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On the cover Feature School – Murdoch College students embrace their individual cultures on Multi-Cultural Day, an event firmly embedded into the school’s calendar. On this special day, students dress in national costume and prepare foods representing the diverse nations of the student population.
20 WHAT’S ‘APPENING’ WITH NATHAN WOOD?
CONTRIBUTORS DIRECTOR’S NOTES
SCHOOLS FEATURED 6
Principal Mark Antulov explains to SCRIBE how cultural difference at the College is celebrated and highly respected....
10 HUNTINGDALE PRIMARY SCHOOL Principal Edd Black shares how his Primary students are soaring to new heights with an innovative reading program.
22 EXPATRIATE EDUCATORS TEACHING IN A BANGLADESHI SCHOOL Husband and wife, teachers and intrepid adventurers, Vic and Christine Gecas, share their overseas experiences.
24 A MARKETING CHALLENGE FOR SCHOOLS Karen Reid explores the required shift in attitudes towards Marketing in Education and the challenges faced today.
12 CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE
28 HAVING FUN AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Principal Caroline Payne’s goal is to provide high quality educational experiences in an inspiring coeducational community.
Be inspired by Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA (ERCKWA) where young adults are enabled to support children’s growth in selfworth, confidence and trust by becoming role models, friends and leaders for children.
14 SPEARWOOD ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL Parent and former science teacher, Louise Corteen, proves that sometimes the simplest things in life are quite often the best for our young children.
16 MERCY COLLEGE Community Newspaper reporter Louise Bettison talks about an innovative program between Curtin University and Mercy College in helping young refugees cope with the lasting effects of torture and trauma.
18 GILMORE COLLEGE Associate Principal Kerry Bowden reflects on a unique international school tour for her students to Cambodia in 2009 and 2010.
An enquiring mind, a natural aptitude for ICT and a creative spirit make things ‘appen for Kolbe Catholic College student, Nathan Wood. This young man is doing some amazing things with technology.
32 WHERE IS THE SOUL IN EDUCATION? Parenting and Resilience Specialist, Maggie Dent, talks to SCRIBE on ensuring pathways to the ‘soul’ in education that help students realise their true and full potential.
36 THE INSECURITIES OF AN ‘AWSOME’ TEACHER Leith Daniel reflects back on his first year of teaching and presents a tongue-in-cheek look at this time in his life.
38 ICT CONSCIOUS CULTURES ICT educator, Trevor Galbraith, talks about how his personal challenge in schools has been to assist teachers with the challenging process of coping with the ‘digital revolution’.
42 TOMORROW’S TEACHERS TRAILBLAZING!
64 SCHOOL OF HOPE
Tomorrow’s teachers benefit from Curtin University’s Professional Practice Pilot - Karen Reid takes a look at how Corpus Christi College, Bateman, helped implement this experientially-based approach to teacher training.
Joseph Oloo is a selfless visionary and a missionary living and working in the small remote village of Mukuro , the South Nyanza province of Kenya, Africa. He shares with SCRIBE his vision of educating poverty-stricken children in his village.
45 IS YOUR SCHOOL MAKING AN IMPACT?
67 KNOW YOUR LEADERS!
Cam Allen discusses the importance of Impact Imagery and the need for quality photography in Schools.
Manic monarchs, pondering presidents and fair-weather pharaohs... Enjoy this humorous, over-exaggerated cast of leadership characters from The Masked Educator. Which role can you see yourself playing?
48 NAB SCHOOLS FIRST AWARDS
NAB Schools First is proud to launch a new and exciting Student Award in 2011. Open to all Australian students, applications for the Student Award open Monday 9 May and close Friday 27 May.
70 TRUSTING CHILDREN WANT TO LEARN How can a Montessori education help your child?
50 SIMONE HENG - EURASIAN STARLET Simone Heng is a Singapore-born Australian TV and radio presenter based in Dubai. She shares with SCRIBE some of her WA High School experiences and how it has shaped her into the person she is today.
54 FAILURE-BASED LEARNING Dr Jason Fox is an academic rogue with a knack for making clever happen. He’s a multi-award winning international keynote speaker, the founder of EnjoyExams.com and the author of Master Exams.
56 FIRST YEAR OUT - WHAT TO EXPECT AS A NEW TEACHER IN 2011
FOR YOU 72 TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHERS SCRIBE Gadget Guru, Brad Tyrrell, explores and rates a variety of technology solutions to enhance the teaching and learning experience...
75 PARENT FORUM A Forum for parents in Western Australia, have your say and let us know what you are thinking.
SCRIBE asks four new WA teachers some important questions about their first year in the classroom and as training teachers.
60 ICEA FOUNDATION Lockie Cooke, former Christ Church Grammar student and founder of ICEA, is an inspirational young man with a passion for helping resource indigenous community schools while bridging the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous communities.
SubSCRIBE NOW! Details on Page 26 5
PUBLISHER Solace Design CONTRIBUTING WRITERS - LAUNCH ISSUE Karen Reid, Cam Allen, Trevor Galbraith, Maggie Dent, Mark Antulov, Edd Black, Caroline Payne, Louise Corteen, Louise Bettison, Kerry Bowden, Vic Gecas, Leith Daniel, Simone Heng, Dr Jason Fox, ‘The Masked Educator’, Rebecca Liddington, Brad Tyrrell. GRAPHIC DESIGN Solace Design CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHY Solace Design, All Sports Photography, Bruce Hunt (Community Newspaper Group), Vic Gecas, Marius @ Darrin James Photography, Apple Australia ILLUSTRATION Stephen Smythe SALES & MARKETING Cam Allen - 0402 234 280 www.scribemagazine.com.au Scribe Magazine is proudly published by Solace Design. ABN 73 463 974 859 SCRIBE MAGAZINE PO BOX 3072 Myaree LPO WA 6154 Tel: Fax: Email: Web:
08 9433 5493 08 9264 8230 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scribemagazine.com.au
Printed by Daniels Printing Craftsmen Distribution is to registered Primary and Secondary Schools in Western Australia, Australian Educational Suppliers & Service Providers and Tertiary Institutions of Australia. Every endeavour is made to ensure that the contents of this magazine are correct at the time of print. The publisher does not necessarily endorse the opinions expressed by contributing writers.
INSPIRE, CONNECT, CELEBRATE…
hree words that have been the backbone to SCRIBE and its evolution.
We are very proud to introduce you to a home-grown WA education publication which presents a variety of topical information and ‘real stories’ to inspire you. SCRIBE Magazine is a bi-annual magazine aimed at WA Primary and Secondary schools and educators, parents and students, educational suppliers and supporters and tertiary institutions around the country. We challenge you as a WA educator to ‘speak up’ and share your thoughts and feelings about Education in general. We will introduce you to a variety of public and private schools around the state who are doing amazing things and showcasing ‘Innovation in Education!’ SCRIBE is about connecting schools, sharing and collaborating ideas, and providing opportunities for schools to promote themselves throughout WA and the rest of the world! The ‘Launch Issue’ has been designed to give you a taste of what we love about WA Education, showcasing some of the amazing suppliers and sponsors who support our schools and hearing from passionate educators who are absolute masters in their fields. In this issue, we focus on Multi-cultural Education, within our own schools and abroad. Murdoch College is our feature school in this issue and leads the way by encouraging and celebrating cultural diversity. We also explore ‘Technology in Schools’, and how a large proportion of classrooms in WA are now fully functioning ‘digital environments’. This is a hot topic of debate amongst educators, and there are some varying opinions on what impact it is having in the classroom. WA schools have always assisted in a variety of fundraising and service initiatives. SCRIBE will connect you with inspiring individuals and groups who are facing far greater challenges than we could possibly imagine. As a parent we offer you a ‘Forum Section’, where you can voice your concerns, share your joys and ask questions about education and schools in WA. You can jump on the website and make contact with us, all submissions will be reviewed and considered for publishing.
Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Images and written material submitted for SCRIBE Magazine are sent at the owner’s risk, and while every care is taken, Solace Design will not accept any liability for lost, stolen, damaged or misused material.
Teachers and Parents - Subscribe to SCRIBE individually or bulk order for your school. SCRIBE is a wonderful medium to reach your target audience and learn about other schools. Subscription details are available on Page 26!
The publisher reserves the right to modify editorial and advertisement content.
It is time to celebrate WA Education and bring all WA schools together. This is YOUR magazine and we welcome you on this exciting journey. Cam Allen - Director
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Murdoch College students L-R Yan Xing (Kelsey), Su Zhimeng (Ashley), Soon Rui Qi and Darsharna Menon adorn their traditional national costumes during Multi-Cultural Day festivities early in the year.
Multi-Cultural MURDOCH COLLEGE IS A UNIQUE MULTI-CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT - PRINCIPAL MARK ANTULOV EXPLAINS TO SCRIBE HOW CULTURAL DIFFERENCE AT THE COLLEGE IS CELEBRATED AND HIGHLY RESPECTED....
cceptance, welcome and harmony characterise the learning environment at Murdoch College which is located on the Murdoch University Campus. With its tradition of educational excellence and values-based education in a multi-cultural environment, it guarantees to be an extraordinary place of learning.
Being a vibrant and diverse educational environment where students and staff from many cultures work together (30 percent of the enrolments are from overseas, with a large number of local enrolments coming from international backgrounds) Murdoch College’s multicultural education environment is built on the philosophical concept of the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity and human dignity. Not only does the College recognise the role this philosophy plays in developing the necessary attitudes and values for a democratic society, it also values cultural differences and affirms the pluralism that students, their communities, and teachers reflect. Such an eclectic environment challenges all forms of discrimination in schools and society through the promotion of the democratic principles of social justice. Murdoch College’s values of honour and respect embody this philosophy which infuses all aspects of their practices, policies and organisation and ensures their goal of highest levels of academic achievement for all students. The College helps to develop a positive self-concept in their students by providing them with knowledge about the histories, cultures, and contributions of diverse groups. This helps to prepare them to work actively toward structural equality in organisations and institutions.
In providing this knowledge, dispositions, and skills for the redistribution of power and income among diverse groups, the Murdoch College curriculum directly addresses issues such as racism, sexism and classism and actively promotes tolerance of differences. One goal of multi-cultural education is to “provide all students with the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to function within their ethnic culture, the mainstream culture, and within and across other ethnic cultures” (Banks, 1999 p.2). Rather than imposing a certain set of values on a student, students are taught to accept others of a different cultural background. This makes functioning in society much easier and more convenient not only for the student but for the rest of society. Rather than changing their beliefs and becoming a different person to agree with the rest of the society, a student can enhance society by adding diversity. Another goal is to stop discrimination. Multi-cultural education should “develop antiracist, antisexist behaviour based on [the] awareness of...evidence of individual, institutional, and cultural racism and sexism” (Bennett, 1999 p. 309). The education of diversity and multiculturalism should create a society of different people who will not discriminate
against each other because they understand each other; understanding is the solution to acceptance. A third goal is “to help individuals gain greater self-understanding” (Banks, 1999 p.2). By learning about other cultures, a student can, by comparison, understand their own culture better. Students can also learn more about their culture through the direct teaching of it in multicultural curricula. Accomplishment of these goals can be extremely challenging for a school staff, yet Murdoch College staff in particular seem to be culturally competent and, to their very best, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. They are also multiculturally literate, inclusive and embracing of families and communities. This in itself is conducive to creating a supportive setting for multiple perspectives, experiences and democracy. Achieving this unique educational environment has required comprehensive school reform, as multi-cultural education permeates all aspects of Murdoch College community and organisation. On 3 January 2010 Mr Mark Antulov assumed the position of Principal at Murdoch College. Mark previously enjoyed 28 years of teaching in a Western Suburbs College and says on first entering Murdoch College campus “One can be forgiven for feeling as
contribution to the College in their short time with us”.
