Today we arrived in our new room for the day’s lecture and we were told to write our names down on placards so that we could begin to learn who our classmates are. We spent a few minutes having questions fired off at us from Tom, reflecting on what we had discussed during the first week. We were told if we didn’t know an answer that it wasn’t a problem, as by passing the question on to someone else we had engaged in a Dialogic practice that would be the foundation of this module. It’s clear from the off that the education we are learning to engage in here is a different beast entirely from what we have all seen before. It turns out I had spent 15 years in education of some type without realising it was fundamentally flawed. This seemed to lead on nicely to this weeks nugget of wisdom from Tom:
“What does Bob the builder say? ‘Can we fix it? Yes we can!’ It’s a great motto, don’t let the Tories hijack it, if Bob can, we can too”
Shortly after this we were split into groups of 10 and presented with a scenario in which there has been a nuclear war that decimated the planet. There are ten completely different survivors (such as a soldier with psychiatric issues, a gay scientist, atheist doctor, elderly woman…) and a bunker which is only able to sustain 3 people indefinitely.
Each of us had to take on a different role (I was a disabled man) and discuss who would get a place in the bunker and why. I believed that with such a small gene pool available, repopulating the planet would be futile and suggested we should choose based on who would make the most out of their remaining years, but I was outnumbered by those who saw it as their duty to proliferate the human race (democracy, pah!).
Each group in turn explained who they had saved and why, opening the class up to a series of discussions on the nature of common sense, utilitarianism, neo-kantianism, and what the core values are in relation to being human. It was surprising how many similarities there were on some choices, and how varied the differences were with others.
We ended the lecture by being put into groups of 3 for triadic reflection. We were given a series of negative statements about education, and while two people in the group discussed what they thought about them, the third person observed. It was then their role to add anything they felt could be expanded upon (or that maybe hadn’t been covered at all). We also had to draw a member of our group. After seeing the rest of the classes drawings I reckon they were probably meant to be a little more abstract, but I was pretty happy with this doodle of Zainab.
After that we all went off to meet some second year students who will be acting as peer mentors for us over the coming months. I didn’t have any burning questions or concerns, but it’s good to know that when the time comes I will have someone with personal experience to call on for advice.
This felt like an appropriate way to finish after what had been covered today, so cheers until next week.