Critical reflection of perspectives

Critical reflection of perspectives.




To what degree do you feel that children and young people are usually treated fairly by teachers and other professionals? (Fairness)


This topic seeks to explain the differences in opinions from 10 people who were interviewed to know their opinion about how they felt about fair treatment children and young people by teachers and other professionals. The participants were students taking different programs as well other professionals such as producers and engineers. Among the interviewees were; Pariss Docherty a student studying politics at a university, Jinal Shah a student at Canterbury, Christian Church University studying Events Management, Americo Congo who is on a gap year and is expected to join university in a year’s time to study law and Claudio Simao a student studying Graphic advertisement in one of the Universities.

The principal behind all this discussion will be on what they viewed as fair treatment by their teachers. Several aspects came out as what was viewed as fair treatment. Some of the participants were of the view that fair treatment involved being given same opportunities in class as other students. Cladio Simao said that her and other students fairly. A teacher, who offers all students equal opportunities to participate in class work without any form of discrimination, is therefore viewed as being fair. It is also important that the students also make attempts in answering questions during class work. A student, who makes an attempt of participating in class work, has a better opportunity of being given more academic assistance by the teacher. However in my opinion, not all teachers offer students fair participation opportunity in class. Some teachers only work with bright student and fast learners and do not create time for the slow learners. The students therefore feel unfairly treated and develop negative attitude towards the teacher and the subject. In my time as a student, I came across several teachers who never gave all students fair and equal opportunities. One was a mathematics teacher who had a group of bright boys who were the only students allowed to consult him or even teach students in his absence. Majority of students therefore felt isolated and this could be seen from the results after every assessment test was done. Those students who had performed poorly never improved and there poor performance even worsened.

Some of the participants on the other hand were objective stating that there are good and bad teachers stating that to some teachers it does not matter whether a student works hard or not but treat all equally. Some teachers are however viewed as being very much as favoring high achieving students. These teachers don’t even punish the high achieving students when they do any kin d of mistake in schools. Some teachers on the other hand never care about these high achieving students. To them, the students are capable of taking care of themselves and should always be left to do their activities without being directed or questioned. Some teachers are also seen to be harsh towards poor performing students and in fact they thoroughly punish these students as opposed to bright students in any case they are both involved in an in disciplined case. This is an unfair treatment that must be mentioned. Everyone can agree by this argument because many students have complained on teachers being unfair in terms of how they mate punishments to students (Cederblom et al, 2006).

Another objective argument that one would agree with is that judging on whether a teacher treats a student fairly or not depends on where a student comes from. The background of any student is very important as it brings out the kind of values any student has. This is because, coming from different places and backgrounds means that they have different lifestyles and thus view fair and unfair treatments differently. This is the same case when being treated with other professionals. For example, the police are known to treat people depending on where they come from. For example, police are seen to treat people from poor background harshly and unfairly as opposed to how they treat people from rich backgrounds. In fact these people from rich background may find their way out of police custody easily as compared to the poor fellows who cannot bribe themselves out of police custody. Another matter that arises is the kind of school that is in question. Different schools have different norms and regulations on how they treat students. One can agree with the participants who were of the view that high performing schools treat students differently from the poor performing schools (Damer, 2005).

Some participants were of the view that some teachers in certain schools only develop good relationship with foreign or joining students who may be poor in performance. This may be one of the strategies that the teachers use to ensure that such students catch up with their fellows but the moment they have established themselves, they are always never cared for by their teachers. The issues of neglect have also been seen in the health profession. Medical practitioners have been seen to be unfair to majority of the patients. Doctors treat rich people more fairly as opposed to poor citizens. This has even been reported on increased cases of neglect of patients by doctors, especially expectant women who end up losing their young ones and even their own life. Some participants on the other hand were against the idea of teachers dealing with students on the basis of their performance. They argued that it is no student’s fault to either be a mediocre or a good performer and should all be treated fairly. These participants complained that some students were treated fairly only because their teachers knew their names. It has been noted that only students who are know by teachers by names are listened to. These are the only students who are given opportunity to participate in class work. This therefore means that the moment a student is known to the teacher, he or she might not be listened to. Being treated fairly or unfairly must not depend on one’s performance (Hamby, 2007).

One would also support the steps taken by some teachers in treating and handling students. The teachers may in one way or another act unfairly to one group of students in order to offer support another group of students. Some participants were of the opinion that the unfair treatment was both good and bad. In their argument, they said that by improving their relationship with student who is in disciplined or hell-bent on causing problems in school can help improve his or her relationship with students and also improve his behavior. Some participants complained that they were greatly demoralized by their teachers since despite the fact that they were obedient and well behaved; the teachers only made jokes to those they considered misbehaving students. Treating misbehaving students fairly as compared to the disciple students could cause bad influence to other students as they would also start misbehaving in order to seek their teachers’ attention (Fisher et al, 1997).