though they are entering a walled city, however, I found, once inside there is an instant realisation that Murdoch College is a place of diversity and welcome to all, signifying the possibilities of the wide world.” Mark’s first year at Murdoch College has been most rewarding, already creating many fond memories. He commented “I very quickly learnt that one is not a stranger for long at Murdoch College. The welcoming and accepting nature of the students is most evident, none more so than in my first week when the Year 12 students voted for two of their fellow students - Dylan and Priya – to take up student leadership positions. Dylan and Priya have made a wonderful
A further two international students have quickly made their mark on the life of Murdoch College. Nigel from Kuching has created a positive impression by setting up a club which focuses on personal development and community service. Twentyfour students attend his weekly sessions which have become a heartening part of College life. Alexis, from France, arrived at Murdoch College two years ago and could not speak English. He now holds the highest position of responsibility in student leadership as Head Boy. A highlight of the school year at Murdoch College is the annual ‘MultiCultural Day.’ On this day the College comes alive with colour, food and activities from around the world. Students dress in national costume and prepare foods representing the nations of the school. Mr Antulov said “This day also enabled me to share and reflect on my family heritage as I dressed in national costume along with all other staff and students. Unlike my school days where my European name and background
were often ridiculed, I am now a proud Principal in a College where cultural difference is celebrated and respected.” Mr Antulov went on to say “We are a school where cultural difference is central to the education process and preparation of our students to become citizens of good character in both their local and international communities. Murdoch College is truly a place where Country meets City and Nation meets Nation.” In his essay titled “On Being Australian”, Sir Walter Murdoch challenged all Australians to reach beyond their own backyards and become citizens of the world. Some sixty years later, Murdoch College Students honour this man, one of Western Australia’s most gifted essayists, as the College celebrates a decade of secondary education in a multi-cultural setting. No doubt Sir Walter would be proud of his College namesake as his challenge for Australians to reach out to the world is certainly evident there. Banks, J.A. (1999). An Introduction to Multicultural Education (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Photography: Solace Design, Lisa Barrett (Murdoch College)
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at Huntingdale! A DESIRE TO RAISE THE LITERACY & NUMERACY BAR AT HUNTINGDALE PRIMARY SCHOOL SAW SCHOOL PRINCIPAL EDD BLACK AND HIS STAFF TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE..HERE HE SHARES HOW HUNTINGDALE STUDENTS NOW SOAR TO NEW READING HEIGHTS!
o improve literacy skills, reading is critical. To improve reading, it is essential to: read more, read widely and read consistently. This is the ultimate goal for all students at Huntingdale Primary School where Mr Edd Black, Principal, and his staff have formulated a unique, fun approach to raising the bar in both the literacy and numeracy programs at his school. In devising the programs, Mr Black said “We (the planning committee) remembered old bags! Not anything to do with aging persons, but the home bags which students took home full of fun activities to do with Mum or Dad.” 12
One hundred and twenty bags later, the Pre-Primary children at Huntingdale had a vast array of fun things to do that painlessly assisted their literacy and numeracy skills. “Then some of us reminisced on the ‘olden days’ of the seventies and eighties - you know, before home computers invaded a child’s every waking moment. We remembered the old RIBIT scheme… Read in Bed it’s Terrific…and how the sound of frogs actually created interest in books.” This memory inspired a flow of creative juices and the Huntingdale Primary School BIRD Project was born.
Huntingdale Primary School’s logo is a local bird soaring to greater heights and for the Principal and staff, using the symbolism of the bird felt like a natural progression in the development of the BIRD Project - ‘Building Individual’s Reading Development’. With revamped personal/home reading records transformed into neat, eye-catching sets of passport folders that are ready to receive a stamp every time the child engages in home reading time, a large colourful Toucan
outfit, a ‘volunteer’ teacher, some Birdie Dance music and an assembly of over 700 students, an entirely successful launch to this program was enjoyed by all. Students from Kindergarten to Year Seven are involved in the BIRD project. Young children share a book with their parents, or hear a story read to them for ten minutes at a time, parents then sign off the activity in the passport and the child is ready to get it stamped at school. Mr Black informed me, “Thirty stamps later and you too can get a Bronze BIRD Certificate. Then at the next assembly as a certificate winner, you stand out front to lead the Birdie Dance for the whole school!” As the students get older, the amount of personal reading is increased to reflect the level they are at. Children can then go on to earn Silver and Gold Certificates and ultimately, the highly prized enamel Principal’s Award badge which can be worn every day to school. With a supportive P&C Association tossing in some support funding and the National Partnerships Program behind the BIRD Project, reading rates at Huntingdale are climbing, students are happy with their efforts and their rewards - and Mums and Dads are delighted too! Often times it’s the basic ‘old fashioned’ things that still work and have appeal albeit spruced up and presented with modern day aplomb, flamboyance and flair.
LEFT: Storme McCloud spreads her wings in celebration of the BIRD Project ABOVE: Maddison Gates enjoying some reading time in the School Library. Both photos courtesy of ‘All Sports Photography.’
Head of Middle School Mr Matthew Ivulich has been instrumental in the implementation of the successful International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at the College. Chloe Kingston, Brayden Hill and Karen Escobar enjoy some ‘open air’ learning with Mr Ivulich in 2010!
An Inspiring Community for all A
s a Catholic co-educational secondary College community, we strive to build an educational program that is inspiring, creative and challenging for a student community that is culturally diverse with a range of abilities. In the main, the majority of our students come from our surrounding Catholic parish communities, many of whom attend Catholic primary schools. Their parents are very supportive of the ethos of Corpus Christi College and prefer an education for their children that reflects the natural ‘co-educational’ life beyond schooling. They want them to be happy to learn in a safe and nurturing environment and wish for academic success at the end of Year 12 with graduates who want to make a positive difference in the world. In the past three years, the College has incorporated a number of changes: incorporating many new Curriculum
Council WACE courses in Years 11 and 12, including Psychology; the move to offering senior Curriculum Council courses to Year 10 students; the inclusion of Year 7 students into the middle school which incorporated the International Baccalaureate (IBMYP) Middle Years Program and the 1:1 Laptop Program.
So how do schools embrace change and continue to grow, nurturing all community members in the process? Although all schools want to provide the very best facilities for their students, it is the quality of the professional relationships between teacher and pupil that makes the difference. Having a community of dedicated teachers who are: committed to their professional practice; customise learning for individual students; provide a balance between direct instruction and
collaborative learning for students in the classroom; provide students with a variety of learning sources and present content which is meaningful to them, with assessments that are developed so that students know and understand what they have learned; challenging each child to use their God-given talents, is our goal. Therefore, nurturing the continued professional growth of teachers, and the leaders who support them, is crucial to the operation of a highly-functioning school. All schools are now digital schools, something that is very necessary in the 21st Century. There is no doubt that our students have embraced mobile technologies such as laptops, mobile phones, iPod Touches and iPads, and that they are certainly more engaged with their classwork when these devices are used. Yet these devices are simply
tools that can be used effectively for learning, given the right circumstances. They have made the access to information readily available in every classroom and home, however, also provide for learning in a very different way with students becoming creators, using technology to compete with students in maths lessons across the world, learning new languages online, tutoring one another on message boards. The learning environment has changed dramatically, and schools and teachers need to embrace these tools. However, these technologies have not replaced the importance of the relationship between teacher and student. At Corpus Christi College, our teachers aim to develop strong professional relationships with the students we teach, challenge young people to use their talents for the betterment of society, and partnering with parents and parishes, aim to contribute to the maturation and holistic growth of young adolescents. My goal as a Principal is to motivate, inspire and develop teachers and their leaders to make this happen. Providing high-quality educational experiences using all the tools at our disposal to engage students to want to learn for their entire lives â€“ that is still our purpose as teachers today. CAROLINE PAYNE - PRINCIPAL
RIGHT: Middle School student Olivia Hill enjoying a photoshoot for the IBMYP Programme. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jessica Cuccovia, Claire Wilson and Jessica Taylor are all smiles at the annual College Community Mass. Photography: Solace Design, Apple
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT OUR STUDENTS HAVE EMBRACED MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS LAPTOPS, MOBILE PHONES, IPOD TOUCHES AND IPADS, AND THAT THEY ARE CERTAINLY MORE ENGAGED WITH THEIR CLASSWORK WHEN THESE DEVICES ARE USED.
Murdoch Drive, Bateman PO BOX 279 Willetton WA 6955 PHONE: 08 6332 2500 FAX: 08 9310 5648 EMAIL: email@example.com WEB: www.corpus.wa.edu.au
THE EDUCATIONAL LEGACY OF A LOG...FORMER TEACHER AND CURRENT PARENT AT SPEARWOOD ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL, LOUISE CORTEEN, EXPLAINS THAT THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE ARE QUITE OFTEN THE BEST...
THIS WONDERFUL, NATURAL ADDITION TO OUR SCHOOL GROUNDS WILL GRANT THE CHILDREN WHO STRADDLE ITS GIRTH AN ABUNDANCE OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL AND COGNITIVE GROWTH.
t’s been there for a week: so far it’s been a pirate ship, loaded up with happy seafarers; a perch for sea eagles searching the ocean before plunging into icy water (mulch) to retrieve a tasty morsel (a large bit of bark); the balcony of a castle for precious princesses; a place to hang out for children and parents after school. This was just the beginning for ‘it’ - our beautiful log. Our log came from a gorgeous old tree on the school grounds that had died and needed to be removed. We wanted to keep this old tree in some way, shape or form, so simply asked the tree loppers to leave the trunk cut into the largest pieces possible, to which they kindly obliged.
The youngest members of our school organised the smaller logs. They helped wheelbarrow them to the garden, measured how far apart they would need to be in order for them to walk along them, dug holes in the dirt to sit the logs in, then tested them out for stability. The older students calculated how they could roll and lever the medium sized logs into an area that could be used for seating, as well as climbing. When it came to the large logs, we paid another friendly tree lopper to move the large logs into the garden with his small crane. One day, our log will be termite food. Really, it will. And that will be okay. It will be closing the loop of the nutrient cycle
as other invertebrates, bacteria and fungi break it down further and return it to the soil, where it will nourish other trees and plants to come. Until that time, this wonderful, natural addition to our school grounds will grant the children who straddle its girth an abundance of opportunities for emotional, spiritual, social and cognitive growth. I can see the log being used for imaginative games; for performing arts as a stage, a prop or a row of seats; for science as the kids search the bark for insects, watch as it decays, feel the rings that suggest its age, and link the reuse of this arboreal ‘waste’ to their visit to the local waste recovery centre; for physical education as they balance along its length, jump off it and use it as ‘home’ in a game of ‘chasey’; for social interaction as they negotiate battles and games, gossip and conspire, confess and console; and for connection to the natural world by just being on and around this beautiful cellulose skeleton. Its role in the years to come is only limited by our children’s and our imaginations. Today it’s too easy to be swept up in the fascination with the myriad of multicolour, plastic fantastic play equipment that was never available when we adults were kids ourselves. Sometimes the simple things, like our log, are just as good. BELOW: Anwyn, Anton, Daisy, Charlie, Hamish and Iggy love the new ‘natural playground’ at school. Photography: Solace Design
Coping better in their new home. Teacher Amos Chiwero with students Concy Murra, Ayen Wol, Tong Tong and Monica Nogor.
Heal, flourish is the aim KOONDOOLA CATHOLIC SCHOOL MERCY COLLEGE IS HELPING YOUNG REFUGEES COPE WITH THE LASTING EFFECTS OF TORTURE AND TRAUMA, BY TRIALLING A PROGRAM DEVELOPED BY CURTIN UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS. LOUISE BETTISON FROM COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS REPORTS.
ive youths who had escaped conflict in Burundi, Sudan and Rwanda attended the eight-week course, learning skills and strategies, including physical relaxation to help manage and overcome their experiences. It helps improve mental health and resilience in youths who experienced war before arriving in Australia, a growing population ‘at risk’ of mental illness, according to Curtin Associate Professor Clare Roberts. “There is limited or no provision of services for torture or trauma counselling for children aged 11 to 17,” she said. “Data indicates refugees and asylum seekers are not receiving adequate treatment to overcome the impact of torture or trauma, but our specialist mental health services are overloaded
and cannot meet demand for long-term treatment.”
does not try to solve their problems but gives them the ability to work them out.”
Professor Roberts said traumatised youths risked developing other mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, making such a course a “time-and-costeffective intervention.”
Mr Chiwero said he knew the coping strategies had “sunk in” when hearing a participant tell a classmate to try “switching off the radio”, a catchword for a technique taught to deal with painful or negative thoughts.
