When I first came across and read the dialogue on the cartoon, I clearly associated it with a classroom and it made me think of the significance of Differentiated Instruction and how we need to focus on creating inclusive learning environments. Here are a few thoughts:
Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning framed within the context of their social, cultural matrix. If I have never climbed a tree, I will never need to, or even if I simply do not have the ability to do so, how can I do this without support and practice? What if I am afraid of heights, or if I am forbidden to climb trees? How am I expected to be engaged with this task if there is no point of reference for me? Why am I being asked to do something that I clearly just cannot do?
Fairness is not sameness. Students with unique learning needs (e.g., special education) or cultural backgrounds (e.g. ELL) require learning material and teaching strategies that match their needs: If I am a fish, how can climbing a tree be made into a meaningful exercise for me? I am not a monkey, so the most I can achieve is an average to below average mark, possibly even a failure. What is the point of trying?