from good homes. They kept expecting to be treated fairly.
Listen to their reflections. Over the next weeks, we’ll be talking a lot about conflicts and how to do we move through them. We’ll talk about personal power and feeling confident in a world where things won’t always be fair.