Teachers were reporting positive changes even before the five ‘graduated’ the course last year, according to Mercy College cultural liaison officer Amos Chiwero. “Their teachers say they can see massive improvement in class behaviour as well as academic performance, with some clear changes taking place in these kids,” he said. “Attending the sessions, I could see the kids were getting a lot out of the program, because it is skills-based, so
Curtin researcher Irene Ooi is also surveying the students’ parents to evaluate whether their home life had also improved. Mr Chiwero will be looking to implement an Intensive English Course with a new group of refugees in 2011. Image and article courtesy of the Community Newspaper Group Photography: Bruce Hunt
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Understandings of an Asian Country
THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERCULTURAL UNDERSTANDING, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION, IN ADDITION TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL, ENTREPRENEURIAL AND EMPLOYMENT SKILLS WERE THE ADMIRABLE OUTCOMES PLANNED FOR GILMORE COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO EXPERIENCED TWO UNIQUE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL TOURS TO CAMBODIA. ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL, KERRY BOWDEN, SHARES THE EDUCATIONAL, CULTURAL AND PERSONAL BENEFITS THE STUDENTS GAINED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THIS TOUR, AS WELL AS THE WONDERFULLY POSITIVE EFFECT IT HAS HAD ON MANY OF THE STUDENTS. ....
fter the highly successful 2009 Gilmore College Inaugural Cambodia Tour, students and their supervising teachers embraced the opportunity to revisit Cambodia in 2010, adding Vietnam to their action packed itinerary. At the heart of both international tours was the opportunity for a group of students from Years 10, 11 and 12 to gain a greater cultural awareness and understanding of two third world
countries so vastly different from Australia. An important aspect of the tours was the concept of philanthropy where students engaged in fundraising activities, entrepreneurial endeavours and secured donations in order to assist local projects in Cambodia. One of the main projects the students from Gilmore College supported during both tours was The Green Gecko Foundation, an initiative founded to
benefit the lives of street children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Foundation provides shelter, food, education and care in order to break the begging cycle and for the children to feel part of a family. During the 2010 Tour, students from Gilmore College built a chicken coop which greatly assisted with the supply of food to the children at Green Gecko. The students undertook a building and construction course at school prior to leaving on tour so that the necessary
skills to complete the local initiative were acquired. Mr Mark Cluning, the teacher who accompanied the students on both tours, said authentic learning and real life education were very powerful educational outcomes. A donation of money was also presented to the Green Gecko Foundation on behalf of the many businesses and community groups in Perth who supported the tour’s philanthropic outcomes. The financial assistance enabled the organisers of the Foundation to purchase much-needed stationery and books for the learning centre. Gilmore College students loved their time with the children at Green Gecko, where they played soccer together, shared meals and developed friendships. The barriers of language and cultural differences were of no consequence as smiling faces and laughter were the main medium of communication between Aussie and Cambodian kids. The philanthropic theme of the tours was also extended to local fishing villages where the students’ efforts at fundraising in Australia resulted in fishing nets being donated to much-appreciative fishermen and their families. Working together with locals, Gilmore College students also provided materials and helped to build much-needed wells in rural villages. By working in a local village context, students had the opportunity to develop the values of compassion, empathy, generosity and selflessness. They also developed skills and knowledge by:
Working cooperatively and collaboratively as part of a team
Planning, organising and delivering activities in a local community context
Brainstorming, generating and communicating ideas and identifying areas of need
Developing active citizenship skills
Making a positive difference to a community; realising that life is not simply about taking but more importantly about giving
Gaining a greater awareness of nongovernment organizations, charity groups, local rural schools and orphanages in a diverse and global context
The Tours also provided the students with opportunities to gain a greater understanding of the geography, history and contemporary issues facing two of Australia’s nearest neighbours and trading partners. One of the most moving experiences for the tour group was the visit to The Killing Fields in Phnom Penh which served as a stark reminder of the atrocities under the Pol Pot regime between 1975 and 1978. The students could see first-hand how history played such a vital role in shaping Cambodia’s identity and the need for empathy and understanding.
antiquities at Ankor Wat in Siem Reap, rode elephants, visited floating villages and shopped until they dropped at the Russian Markets in Phnom Penh. In Vietnam, the students loved the energy of Ho Chi Min City and learnt a lot about the Vietnam War. They visited the War Remnants Museum and the 200 kilometres of the Cu Ci Underground Tunnels constructed by Viet Cong soldiers. Students also travelled to the Mekong River Islands where they visited the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a beautiful temple which serves as a sanctuary for orphans and children in need. The 2009 and 2010 Gilmore College Tours both provided unique opportunities for students to experience the diversity and challenges of life in third world countries. All students, who were exemplary ambassadors for Gilmore College and Australia while overseas, were humbled by the experience and many of the students have expressed an interest in returning to Cambodia as adults to help out in any way they can. The students’ ability to understand and appreciate cultures other than their own and to more fully develop the values of tolerance and acceptance were extremely positive outcomes of these tours.
The students had many opportunities to embrace the scenery and sightseeing experiences in both Cambodia and Vietnam. They visited the ancient
What’s ‘appening with
Nathan Wood? AN ENQUIRING MIND, A NATURAL APTITUDE FOR ICT AND A CREATIVE SPIRIT, MAKE THINGS ‘APPEN FOR KOLBE CATHOLIC COLLEGE STUDENT, NATHAN WOOD. CAM ALLEN DELVES INTO NATHAN’S DEVELOPING WORLD...
rom an early age, Nathan Wood was instantly attracted to all things electronic and technological. At 8 years of age when the CD drive in his home computer malfunctioned, he took it upon himself to solve the problem – disassembled the device, worked out how it functioned and simply fixed it! An impressive achievement for a selftaught young boy - just the beginning of Nathan’s ICT prowess coming to the fore. By the time Nathan was 9 years old, his interest was drawn to ‘php’ or Hypertext Processing – for those of us oblivious to what this means - it is a widely used general purpose scripting language that was originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. As Nathan says, it was very “technical and speccy at the time” and in Year 7 at high school this ICT prodigy was already deciphering html code (web language), creating original web pages at school and at home. Now a graduating student at Kolbe Catholic College, Rockingham, Nathan says he has “always been a troubleshooter with technology.” When Nathan started Secondary School, it was obvious to his teachers that his skills with computers were well beyond his years. Every chance he got, he would assist the ICT staff with daily tasks. When Nathan was in Year 9, the school lent him an iPod Touch for 3 months in order to give him exposure to new Apple technology. This enabled Nathan to explore the device’s capabilities, structure and its limitations – unknowingly developing his potential for future success. Nathan’s knowledge and exposure to technology continued to grow and he soon found himself creating a variety of simple tools for the College. He helped in creating an e-voting website (php) which assisted students in the voting process when electing student leaders.
This proved to be an exceptionally useful website and streamlined the voting process for both students and teachers. With his confidence growing, Nathan went on to create the “Kolbe Antibullying Squad” website which is part of the College’s Intranet. The site was constructed to give students who were bullied at school, or those who witnessed bullying activities , a ‘space’ to report these acts. This proved to be an extremely effective tool. In the last two years, through intensive research and study driven by a desire to soak up new information on innovative technologies, Nathan has developed a school-based iPhone/iPad App. The App includes a small timetable application (enabling students and teachers to update and check their individual timetables). In its launch phase, Nathan had initially created a messaging feature which was later omitted as it was an unnecessary feature of the program at the time. The application also displays links to the College’s new website, displays instant access to daily notices and also has a fortnightly newsletter component which synchronises with College website updates. Now over 200 staff and student users are enjoying the benefits of this App and its sleek, user-friendly interface. In the future, Nathan and some of his colleagues hope to market a more generic version of this App, making it available to all schools that utilise iTechnology. Nathan’s passion for this new programming interest led him to create his own mini-business with some of his likeminded ‘techies.’ They call it ‘appening, www.appening.com.au. Nathan and his ‘appening crew enjoy using iPhone/iPad technology and as users they strive to understand how people use their mobile devices: aiming to enrich the users’ experience by creating new, upcoming Apps with great passion and care.
Espionage is appening’s latest creation which works in conjunction with Last.fm. Last.fm is a social networking service that lets you discover new music you might like, based on collected track information from music you share that you’ve already listened to. Espionage sends the track information you wish to share from your device to Last.fm. In the first Semester of 2010, Nathan was the only student in the College to be involved with external studies in a Tertiary Institution, studying “Introduction to Data Communications” at Murdoch University. Now having just completed a demanding Year 12 at Kolbe Catholic College, studying subjects such as Mathematics 3C/D, Mathematics Specialist 3C/D, and Chemistry 3AB and AIT (Applied Information Technology Level 3), Nathan plans to study Software Engineering at Curtin University this year. With his undoubted technical genius, the future looks very bright for this young man. Check out his website at www.appening.com to see what’s ‘appening in Nathan’s world.
Teaching in a Bangladeshi School
VIC AND CHRIS GECAS – HUSBAND AND WIFE, TEACHERS AND INTREPID ADVENTURERS, HAVE SPENT THE LAST 18 MONTHS TEACHING IN A BANGLADESHI SCHOOL AND HAVE COME TO CHERISH THE EXPERIENCE OF THIS CHALLENGING PLACEMENT. TO FIND OUT WHAT THIS EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE FOR THEM AND HOW YOU TOO COULD BE AN EXPATRIATE EDUCATOR, READ ON....
n August, 2009, we began our Bangladesh adventure, teaching at the International School, Dhaka. We knew it was going to be a challenging placement, but during our time here have come to appreciate the country and, particularly, the people. We have also gained invaluable experience teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The two main reasons for choosing Bangladesh were : To be closer to home (we had been offered positions in Middle
Eastern schools, but felt it was too far); We had no experience of teaching the IB curriculum at that time and Bangladesh was one of the few places we could both get work. Henry Kissinger once described Bangladesh as a classic ‘basket case’. The country is often brought back from obscurity through world media after cyclones from the tropical waters of the Bay of Bengal smash the country. It also has many environmental issues the people endure: many are landless
and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases are prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation and severe overpopulation.
New Zealand representative is based in Perth. Check out their website: www.search-associates.com The various agencies have online form filling and the usual referee reports. We would also recommend you go to a job fair. If you check out the websites, you will see they are held at various times throughout the year. We went to Sydney early in 2009 (go early and you can check out the fireworks!) It all worked well for us as we both had long service leave that first semester and both of our children had graduated from University. It was an opportune time.
With 16 million people living in Dhaka, the electricity board cannot generate enough power; therefore, power outages occur commonly throughout the hotter weather. However, most apartments do have generators that kick in when the power goes out. Despite all of the above, life as an expatriate in Bangladesh is still worth it. The local Bangladeshis are wonderful people. We are fortunate enough to have a maid who comes to our apartment three times a week, as well as a shared rickshaw driver who helps out all the time. Although Bangladesh is a moderate Muslim country and alcohol can be difficult to purchase, there are various ex-pat clubs with great food, drinks and social activities organised on a regular basis. There are even a few good coffee shops! So where do you start if you want to teach in an International School? To begin with you need to register with an online agency. Some are free, and some will involve some charges. The agency we used is a worldwide agency called Search Associates; its Australian/
A job fair is a little like a conference, where all ‘vendors’ are schools placed around a big room with available job listings written up on high tech white butcher’s paper! You approach them with your CV’s and ask for an interview. Also, as your applications are online, the recruiters can look you up and request an interview with you when you first get to the job fair. At set times during the day, schools also put on half-hour presentations, a little like a conference, selling their school or city. Some are professionally done and very impressive. The next step we recommend is that you carry out a little research yourself. Each school places current information on a database (that you have access to) such as salaries, health care plans, and special conditions such as provided accommodation, reduced electricity tariffs or zero taxation for example! This will give you some comparisons between schools. You should also sign up to the International Schools Review http:// www.internationalschoolsreview.com. This is where teachers review the schools they are working in. Read below for an example comment regarding our current school:
and competent. The coordinators made every effort to follow the IB curriculum fully, and the kids were great. Dhaka is a tough place to live, no doubt, but much of it is up to you. You get out of it what you put into it, and I had a great time. I didn't want to stay longer for 2 years though, because of the very poor administration, the poor standard of personal safety for non-car drivers and the reduction in benefits/real pay in the new contracts. Also, increasingly too often the work load was horrendous, with covers, extracurricular, meetings, last-minute admin requests, etc. Approach with caution, but if you are flexible and adaptable and basically positive in outlook, it could be an enriching experience." As you can see, it isn’t all rosy, but ISR gives good background information to make an informed decision. If you do your research, you can end up in some excellent locations. Even in Dhaka, we have been able to travel to a number of destinations we would never have considered visiting while in Perth. We have had holidays in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Langkawi. Vic recently took part in PD in Kota Kinabulu and Chris attended a PD in Hong Kong last October. With only a few breaks left before they head to their next job fair, they will be off to the UNESCO World Heritage mangrove forest in the Sundarbans and, early this year look forward to an adventure in Bhutan!