One would also agree with one of the participants who said some of the treatments offered by teachers were due to the fact that the teachers also have parental sense and he would also do the same. This is because, noticing troubled student is quite easy and therefore teachers tried to be closer to them in order to help and here from them.

The participants also shared their opinion on the kind of criteria that the teachers in their various schools used to choose students who would represent the school in any academic contest event. Some schools and teachers tend to choose only top achievers to represent their school. The top achievers are treated special and always taken to different trips as a way of appreciating their good academic efforts. The poor performing students were never taken care of and in case they were considered, their teachers set minimal grade targets for them to meet. This had a negative impact since concentrating only on top achievers could not improve the overall performance of the school. This kind of unfair treatment by teachers is common in majority of schools. Their stands no logic why teachers should only choose high performing students to be the only ones representing their school in any academic event. There is a need to also allow the poor performing students to also be part of the group as this would in one way or another motivate them to work extra harder and even improve their grades. Exposure should be to all and not the chosen few as the case in many of our schools (Van den Brink-Budgen, 2010).

Unfair treatment by teachers has also been attributed to the fact that most teachers nowadays lack patients with their students. The teachers only seem to value and show concern to students who are close to them, those who are willing to learn, who follow their instructions and whatever they ask the students to do and above all those students who respect them and the school rules and regulations. Teachers have no room for unruly students and they in fact send such students out of classrooms and they end up not learning anything. This has great negative impact on such students since they will not be able to find guidance from any person and therefore their unruly behavior just worsens. Such students end up dropping out of school due to lack of morale from both fellow students and even teachers. The feeling of isolation drives them out of school and could continue to be unruly for the rest of their life. It is very discouraging to any student when he or she is rated or viewed as a failure by his or her teacher. Teachers have shown a great level of unfairness to such students as they always expect them to get poor grades and have no room for improvement whatsoever.

Some participants also argued that teachers decide to either have a good relationship with his or her students or give different students different opportunities due to one reason or another. This may be because the teachers are able to understand the different needs of their student. Some students need to be close to their teachers in order to feel part of the class while others only need to be motivated through gifts and thus be able to work hard in school.

The views expressed by some of the participants were that unfair treatment by teachers has been due to the fact that teachers are greatly overburdened with a lot of school work and therefore do not have time to go any extra mile and build relationships with their students. The teachers have many lesions to teach in different classes and they end up exhausted by the end of the day. These teachers also have families to take care of where they also face different challenges. The teachers therefore tend to focus only in teaching the students but do not care if they have any other needs (Whyte, 2003).

Major areas where teachers have treated students unfairly are; punishment and suspension of students. Punishments mated out to students who have in one or another misbehaves are always carried out without giving the students any opportunity to defend him or herself. Most school administrators do not give their students any opportunity to explain why they have engaged in such in disciplined acts. The students end up being punished or even suspended without defending themselves. In some instances, the kind of punishments mated out to such students may be serious as compared to the kind of mistake committed. For example, being suspended for a minor offence that warrants a punishment within the school or even being suspended for a long period of time. The student also face lots of problems since they are never shown any form of evidence linking them to the said crime committed. Such instances also common with the police who take advantage of citizens who may be illiterate or ignorant of laws of a particular country and thus press charges against them. Some civilians also naturally fear the law enforcers who may also take advantage of them and arrest and charge them for crimes not committed (Whyte, 2003).

There is also a debate that one would agree with on the circumstances under which a student can be suspended. Some teachers even punish their students for activities done outside the school. Some are of the view that teachers who punish students for engaging in activities such as smoking and drinking outside the school act against the law and are unfair to such students. In my opinion, this is not an unfair act as the teachers have the responsibility of shaping their students’ life in and outside the school. In my own view, fair treatment of students is a debatable matter as different aspects need to be considered. A school or classroom set up is composed of many student from different backgrounds and therefore there is a need for every teacher to be objective in how he or treats each and every student. Student treatment involves how they are treated by their teachers in class during studies or even when leashing out punishments to students who are in disciplined. Different professionals act differently with different people and thus there is need for an understanding by everyone. All the professionals should act in accordance with the set professional code of conduct and professional ethics.


Cederblom, J., & Paulsen, D.W. (2006) Critical Reasoning: Understanding and criticizing arguments and theories, Belmont, CA: ThomsonWadsworth.

Damer, T. (2005) Attacking Faulty Reasoning, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Reasoning, WadsworthDauer: Francis Watanabe

Fisher, A. &Scriven, M. (1997) Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment, Edgepress (US).

Hamby, B.W. (2007) The Philosophy of Anything: Critical Thinking in Context. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company: Dubuque Iowa.

Van den Brink-Budgen, R. (2010) ‘Critical Thinking for Students’, How to Books.

Whyte, J. (2003) Bad Thoughts – A Guide to Clear Thinking, Corvo.