“Although my evaluation of the school administration is poor overall, I respected many of the teachers as professional
Each year Search Associates places over 1500 teachers and administrators in International Schools throughout the world. Recruiters from leading International Schools recruit teachers at our Sydney job fair in January 2012. We will be running an information seminar in Perth on Saturday 30th April 2011. International Schools offer excellent salaries, benefits, etc. For more information email;
A Marketing MARKETING SCHOOLS IS A DEMANDING TASK...AN OPENNESS TO CHANGE, A TEAM APPROACH AND ADOPTION OF CURRENT MARKETING PRACTICES CREATE A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IN EDUCATIONAL MARKETING...KAREN REID EXPLORES THE REQUIRED SHIFT IN ATTITUDES TOWARDS MARKETING IN EDUCATION AND THE CHALLENGES FACED.
s a Public Relations/Marketing Officer of a large co-educational College, I face the challenge of not only promoting the school, but attempting to alter the sometimes negative connotations unfairly attributed to that so-called ‘dirty’ word - Marketing. Traditionally in education, marketing has been considered an alien practice that has no place within school walls. However, 21st century education is seeing a definite shift in this attitude. Now is the time when the reality and necessity of marketing in, and for, our schools is being realised.
This major shift, while realised, still fights to be accepted by Academia. After all, schools are a place for education: teaching and learning, pastoral care and, above all, moulding students into independent young adults with appropriate skill sets, behaviour and morals to work and function well in society. As such, ‘established educators’ tend to feel that schools are not the place for: Marketing Plans, Branding, Publications, Signage, Web Design, Photography, Selling, Advertising, Media Releases or Customer Relations. A Public Relations/Marketing role is extremely busy, varied and important.
It is also vastly misunderstood and in order to benefit fully from the practice of marketing, there must be clarity of its definition within an educational culture. Lawrie Drysdale* explores this definition in his article Getting the Most Out of Marketing Schools: "Whatever definition of marketing is considered, there are common core elements that can be identified - the concepts of satisfaction of needs and wants; products and services; value exchange; markets; and relationships. Payne provides a view of marketing that seems to be inclusive of marketing as a function, philosophy, or orientation. He
A PUBLIC RELATIONS/MARKETING ROLE IS EXTREMELY BUSY, VARIED AND IMPORTANT. IT IS ALSO VASTLY MISUNDERSTOOD AND IN ORDER TO BENEFIT FULLY FROM THE PRACTICE OF MARKETING, THERE MUST BE CLARITY OF ITS DEFINITION WITHIN AN EDUCATIONAL CULTURE. sees the central idea of marketing as a matching process: the matching between what the organisation (school) has to offer and the wants and needs of the customer (students and parents) in order to achieve the goals of both the organisation and the customer. Essentially, marketing aims to provide customer satisfaction by meeting their needs and wants through appropriate offerings. Marketing is a process of perceiving, understanding, stimulating and satisfying the needs of specially selected target markets by channelling an organisation's resources to meet those needs. The better the fit between what the organisation offers and the needs of the customers, the greater the satisfaction for both parties. Payne suggests that this relationship is dynamic and, as needs change due to changes in the external environment, so the organisation must match these needs by modifying its offerings.” 1 From the interpretations outlined in Lawrie Drysdale’s monograph, it seems logical that in order to perceive, understand, stimulate and satisfy the needs of its stakeholders, a school would do well to employ a ‘natural marketer’.
challenge of marketing ethically – most commonly when seeking employment. A Resume is our own personal marketing strategy. We endeavour to ‘sell’ ourselves by outlining our School, College, and University and work history. Showcasing skills learned, certificates earned and describing why we are the best person for the job. It would be detrimental to embellish, exaggerate or mislead a future employer by being less than 100 percent honest. The same philosophy applies when marketing a school. Facing the resistance to change that marketing brings when introduced to a school environment is at times challenging for the PR/Marketing Officer. However, it should be noted that the goals of Management, Teachers and the PR/Marketing Officer are actually the same: • • • •
to be an excellent school to have an impressive reputation to offer a top quality education to secure enrolments
When a natural marketer believes in a product, it is second nature for them to ‘shout about it from the roof tops’ – not in order to manipulate, exploit or coerce a person into buying the product, but because they are excited, proud of, and believe in what they are marketing. Whether a great skin product, good value groceries or a school that ticks all the boxes they want for their child, a natural marketer wants to share with others in order for them to experience and enjoy the benefits they have – a fine example of ethical marketing.
For these goals to be reached and maintained, a team approach is essential. While respecting that each member has a very specific role to play in achieving the vision of the school, an openness to change, a professional approach and support from management for the marketing process will ensure success. Instead of marketing and schools being segregated, there needs to be the realisation that they can work in harmony and that the values and ethos schools espouse to will be enhanced by its practice.
Educators can struggle with this concept, yet at a certain point they too will have been involved in the
To meet the challenges faced in marketing within education, schools need to develop a plan of action
to educate educators in the art of marketing. Not only will this help clarify the marketing process, explain the benefits and encourage cohesiveness between school management, teachers and the marketing department, it will help dispel the unwarranted, suspicious misconceptions related to marketing in education and allow the challenging work of promoting schools in their community to succeed unhindered.
* Lawrie Drysdale is a senior lecturer in educational administration in the Department of Education Policy and Management, Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne. He lectures in Marketing in Education, Leadership, and Human Resource Management. His current research interests are in marketing in education and leadership. Getting the Most Out of Marketing – Lawrie Drysdale
OPPOSITE TOP: Year 8 students Aaron Thomas, Katie Birkinshaw and Year 10 student Gerard Majda from Corpus Christi College, Bateman. ABOVE: Oluwafeyidamilola Odutayo enjoying his time at Murdoch College.
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schools are our speciality....... YEARBO OK 2010
Sacred Heart College
THE WE DDING SINGER
across On Sunday 4 July our journey all started at to New Zealand began. It where we Perth International Airport flight that embarked on a six-hour long Tetris was made easier due to excessive down competitions. When we touched all eager to get in New Zealand, we were a good night’s to our hotel in Wanaka for the next sleep, before we hit the slopes
spent in The next three days were and eating Queenstown busy shopping could get. as many Fergburgers as we enough to The last night we were lucky that was see the Maori Cultural Show The next an entertaining experience. and early morning we were up bright Perth. to back ready for three flights
reminisced On arrival back at Perth, we and on what was an amazing experience will never forget. On behalf with stacks, one that we The next five days were filled to thank of all the students, we’d like up laughs and memorable moments experience the teachers who made this began on the mountain. As our skills Miss Waddell, possible – Miss Tedesco, runs Mr Clarke. to improve, we took on harder and Porter Mr (chief), Hart Mr third day, and harder stacks. On our of a we were faced with the challenge Primus Laura Griffiths and Alicia poor minus 9-degree day with extremely Year 11 just that visibility, making everything credit of the little more difficult. To the continued to group, we stuck it out and end of the five the By slopes. the on take days we were skiing and snowboarding Cardrona’s legends and blended in with best.
nture bega n on the back of double-de the bus cker bus, was taken proclaime where the over by d themselve the masc woke up uline boys s as the that the at 4.30a “Backsea junk food who m and the t Bandits”. came out, kilometre was taken troops climb It was here Mario Carts mountain to the extre ed the rocky but FTB was on sprinted me. From going to (For the fire and nineto the top be a mem this mom Boys), Tapp Uno in record ent, we orable expe energy, er and Willia time. After knew it we enter rience. was ms burning ed Cole and bask s Tom Price so much When we ets with pulled into where we junk food next even piled trolle our first with hot (which only camp t was the ys weather, ing statio lasted the traditional red dirt talents; n, we were campfire. night!). The and storie Skit Nigh impersona blessed We all bega s shared t, whic tions h displayed the boys of Ms Papa around n to expe we spen the with her rience the our t the night s, Louis spear tackl a becoming true outd without bad jokes mattresse e show oors of one Moni and when ers and s. The follow of the lovel ca, Hack had to blow y guitar arrived in ett and ing day, were able skills of James’ up our white, sand we arrive enjoy the Perks. The d in New y Coral luxury of to the red next day, man wher Bay, whic a pool. dirt we had we e we h was such been surro we relax The excit a contrast ed and found unded by. ement grew Once we the bake our name once we National arrived, ry and fish s. The follow entered Park. Here and chip the aweing day, , we swam glorious baked in inspiring shop callin we soak Ningaloo in the cryst the 38 degr Karijini g ed up the Reef throu al cool gorg bought ee weat sun, saw was halve gh our snork souvenirs her. The es the and d. One of following eling gogg and bathe the grou night, we day, our got stuck rs. After les and ps padd said good group but soldi a bus ride led down bye to our ered on we had through the gorg and Miss with great fellow adve all share the es and Waddell. d in a spec applause nturers The other knowing you had from Mr ial mem group ventu ory. that to walk Delane down via red into Thank you walk in the a pool that handrail, to Mr Delan gorges and crawled e, Miss Mr Willia through swam throu The day Waddell, ms, Mr a spider ended with gh cool, King, our Ms Papa Rocket miniature the Almo s, Miss chef Cher got out and Darre st Form Cash, pools. their radic ie and our al n Dinn who al outfits bus drive er where made this lovely chef, and enjoy rs everyone trip poss Cherie. ed a roast ible. Samanth Mount Bruc cook a ed Brajdic e was our by the and Jess Year 11 next chall Smith enge. We
MAND URAH CATH Cooda OLIC nup COLLE PO Bo Drive, Ma GE x 615 ndurah WA Teleph , Mandurah 6210 one: 08 953 WA 621 Fax 0 1 950 Email: : 08 953 0 5 855 mcc@ Web: mcc.w 8 www.m a.e cc.wa du.au .edu.a u
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KCC Swimming Carnival
When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time.
The competitive spirit of the twilight events set the tone for the Inter-House Carnival the next day. The competitive events of freestyle, breaststroke and relays occurred throughout the day. Novelty events such as the link relay and dance competitions continued the fun and spirit of the day.
he annual Swimming Carnival events commenced with the Twilight Carnival, with over 180 students and 40 parents involved. The times were extremely fast with many records being broken with the focus on backstroke, 100m freestyle and butterfly.
alaureate ational Bacc is vibrant The Intern initiated in 2009 d e have trialle usion of year we programm rding continued to the concl ging. This and enga Year 9 with ds a more s we come emic year it is rewa amme in acad seeds g towar the progr another ing of the our We are strivin ulum, extending the ripen through success. and curric to witness start of the year nt centered r while supporting e. There the amm stude at style. progr sown emic rigou learning Education Spirit moving and the acad student’s Religious ti, of the nizing each us Chris sense Corp recog made deep at s is is a ge staff. classroom ation team ers who and Colle ious Educ alive in the of teach The Relig student body erful array up the subject amid its ion and light up of a wond of the Relig faith and w the Lord” mentation 12 has share their l quest to “Follo The imple in Years 11 and of spirit. ont of es with a soulfu ple and generosity Life cours at the forefr 12 Stage College by their exam placed the with 75 Year nts g Religious practice for raisin 2 stude it innovative ude to all st echelon and 85 Stage Australian My gratit highe nts the stude ern to 3 all g the West Education E) in an undertakin Education (WAC . proud of of deserves very cate are Certifi We t to the in 2010. commitmen Mews time first Mrs Vita Education nts and their own underlying our stude their Religious Head of for their as well as subject, We pray lopment. rs. deve avou faith ende and their success
The overall winning House for the Swimming Shield and also the Spirit Shield was Xavier House.
ACC Swimming Carnival This year’s ACC Swimming Carnival was another successful one. Competing in D Division, Kolbe took victory from Ursula Frayne to take out the Overall Aggregate Shield. Taking on the challenge of a higher division, our swimming team placed well throughout the day, which ensured Kolbe won the following championship shields: • • • •
U/13 Boys U/13 Girls Junior Boys Junior Girls
e are a team of versatile designers specialising in visual design for schools. 42
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BE INSPIRED BY EDMUND RICE CAMPS FOR KIDS WA (ERCKWA) WHERE YOUNG ADULTS ARE ENABLED TO SUPPORT CHILDREN’S GROWTH IN SELF-WORTH, CONFIDENCE AND TRUST BY BECOMING ROLE MODELS, FRIENDS AND LEADERS FOR CHILDREN.
dmund Rice Camps for Kids WA Inc. is a non-profit community-based organisation that serves the needs of children aged 7-16 and their families. They provide camps along with various recreational and developmental activities for children who would not otherwise have access to such opportunities and they offer support for those ‘at risk’ or experiencing some form of disadvantage. Given the nature of the service provided, the children who attend the programs come from all areas of Western Australia with a wide variety of cultural and religious backgrounds as well as vastly different life experiences. Over a number of years, Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA have not only had a profound effect on the kids who have ‘crossed their doors,’ but also on the volunteers who have dedicated their time to support and guide children in need. Some of the volunteers themselves have also experienced the wonderful benefits of these camps when they too were children. Their efforts undeniably make an enormous difference to the children and their families, so in order to find out what all the fuss is about, we asked two current volunteers what is so special about volunteering at ERCKWA ? KATE CLUCAS Nineteen-year-old volunteer Kate Clucas, together with her sisters, attended the Edmund Rice Camps for Kids from the age of 10-13yrs. Kate and her sisters were sadly having a very difficult time at home as their father was terminally ill – a very difficult issue to deal with at such a young age. It was suggested to the girls that they might like to attend the Camps as a break from the stress at home – an idea that they welcomed. At the camp, Kate immediately found she was given the chance to
”just be a kid”. She also observed that everyone who attended was treated as an individual. “I felt no-one was keeping tabs on me and I felt free to be myself without any other pressures surrounding me.” During her time on these camps, Kate developed a deep respect for the work of the volunteers and was impressed with how they dedicated their free time to listen, support and help out kids who needed some time away. “Everyone is accepted on the camps despite their background or their issues in life. No one is left out throughout the entire time. Some kids don’t feel like joining in the activities straight away and, you know, that’s alright...the idea behind them is for kids just to be, do and act how they feel. The Eddie Rice Leaders encourage that.” In 2009 when Kate finished high school, she started working as a volunteer with ERCKWA. Her time as a volunteer has been the most rewarding time of her young life, and Kate sees this opportunity
as a way of giving back the same support she received when she was having a hard time as a young girl. “As a leader on the camps, I continue to grow as a person and it is amazing that while I know I am providing support for kids on the camp, I am also learning something new about myself every time I come back. I always feel invigorated and proud that I may have changed a life for the better.” Kate has been involved in a number of aspects of Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA (both in and out of camps) and was awarded the 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award. She is now a co-ordinator on the camps and plays a huge part in the camp structure as well as the future direction of the programs. She has represented the organisation numerous times by visiting schools around the metropolitan area, encouraging them to explore the volunteer program. Kate has just finished her first year in Sports Science at Edith Cowan University and even with a heavy study load, the
Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA Volunteers, Kate Clucas and Cameron Farmer.
“My best memory about being on camp as a kid was making up a song that lasted nearly 45 minutes! I was making a mockery of our leaders in the song; it was very funny at the time!”
camps continue to remain a significant priority in her life. “Every time I come back from camp I start to second-guess my career choices!! I get such a buzz out of helping people. The bonds that I share with the other leaders are unique, everyone seems to be sticking with it for very similar reasons, and we all stay connected through our commitment and dedication to Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA” CAMERON FARMER Nineteen-year-old Cameron Farmer attended camps as a kid from the age of 10-16yrs. He was an extremely hyperactive and troubled young child in primary school. Cameron was introduced to the camps by his family and he immediately felt they gave him a release from the pressures of life and allowed him to be himself. As time passed and he grew into his teens, Cam participated in the ‘Graduates Program.’ This particular program works with kids who have attended camps for a long period of time, wanting to make the transition to become a volunteer with a particular interest in exploring the difference between being a kid on camp and a volunteer on camp.
“I was a bit of a troublemaker at school and so were my mates. I could have gone down a totally different path if I hadn’t been involved with the Eddie Rice Camps. Unfortunately, some of my mates did get into trouble, and I guess that’s what everyone thought would become of me. Sometimes my mates would invite me down south to get drunk, but I chose to go on the Camps with the other volunteers. I didn’t care, and never have cared what people thought about me.” As a young man trying to deal with a variety of emotions and problems, the camps gave him an avenue to find his true self. “If things were getting tough, the camps always brought me back to reality. Quite often enough, I would immediately forget my own problems because my role as a new volunteer and leader was to support the kids who were on the camps. I suppose I could relate to many of them and to a lot of what they were going through as kids. ” Cam is currently in his 4th Year apprenticeship as a bricklayer. With a very supportive boss who knows the value of Cameron’s commitment to Edmund Rice Camps for Kids, he is fortunate enough to be able to work his job around his volunteer role when required. “I see the camps as stepping stones in life and each new stone I reach, my self-confidence increases. Ashley Little (CEO of ERCKWA) has shown a lot of faith in me and has also recognised my leadership potential. This is something I have been working hard on, as I seem
to be able to bond with the kids pretty easily now. The support from Ash and the other leaders has been amazing, so I need to keep working hard in order to become a mentor for others in the future.” “Over the next 12 months or so, I plan to continue working, get some cash behind me and head off to Queensland to dedicate myself to Youth Work. I feel that I need to give back in this area after so much time, effort and trust has been invested in me. My time at Eddie Rice and the friendships I have made, I wouldn’t trade for the world. It is everything that I am today and I just hope I can keep helping young people, making their lives just that bit easier.” Cameron recalled one day at school a teacher saying that he wouldn’t amount to much in the future! “Our bricklaying team recently did a residential job building retaining walls in a back yard. The house belonged to that same teacher! You should have seen his face when he saw me, it made me feel proud that I was doing ok, making a good life for myself - I think I am turning out pretty well!” To find out more about Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA Inc., check out their website at: www.edmundricecampswa.com.au
KIDS Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA Inc. is a non-profit community-based organisation that serves the needs of kids (aged 7-16) and their families. We provide camps and other recreational and developmental activities for kids who would not otherwise have such opportunities, supporting kids who are ‘at risk’ or experiencing some form of disadvantage. Given the nature of the service provided, the kids that attend the programmes come from all areas of Western Australia, a wide variety of cultural and religious backgrounds and whose life experiences differ greatly. • • • •
Kids get opportunities to 'be a kid,' to belong and have fun in an environment where they are encouraged and accepted Kids develop friendships with each other and volunteer leaders who are positive rolemodels in a fun environment, encouraging their development of self-worth, trust and confidence Opportunities for kids to attend camps and other programs and activities up to the age of 16, having fun and developing confidence along the way 1:1 ratio of kids to volunteers, to ensure adequate attention, interaction and supervision
If you are interested in referring a child to Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA please contact Carly Mercadante, Client Liaison Officer on 9365 2816
VOLUNTEERS Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA promotes and encourages the development of young adult volunteers (16yrs+). A typical camp sees about 30 kids living and working alongside 30 volunteer leaders. The role of a leader on these camps is more than purely recreation; leaders need to serve as a friend and mentor to the young people. The camps and other programs offer the young adult volunteers the experience of supporting kids and youth in the community, as well as the opportunity to develop confidence and skills as a leader and a chance to grow in empathy and a broader social understanding and awareness. •
Volunteers get the opportunity to learn and develop leadership, team work and interpersonal skills
Volunteers are there to provide support, fun and respite to kids in a safe and friendly environment
Volunteers are able to be involved in a variety of programs, with a variety of time commitments to suit their needs
To find out more information about volunteering with Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA, or to have a presentation at your school, please contact Ami Walker, Volunteer Coordinator, on 9365 2826
BE BRAVE, BE COURAGEOUS, BE PASSIONATE - BE AN EDUCATOR! MAGGIE DENT TALKS TO SCRIBE ON ENSURING PATHWAYS TO THE ‘SOUL’ IN EDUCATION THAT HELP STUDENTS REALISE THEIR TRUE AND FULL POTENTIAL...
Maggie Dent shares some of her philosophies with the ABC Studio in Tasmania during their morning program.
he spirit of learning is about developing practical approaches towards the integration of life-enhancing attitudes, universal values, and creative, holistic techniques across the curriculum and into all learning domains.” Dawn Griggs “The Spirit of Learning”. Without “soul”, education is bland, disconnected and can create students that appear “dead” in our classrooms. Essentially holistic education recognises that the whole child needs to be encouraged to grow through learning in caring and supportive environments. The global movement towards student-centred learning, cooperative, collaborative classrooms is also recognising this need – philosophically we are heading in the right direction. Educators the world over have identified that we all learn differently and have unique ways of processing information and transferring it into knowledge or wisdom. Integrated learning allows the curriculum to flow just as life and living does. All learning is now known to be influenced by emotions: happy, calm kids learn best. With all this educational knowledge, why are things so different in the classrooms? The over-emphasis on assessment and reaching benchmarks is a drive that often shuts down authentic learning for life. It sucks the creativity, student directedness and enthusiasm for the cooperative, collaborative unfolding of curiosity and intuitive learning. Accountability and results are seldom able to measure the social, emotional or moral growth of students and yet surely these are equally as important? The giving of awards for academic and sporting success does likewise – it can create a sense of failure for the 99% of the school community who never receive that public accolade. The year after year progress of students graded according to these two main yardsticks does much to crush the spirit of our emerging generation. Is it any wonder the western world has such huge issues around illicit alcohol and drug abuse, violence, obesity, teenage depression and youth suicide? The figures are simply outrageous. Essentially, classroom teachers know what can improve schooling, yet politicians continue to make the decisions based on intellectual and fiscal directives! “The body of a child will not grow if it is not fed; the mind will not flourish
unless it is stimulated and guided. And the spirit will suffer if it is not nurtured.” Rachael Kessler Education”.
So what does “soul of education” mean? How does it work? Where is it happening? In essence, ‘soul’ attends to those areas aforementioned: recognising, valuing, encouraging and nurturing the non-academic or the non-competitive qualities in education. It requires a commitment to being respectful of diversity in our schools: colour, age, gender or culture. It also means building a connectedness within all those who attend a school, through building genuine relationships amongst all who share in the amazing journey called education. Celebrating the ancient ways of actualization or personal growth through song, dance, art, story telling, poetry and ritual is imperative. The equal valuing of vocational as well as academic programs, where “craftsmen and women” are acclaimed as valuable and incredibly worthwhile in the fabric of our communities. It also means having balance between individual and group activities, showing that self and unity and cooperation all have value. It necessitates making learning fun valuing the role of laughter and lightness in building emotional competency and safety, as well as interpersonal bonding within groups.
“WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE AND GENUINELY LISTEN TO OUR YOUNG – TO THE STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS. THEY ALL HAVE A VOICE THAT YEARNS TO BE HEARD RESPECTFULLY. THESE VOICES CAN ABSOLUTELY SHAPE THE REALITY OF, AND HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON, OUR SCHOOL’S ENVIRONMENT.”
It means helping children learn how to think, how to use their own minds to interpret the world and how to find that elusive thing we all search for - meaning. It means teaching children life skills and values that will help them form effective loving relationships that positively contribute to our world. It means developing students’ understanding of our ecological footprints and how they play a huge part in the shaping of tomorrow’s world. It means caring deeply about our role in the development of every child who comes to our schools. Finally, it means that parents and teachers work together with the same agendas, same intentions and the same positive commitment to “bring forth the greatness within each child.” We must acknowledge and genuinely listen to our young – to the students in our schools. They all have a voice that yearns to be heard respectfully. These voices can absolutely shape the reality of, and have a positive impact on, our schools’ environment. Education is not necessarily the only way to become wise – life experience has always been an
excellent teacher. Many of our students have lived a lifetime prior to crossing our schools’ doorsteps. We must be acutely aware of this and listen to them more. In our educated pursuit of academic results, we must ask ourselves, are we nurturing the development of character in our students? Do we squeeze values education in between the English and the Mathematics, or are we embodying it deeply into all our school activities? The soul is deeply shaped by significant adult allies who demonstrate trust, respect, passion and a profound, enthusiastic love of learning to all students - regardless of their academic capability.
there are countless lessons to learn in the school of life beyond the classroom. These students appear to have failed school, yet still have the potential to become winners due to their souls being nurtured throughout their education journey. Maggie Dent is an author, parenting and resilience specialist and inspirational presenter. She has a wide background of experience including ABC radio, palliative care, education and celebrancy that she brings to her work and is currently running seminars nationally and internationally that increase awareness in the importance of building personal and professional resilience. Maggie currently runs her own independent business called “Esteem Plus” that aims to inspire, encourage and assist people of all ages to take a positive step forward in their lives in order to maximise human potential.
Thomas More in “Care of the Soul” wrote: “Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science, more maths, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams, more tests, more certifications for teachers and less money for art. On all these counts, soul is neglected.” Maybe the education of our children will continue to rely on those amazing teachers who turn up every day with passion for their career, their students and the school system - in spite of the changes forced on them by systems full of faceless monkeys who haven’t stepped foot inside a classroom for a very long time! These amazing teachers have a genuine affection and commitment to students of all ages and cultures - they love their job. There are thousands of classroom teachers out there who are doing all that is necessary to build “soul” in their schools (maybe without even knowing it), giving hope to kids and their parents that what matters most is the gift of life. Daily, they are making a positive difference which thankfully makes our world a better place. Always remember education is so much more than teaching, and every student comes to school with a mind, body, heart and soul. Are you nurturing these layers – or are you just concerned with those features that can be assessed and measured? Be brave. Be an educator with the courage and passion to do what you are called to do - “bring forth that which lies hidden within”, so that your students can find a pathway which allows them to realize their full potential. Let us celebrate those educators who realize that there is unlimited potential in those students who failed the grade, who never took advantage of their schooling or failed to gain from the efforts of countless teachers. Good teachers know that
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The insecurities of an
‘awsome’ teacher M
y first year of teaching – like most teachers – was one of learning more lessons than teaching them. Most of what my University’s “School” of “Education” “taught” me - while necessary, and correct in theory - could never impart the lessons that only being full-time in the classroom could teach me. It turns out there is a bit of an expectation that new teachers have actually done more than simply look at the upper school syllabuses!! And that mythical student that “really wants to learn” isn’t nearly as common as the university lecturers would have had you believe. No amount of theory behind the history of teaching, or being taught how psychologists believe their own personal fields of interest should dictate how pedagogy should be applied, will prepare teachers for teaching.
If we do actually receive presents, there’s another problem to face: what do those presents actually mean? Am I a popular teacher? Doesn’t that mean that the students look at me more as a friend than a guide and an authority? Does it mean I have been an effective teacher, that perhaps I’ve helped the students achieve marks they were hoping for? Is that really me or is it just the student’s own motivation? Or does it mean I’m a good teacher? And anyway, what on earth does “good” actually mean? Some students think you’re good if you let them out five minutes before the end bell goes and if one child in a class of 30 thinks you’re worthy of a present, then what‘s up with the other 29??
Of the many lessons I’ve learned, however, one opinion has irksomely stuck with me. My first Head of Department told me that “a good primary teacher will always receive presents at the end of the year. It means they’ve connected with the students and made a clear improvement to their lives. But a high school teacher who receives presents has obviously failed: a high school teacher should never be popular enough to warrant presents because you shouldn’t ever have been their friends; you should have been more concerned with their education and less concerned about their feelings and no student appreciates that!!” For years I’ve thought there’s been a lot of truth to that. She was, after all, a fantastic teacher. At the end of the school year, no high school teacher wants to anticipate an end of year deluge of presents, however, we secretly hope that no one else receives more than we do and we live in constant fear that we will receive nothing at all! 38
But then I remember all the parents I didn’t call about their poorly-performing students. The assignments I took seemingly forever to mark, or the kids who at the end of the year did much better or worse during the year than I had realised. The pride I feel knowing that no Year 12 has ever failed one of my classes has always been tempered by the fact that I can’t recall any of my students ever winning awards! I sometimes take pride in some of the work I do. I think that some of the work I create is great and worthy of being published in actual textbooks2. But every time I think I may have earned some level of complacency, I see other teachers with freakish levels of organisation, remarkable turnaround times for marking, and abnormal levels of knowledge of every single student’s progress in their class3, and yet even they have trouble accepting that they’re fantastic teachers. Some of the best teachers I’ve ever seen are also some of the most insecure people I’ve ever seen4. They find it almost impossible to accept compliments, take every failing student personally and even whilst presenting to other teachers, are incapable of believing that they have anything worth sharing. Maybe this is the key.
And so, every time I’ve received a gift, a hug or a card proclaiming me as one “awsome” teacher, I’ve cringed. In my ‘weaker’ moments, I like to imagine I’m a good teacher. I like to think that my students may not grow up to be one of the seemingly unlimited number of people who, when I tell them I’m a high school English teacher, can’t help but tell me how much they hated English in high school. I like occasionally to believe that I have made a positive difference in students’ lives1.
I believe a truly good teacher will never accept that they’re any good, will continue to doubt their own ability and so will constantly review, rethink and redesign their lessons from one year to another, hoping that maybe this time every single one of those 26-35 juveniles will find the joy in Shakespeare. This then begs the question - if a good teacher reviews, rethinks and redesigns, does it mean that the opposite is the way to pick a bad teacher? There’s that old gag about a teacher retiring after 30 years, having taught just the one year 30 times. I’m sure we all know people
who appear to treat teaching as that bartending job they had in ‘uni’, waiting for something better to come along; and in the meantime, they just keep trotting out the same task, text and lesson plans that worked back in the Unit Curriculum days5. Does all this mean that if I think I’m a bad teacher, I’m actually a good teacher? Or does it mean I’m just a self-aware bad teacher? Or, am I really a good teacher who should relax and enjoy it? But surely every bad teacher once thought that?!
And what happens if that’s where I’m at? Oh No! I’m a terrible teacher! Why do I do this to myself and my students?6 Oh well....until I figure out exactly what I am, I guess I’ll just have to teach my kids that awesome is spelt with a gorram “e”. LEITH DANIEL
Illustration by Stephen Smythe 1.
If nothing else, I like to think I’ve improved their tastes in music.
Publishing companies: Contact details are available from the publisher. (And I work cheap)
In my school, there’s one person who does all of this; this does not make things easier for me.
On a side note: do a quick poll of teachers you know (not middle management). I guarantee most of them are middle children. Is there a link between middle-child syndrome and the need to choose a profession where you’re the centre of attention?
Because, “Dammit, they’re just gonna change the system again in a couple of years and we’re all gonna look like idiots if we spend all this time changing things and it reverts back to where it was before. Now where’s my lesson on radio plays?”
Ever see that Cronenberg film Scanners when Michael Ironside made someone’s head explode? Picture that now.
Trevor Galbraith leads one of the â€˜Open Dayâ€™ sessions at Kolbe Catholic College in November 2010. The biannual information session allowed team members from a range of different schools to see first-hand view of innovative teaching practices in ICT.
TREVOR GALBRAITH, RECENTLY APPOINTED TO THE NEWLY CREATED POSITION OF DIRECTOR OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES AT CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, IS GENERALLY REGARDED AS A LEADER IN HIS FIELD. TREVOR’S WORK IN ICT HAS BEEN AT THE CHALK FACE WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS. HIS PERSONAL CHALLENGE IN SCHOOLS HAS BEEN TO ASSIST TEACHERS WITH THE CHALLENGING PROCESS OF COPING WITH THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION. IN SEPTEMBER 2010, TREVOR PRESENTED A PAPER TITLED ‘FUTURE FOCUS MOBILE TECHNOLOGY’ AT IWB’S* - LEADING A DIGITAL SCHOOL’S CONFERENCE IN MELBOURNE AND IN 2005 TREVOR WAS AWARDED THE AUSTRALIAN COMPUTER EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR BY THE ACCE SOCIETY. THE ACCE IS THE NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL BODY FOR THOSE INVOLVED IN THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION. THIS INCLUDES EDUCATORS WHO TEACH COMPUTING / INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SUBJECTS AS WELL AS ALL EDUCATORS WHO STRIVE TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES THROUGH THE POWERFUL USE OF ICT. Where are schools at with ICT now?
ne would like to think that Australian secondary schools welcomed with open arms the opportunity to share a vision for 21st century learning, courtesy of the NSSCF (National Secondary School Computer funding) by providing a 1:1 ratio of computer access for students in Years 9 to 12. The essential elements identified for students in this learning environment are: Social-based Learning - Students want to leverage emerging communications and collaboration tools to create and personalize networks of experts to inform their education process. Untethered Learning - Students envision technology-enabled learning experiences that transcend the classroom walls and are not limited by resource constraints, traditional funding streams, geography, community assets or even teacher knowledge or skills. Digitally Rich Learning - Students see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, not just about engaging students in learning. “The reality is this has not happened and is not likely to happen in the remaining twelve months; the reasons appear to be clouded in the implementation process and, dare I say, a review process that has been inadequately addressed at all levels. The implementation, while a
success for politicians (we got a ratio), has sent a number of computer teachers spinning out of education. The reality of this undertaking is that it has failed due to a lack of ‘leadership’ in the educational revolution.” The anecdotal evidence seems to be that: the teachers still do not know what to do with the computers; the infrastructure wasn’t there (at most schools and is still not there); the migration to mass laptops has brought frustration, incompatibility and major network resourcing problems; in many cases the students see the laptops as some sort of impost that they were just downloading even more worksheets to, to make their life miserable; add to that major power refits to many outdated schools and what was seen as leading the revolution has for many become a very fragile and poorly planned implementation process for the majority of schools. Some even opted not to join the revolution.
Driving Innovation Through Leadership Currently, in schools Australiawide, there is a dearth of leadership in ICT, primarily Principals and the ICT leadership teams that include Network Managers. Strategic leaders in ICT are often the good teachers but time and again it has been proven that good teachers don’t necessarily become good managers. ICT network people are often not in touch with the relevant needs of the school and its students, yet
continue to over-exercise their power by hampering access for students in the 21st Century learning environment. It is a known fact that schools’ ICT Strategic Plans must reflect its school plan. Many of the Strategic Plans submitted for the Rudd NSSCF Funding that I have viewed were simply a tick-abox job and are a reflection of the total lack of leadership in our schools in this area. It is often said that we spend more time planning our school BBQs than we do in putting together our ICT plans. The fact is schools have planned to fail and leadership has signed off on the process. I have rapidly come to the conclusion that ICT Conscious Cultures exist only because of the successful leadership teams that drive their implementation. Lack of leadership ensures failure. Recently, I was on a committee which submitted an unsuccessful application on behalf of the CEO of WA for the ICT Innovation Fund. I have included part of that submission in this article because here lays the crux of the problems in schools - not only in Catholic Education - but in most sectors. The system lacks ‘leadership’. ‘Pressure is increasing on Australian schools to respond to rapidly changing conditions brought about by rapid improvements in technology. ICT is the foundation of knowledge-based activities, including the ability for economies to acquire and share ideas, expertise and services at the local,
Trevor Galbraith and Noburo Hagiwara (Teachers at Kolbe Catholic College, 2010) have been both recognised nationally for their innovative work in integrating ICT into the WA teaching curriculum, including Mr Hagiwara’s hagiPOD concept, where he has implemented the use of the iPod touch in the languages classroom at Kolbe Catholic College, Rockingham. The teaching duo are generating keen interest from a range of schools throughout the entire country.
national and international level. ICT and leadership skills are not only crucial to the enhancement of education in Australia, but are fundamental to living successfully and contributing to a rapidly changing and complex society. School communities need to have a vision for learning in the Knowledge Era and to plan strategically to achieve this. School leaders need professional learning to enable them to develop teacher capacity in implementing new pedagogies, which maximise the opportunities offered by developments in ICT. Leaders guide and inspire staff and students to share a strong vision for the integration of ICT in the school community. This is achieved through a coordinated plan for the provision of infrastructure, learning resources and development of teacher capability to address the educational challenges of the 21st century. Leaders are the key to creating and sustaining change in our schools. They are required to plan in a coordinated way for the provision of hardware, infrastructure, professional development and other ICT resources. Without a successful process to efficiently make the best use of people in the educational setting, ICT resources are unlikely to be fully used to maximise outcomes for students.’
The Government recently announced its investment of $16 million in funding is for four projects only: Teaching Teachers for the Future Teachers who are expert in the use of ICT will assist universities to update teaching courses so that new teachers have the necessary skills to incorporate the use of ICT in learning. ICT in Everyday Learning: Teacher Online Toolkit - Drawing on the expertise of teacher professional associations, this project will involve the development and trialling of seven online teaching packages which will show teachers how they can incorporate the use of ICT in everyday learning, with a focus on elements of the Australian Curriculum. Anywhere, Anytime Teacher Professional Learning - This project will provide teachers and school leaders with access to a safe virtual environment where they can evaluate, and build on, their ICT skills. Leading ICT in Learning - This project will provide a single online portal through which Principals can access expert ICT advice and tools as well as network with other Principals. The reality is that these projects should already be happening. With computers already placed in schools, only now, after the fact, is the realisation of the urgent need to train teachers, give
staff resources and instil expertise to our Principals becoming apparent. Heaven help us! By the time all is up and running and the staff and leadership teams get on board, our students will not be coming to school with laptops, they will be holding their own portable devices! It’s inevitable that this will happen and as for the Rudd computers? Your guess is as good as mine. All this is a move in the right direction for ICT, however, the plan was flawed as training and staff resources should have been provided prior to computers being distributed to our schools. School administrations do not reflect 21st Century learning models and therefore are not qualified to implement such changes. This coupled with a lack of skilled support staff and you have your current Australia-wide problem.
The Roles Classroom Teachers Need to Take to Make ICT Initiatives Worthwhile The technology arrives, what do we do with it? Teachers are still the most important link in the education process. No amount of technology will make a person a ‘good teacher’, it amplifies good teachers - it amplifies bad teachers.
Teachers need to be supported individually and in teams by technology that connects them to data, content, resources, expertise, and learning experiences that enable and inspire more effective teaching for all learners. The federal government’s four funding initiatives may address the research below; •
Design, develop, and adopt technology-based content, resources, and online learning communities that create opportunities for educators to collaborate for more effective teaching, inspire and attract new people into the profession, and encourage our best educators to continue teaching. Provide pre-service and in-service educators with preparation and professional learning experiences powered by technology that closes the gap between students’ and educators’ fluencies with technology and promote and enable technology use in ways that improve learning, assessment, and instructional practices.
a greater benefit to student learning particularly learning 21st century skills than those teachers who are less frequent technology users. Many are still trying to invent the big bang solution!
Some Concluding Thoughts What percentage of our schools have successfully adapted to the NSSCF Funding? Students most often accurately reflect the ability of those who teach them, so if you think the ‘Digital Natives’ entering our schools have so called ‘computering skills’, think again. Is a live teacher at the front of the class about to become a privilege of the rich? If we reflect on the undergraduate trainee teachers, then we’re still a long way off from having computer literate teachers - but the technology is even further from being able to do a good job of educating by itself. Therefore, it’s set to be an interdependent relationship for a good number of years yet! Leadership teams must ensure a consistent journey. Get things in the right order: •
Transform the preparation and professional learning of educators and education leaders by leveraging technology to create careerlong personal learning networks within and across schools, preservice preparation and in-service educational institutions, and professional organizations.
Learning and the Teaching Program
Use technology to provide access to the most effective teaching and learning resources, especially where they are not otherwise available, and to provide more options for all learners at all levels.
ICT Professional Development
Develop a teaching force skilled in online instruction.
What we are finding time and again in our roll-out of the digital revolution is no inclusive school technology plan to implement these processes, a general lack of leadership and in many cases Network teams ill-equipped with time and the support attitude to help achieve these goals. Teachers need to concentrate on ‘what works’ based on data and establish ‘low cost of failure’ environments. The general consensus these days is to ‘do less so your students can learn more.’ The compromise is that it’s all about balance and knowing the needs of the students. Teachers who use technology frequently in their classrooms perceive
acceptance and use. Will the leadership teams have the ability to construct the plans and processes to take part in the continuing revolution? I guess those who have created the ‘teams’ will succeed and the rest will continue to find the excuses. ICT success in a school directly correlates to the personnel in the leadership team. There simply is an insufficient knowledge base at the moment to go around and join the networks. Is it time to let the students lead the revolution?
The process for leading the change in a digital school involves: Leadership - the ICT driver is part of this team.
So we have now commenced to play with a new paradigm of Curriculum Integrated with Technology (Curriculum Integration). Rethinking technology integration means a reversal of the burden of proof for technology. Rather than asking technology leaders for evidence that the technology has been integrated into the curriculum, it challenges curriculum planners to take advantage of the unique transformational power of technology that brings together disparate resources that address the challenges of multidisciplinary studies.
Referred Papers: Horizon Report 2010 Speak Up 2009 - National Findings Gartner June 2009 - Rethinking Technology Integration for K - 12 leaders *As leaders in interactive teaching and learning, IWBNet offer a suite of services to schools to assist them with their professional development needs.
The issue is never motivation – it's about managing the stuff that gets in the way.
So as I begin my last chapter in my personal education world, it has become obvious that the technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of ICT support should be decentralized and offered as an essential service. Mobile computing - network-capable devices owned by students will become mainstream and Electronic Books will have a dramatic upswing in their
“THE STUDENTS ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE THEY ARE A MEMBER OF STAFF AND FEEL THEY “BELONG” TO THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY.”
TOMORROW’S TEACHERS BENEFIT FROM CURTIN UNIVERSITY’S PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE PILOT... KAREN REID TAKES A LOOK AT HOW CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, BATEMAN, HELPED IMPLEMENT THIS EXPERIENTIALLY-BASED APPROACH TO TEACHER TRAINING...
orpus Christi College is one of five Perth schools that were chosen by Curtin University to participate in their Pilot Field Experience for 3rd Year Bachelor of Education students. These students worked two days a week in their placement school for a whole term (Term Three), concluding with their 3-week Block Practicum. The Pilot program aims to provide future teachers with the complete experience of working in a school i.e. along with teaching and all that entails: preparing lessons, teaching, classroom dynamics/discipline, setting/marking exams and parent/teacher relations, they also experience the corporate side of running a school.
This model of Field Experience creates a relevant and innovative learning environment for the Curtin students who volunteered to participate in these additional two days per week. Being released from attending lectures in one unit of their course, they are required to produce and pass two assignments to satisfactorily conclude this unit of study in addition to maintaining their full-time studies. Through this strongly experientiallybased approach, the Bachelor of Education students benefit from their exposure to the whole school environment – being exposed to current teaching practice and disciplines as well as having this inimitable opportunity to
put into practice the concepts, tools and techniques they have already learned. Throughout their time at Corpus Christi College, the students were the responsibility of their School-based Professional Practice Coordinator (PPC). The role of the PPC in the success of this Pilot Field Experience is crucial; therefore Curtin University spent considerable time liaising with Corpus Christi College to ensure this key role was filled with an experienced, well-liked, highly qualified and respected teacher. The teacher who fulfilled these specific criteria at Corpus Christi College was Mrs Debbie Santaromita.
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Ms Marg Herley, Director of Secondary School Education at Curtin University, worked closely with Debbie prior to the arrival of the Curtin students at Corpus Christi. Debbie’s extensive experience in teaching and coaching stood her in good stead for the job at hand with the Curtin students needing to be ‘coached’, encouraged to initiate conversation regarding their teaching practice experience, reflect on the process, then journal in detail on their time in the classroom and within the College environment. The students were also required to present one of their journal entries to their peers, Mentor teachers and the Principal. Throughout the whole term, Debbie liaised with the Mentor teachers, delivered a number of mini-tutorials that were linked to one of their units and finally assessed each pre-service teacher in their Block Practicum – all this while continuing with her own full-time teaching position! Regarding the benefits of this type of field experience, Debbie said “the students actually feel like they are a member of staff and feel they “belong” to the College community.” She went on to say that being immediately available as the students’ contact person, watching them conduct lessons and being able to give direct feedback was a particularly advantageous experience much appreciated by the students. Throughout the whole process, there was a constant liaison between Debbie and Marg Herley from Curtin University to ensure successful outcomes for the students in the following areas: a familiarity with the school and the classes they taught while on the Pilot Field Experience; a comprehensive command of the material to be delivered in their classes and a sound working relationship with their Mentor teachers and their Professional Practice Coordinator. Marg Herley said “Curtin University is very happy to have had this opportunity to work in partnership with Corpus Christi College, the Principal, Mrs Caroline Payne, and the various generous teachers who undertook the duty to help train tomorrow’s teachers.”. She went onto say “Of course none of this would have been possible without the outstanding service provided by Debbie Santaromita who executed her duties as a PPC with utmost professionalism and attention to detail, which ensured an immensely positive experience for the Bachelor of Education Students while at Corpus Christi College.” On the success of this pilot round of Professional Practice with Corpus Christi College - and the other five schools involved – Curtin University plans to continue to offer this outstanding opportunity for its 3rd Year Bachelor of Education students – thus ensuring graduate teachers from Curtin’s Bachelor of Education program are of the highest calibre and well prepared for the mighty task of educating future generations.
Is your School making an
“ YOU DON’T TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, YOU MAKE IT.” ANSEL ADAMS
FROM A DESIGNER’S POINT-OF-VIEW, I WOULD LOVE EVERY TEACHER TO CARRY A GOOD QUALITY POINTAND-SHOOT CAMERA WITH THEM, SO THAT THOSE ‘MAGIC MOMENTS’ ARE CAPTURED IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM.
ull awareness of what makes a good photo is essential in ‘taking’ a good photo. Why would anyone be interested in such a photo and the various elements included or excluded to make it truly great? Schools are gradually coming to the realisation that documenting dayto-day activities photographically in the classroom is a priority. In an effort to market the school properly and to maintain a ‘digital presence’, the creation and knowledge of ‘Impact Imagery’ is becoming a ‘must’.
As a former teacher and as a publication designer for schools, I have seen a general shift in attitude in the way schools are visually documenting their year. Higher quality digital cameras (Both HD video and Still Image) are being budgeted for and more professional development opportunities are being explored for both teachers and students in the area of photography. As our classrooms are fast becoming fully blown ‘digital media environments’, the accessability to photographic and media equipment is now crucial, and it is a growing responsibility for both the teacher and student to make sure the momentum continues.
SCHOOL WEBSITES & PUBLICATIONS School websites and their interactive capabilities have developed at an incredible rate over the last few years. Twitter, blogs, wikis and podcasts (to name just a few) are now key ingredients of our daily education and they have become such valuable digital tools for schools, enabling them to showcase the daily activities and communicate directly with parents. Highly developed and frequently updated calendars and eNewsletters are now commonly used to inform parents and school communities. Updated bulletin boards and electronic daily/weekly notices now find themselves housed in creative webspaces, and photo and video galleries of school activities are rapidly clogging up school servers.
The Australian school websites that stand out above the rest are those with well-placed ‘Impact Images’; conjuring up images of enjoyment, excitement, happiness and the notion of achievement. There is no substitute for well-crafted clear and crisp photos, good lighting of the subject and depicting the school in a natural and non-forced way. Throw in some creative web design and userfriendly content management systems, and then things start getting interesting.
Like school websites, depicting the school visually in printed publications such as yearbooks, bi-annuals, quarterlies, prospectuses and even newsletters requires careful thought, time and planning. The images should reflect a wellbalanced mix of genders and ages, an even spread of ethnicity and mixed personalities but more importantly, display diversity across Learning Areas. This is easier to achieve with set-up photography sessions, hand-picking various students and suitable locations within the school. In fact, this is crucial to achieve the best possible professional results. But most schools don’t have the time and/or resources to do this regularly if at all.
WHOSE JOB IS IT? Unless the school is fortunate enough to employ a skilled part/full-time photographer and is not affected by limited resources, it is a difficult task to capture consistent high-quality images across all areas in an entire calendar year. Teachers are busy teaching, and students are busy learning, so whose responsibility is it? Some would argue that the responsibility falls on the Communications or Promotions/ Marketing Officer, if in fact such a position exists? This can be a touchy subject and quite often enough, the j o b
description for such a position is growing day by day. Technology is playing a big part in this. Often schools rely on a staff member with photography as a hobby. Such a person generally finds themselves roped into the position and photographing school activities becomes part of their job description, unbeknown to them. (Some wise staff members keep their talents a secret because of this reason.) Some schools utilise the talents of media students, or those students with a natural passion for photography. I have seen a few schools who have embraced this idea literally and appointed a Media Captain to coordinate a small group of ‘snappers’ making sure all events at the school are covered. This can be very effective but not suited to all schools. From a designer’s point-of-view, I would love every teacher to carry a good quality point-and-shoot camera with them, so that those ’magic moments’ are recorded in the classroom. Often, these moments are missed because generally ‘grabbing a camera’ is the last thing on a teacher’s mind whilst racing against the clock to prepare and execute a lesson smoothly! Hopefully in the nottoo-distant future, a camera will be an essential and compulsory component in a ‘teacher’s toolbox.’
ARCHIVING MADE EASIER Another important thing for schools to consider is that all images photographed in a year should be labelled into folders appropriately for the benefit of the school archival system. It is an extremely important task that needs to be monitored and updated regularly. When photographs are being taken, history is being recorded, and cataloguing these ‘moments in time’ needs to be recognised and considered. With the advancement of digital photography, the task of storing images is quicker and
takes up less ‘physical’ space, and there is now an array of portable hard drive and server storage options for schools to set up for easier archiving and faster access to files. This is all easier said than done, I know, but implementing some of these ideas now will make life a lot easier down the track.
BACK TO SCHOOL To market a school effectively, there needs to be variety of imagery across all spectrums of the school and choosing images that aren’t blurry or grainy should not be part of the selection criteria. But how do we overcome this? There are some wonderful companies that can assist schools (educators and students) in becoming better photographers, but more importantly, appreciating photography as a way of looking at the world, capturing fleeting moments as they occur, and having a little bit of knowledge of the camera to make sure these images are frozen in time. One such company is IMAGETREE. Their photography short course seminars and Photoshop workshops cover the
core fundamentals through to imaging as a career, if you want to go that far. Along the journey, at whatever level you are now, you learn key principles that will open other doors to your creative image-making. They teach you to understand your camera and some software techniques to free yourself from confusion and make professional quality images that reproduce beautifully. This can be hugely beneficial for the teacher in the classroom (and in the social/family life) and simply learning some of the basic skills that you probably never knew existed could possibly ignite a new-found passion! Schools ARE big businesses, and staff sharing the load in the area of photography is the only logical solution to making sure diverse and quality images are created for the growth, promotion and successful marketing of the school. The task simply needs to be broken down into little pieces. Teachers have a regular opportunity to visually document and showcase the exciting and even mundane activities and moments in their areas of learning. If this became a weekly routine for all teachers (and their
students), new and exciting opportunities would be created before their eyes! French-born photographer Elliott Erwitt was once quoted as saying, “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” There is so much truth behind this statement. We really need to be conscious about what is happening around us, conscious about recording our lives creatively and look at the moments of our everyday life from different angles. CAM ALLEN Photography: Solace Design
John Nettleton P hotography
Specialising in School Balls, Dinner Dances and Graduations. 59 Cleopatra St, Palmyra PH: 08 9339 6710 MOB: 041 9952 069 EMAIL: email@example.com • WEB: www.johnnphotos.com
TO DATE, NAB SCHOOLS FIRST HAS AWARDED $10.15 MILLION TO 195 AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN THEIR EFFECTIVE SCHOOL-COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS. ANOTHER $5 MILLION IN FUNDING IS AVAILABLE TO SCHOOLS IN 2011. APPLICATIONS WILL OPEN ONLINE ON MONDAY, 20 JUNE AND CLOSE ON FRIDAY, 29 JULY.
Celebrating excellence in WA Schools including Kununurra District High School, Nagle Catholic College and Westminster Junior Primary School. In November, 2010, Perth’s John Forrest Senior High School was named WA State Impact Award Winner for its partnership with Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association (MPA) Skills. The school received a total of $100,000 in funding towards its partnership.
ou’ve heard the maxim it takes a village to raise a child. NAB Schools First recognises that the education of young people rests on the shoulders of the entire community. NAB Schools First brings together students, teachers, parents and community members to help young people grow. Launched in October 2008 by the Hon. Julia Gillard, NAB Schools First is a national awards program that recognises and rewards outstanding schoolcommunity partnerships. The three-year program has committed $15 million in funding to support schools working in partnership with their communities to improve the educational outcomes of young people. Over 20% of Australian schools have applied for a NAB Schools First Award in its first two years across the two awards categories – Impact (for established partnerships) and Seed Funding (for new or developing partnerships). Western Australian schools have jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the program. In 2010, seven WA schools received an Impact Award, valued at $50,000 each. These winners were Baldivis Primary School, Balga Senior High School, Bunbury Primary School, Bunbury Senior High School, Halls Head Community College Education Support Centre, John Forrest Senior High School and Lakeland Senior High School. Three WA schools also received Seed Funding Awards in 2010, valued at $25,000 each,
John Forrest Senior High School’s outstanding school-community partnership allows senior students to commence a part-time school-based apprenticeship in plumbing or painting and decorating while completing their Years 11 and 12 studies. The community partner’s links with industry makes the delivery of the training unique, as it is truly industry-focused and industrydriven. The training is delivered by the industry partners on the school site, with many mutual benefits evolving as a result.
to continue to thrive and benefit more young people.” To date, NAB Schools First has awarded $10.15 million to 195 Australian schools to support and sustain their effective school-community partnerships. Another $5 million in funding is available to schools in 2011. Applications will open online on Monday, 20 June and close on Friday, 29 July. NAB Schools First is proud to launch a new and exciting Student Award in 2011. The NAB Schools First Student Award will give students across Australia the chance to develop ideas for connecting their schools with community organisations. It’s all about recognising and encouraging the creativity and capacity of young Australians. Applications for the Student Award open Monday 9 May and close Friday 27 May. NAB Schools First is brought to life in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). For more information about NAB Schools First, including how to apply in 2011, visit www.schoolsfirst.edu.au.
Jodi Cryan, Head of NAB Schools First, said that it was clear that there is a very solid and effective partnership between the school and a Group Training Organisation. “One of the strongest benefits of the partnership is that it encourages students to stay on at school to complete their pre-apprenticeship studies,” Jodi said. “The benefits flowing from this are evident. This is a shining example of how students can flourish when school and community work together. We hope that these funds will allow the partnership
imone Heng is a Singapore-born Australian TV and radio presenter based in Dubai. She hosts (the top in its time slot) Workforce Requests from 10am to 1pm on Dubai’s leading English radio station, Richard Branson’s 104.4 Virgin Radio, as well as season 1 and 2 of the expatriate travel TV show Dubai 101 on Dubai One. In 2010, Simone was nominated for Female Personality of the Year in the Best in Dubai Awards. In both 2010 and 2011 she made the city’s list of the most influential professionals as part of the Ahlan! Hot 100. In the same year she was also named as Viva magazine ambassador for her role as one of the 10 most inspirational women in the Gulf. Also in the same year Simone was asked to be an ambassador for the Emirates Arthritis Foundation, for whom she worked in a charity awareness show in the A/W ’10 Dubai Fashion Week. Prior to her work in the Middle East, Simone was based in Australasia for four years. During that time she fronted HBO Asia’s movie and entertainment news show HBO Central from 2006 to 2008. HBO Central was broadcast to over 300 million cable subscribers and reaches as far as China. Simone was also the spokes-model for the Sunsilk Hairtalk campaign for the Philippines in 2006. She hosted numerous TV shows for Kids Central Singapore, Channel V International and Channel 9 Australia. Simone’s hosting on the final season of the travel and lifestyle show, Postcards WA, for Channel 9 Perth in 2007 made her one of few Asian faces on a commercial network in Australia at the time. In 2008, while still hosting HBO Central, Simone crossed over into radio on Singapore’s Power 98FM. It is here that Virgin Radio International found her and brought her to Dubai. Throughout her globetrotting career, Simone has been featured in Grazia Middle East, Cleo Singapore, FHM Philippines, Maxim Philippines, Ok! Middle East, Singapore Woman’s Weekly, Perth’s Sunday Times Magazine and countless other titles. For more on Simone you can go to www.simoneheng.com.
LEFT: Photo courtesy of Marius @Darrin James Photography, Dubai
“PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO IN HIGH SCHOOL THAT MATTERS; IT’S WHAT YOU DO AFTERWARDS. IN ONE SENSE THEY ARE RIGHT BUT WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU IS THAT YOUR WORK ETHIC AND YOUR PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD ALL DEVELOPS FROM SCHOOL.” “I am a nerd, a geeky, short Asian nerd. I love achieving, I love scoring top of the class and I love that teachers love me!! I am an unabashed, competitive nerd!! “ It feels strange even in jest to write those words when for many years, I apologised for my ambition. I would make fun of my “Asianness” because I thought it was unattractive and made me more “uncool”- putting myself down before anyone else could - after all no-one wants to be the tall poppy. You see, I was always smart and worked heartbreakingly hard (unlike my sister, I wasn’t naturally smart, I had to work at it) but I was always scared someone would point it out and ridicule me. I used to walk around Corpus Christi College, my high school until 2001, with my left blazer lapel proudly weighed down by badges: a College colour for drama, service awards for music and debating and of course the obligatory student council badge. I would walk home every day along a busy main road with 5 lever arch files and all my books in my back pack, totally hunched over. I liked to bring every book home to avoid forgetting anything that would prevent me from doing all of my homework. Soon people started calling me “The Turtle” because I was so small - (at 155cm tall, the only girl shorter than me in my year had a genetic disorder and after she took meds I became the shortest, that’s how bad it was!) I looked like I was carrying my home on my back. I was also a member of every extra-curricular arts group and was the type of student that adored College Awards Nights where I could shine for all of my contributions and achievements. My parents would take the College Awards Night program, listing all of my sister’s and my awards, and post it to my Chinese family in Singapore. I’d always be the top student in English, from Years 8 to 12 I was a machine. One of my fellow students used to say: “Hengy, isn’t English your second language? How come you always get the top marks?” I’d say: “Yeah Dave, that’s because they taught me on the boat on the way over!” I would go home with my marked, top-of-the-class, English Literature essay beaming. I couldn’t wait to show my mother my score of 23 out of 25. If you have Asian parents, you’ll know what comes next; there is no CONGRATULATIONS, no pat on the back. Instead, my
mother would look at it, scrutinize the red edit marks and then ask: “Where did you lose those 2 points? Go back tomorrow and ask your teacher.” At the time, I thought it was harsh. Now, I know different. Having done an exchange in Switzerland for a year, followed by 4 years as an expat in Singapore and now 2 years in Dubai, I get to swap stories with people from all over the world about their country’s education system. And I can honestly say now that I wish my parents had been harsher! There is nothing like networking abroad where someone mentions they went to Harvard or Cambridge or they have a doctorate from Princeton to bring you back down to earth with a thump – leaving me with the feeling that I wish I had worked even harder and achieved even more. People always say it’s not about what you do in high school that matters; it’s what you do afterwards. In one sense they are right but what they don’t tell you is that your work ethic and your perception of the world all develops from school. Therefore, if you are lazy now, you’ll probably be lazy in the workplace. In entertainment, I meet gorgeous women all the time that want to present travel shows and be on the radio, however, in my opinion, none of them have the resourcefulness or hard work ethic required to succeed. I’ve come to cherish my now “inner” nerd (thanks weight loss and good skin care!!) as my secret weapon of success. When my TER results came in, I scored beyond my parent’s expectations because of all the arts subjects I took; I even surpassed my (very brilliant older lawyer) sister and every other girl in my year at Corpus Christi College. I was blessed to receive a rotary scholarship from the
Kalgoorlie Rotary Club and travelled to Switzerland where I stayed from 20022003. I was stunned at how elite the Swiss
education system is. At the time, only the top 8% of people in the whole country were deemed smart enough to go to university and - by extension - employed in high-paying jobs. The rest had to go into trades. Streaming the population in this way, the Swiss government made sure there was always the right amount of qualified people for the right amount of jobs. I embarked on a whole year at a Swiss Kantonschule where these top 8% study and was looking forward to “taking it easy” and enjoying myself – after all, my TEE was over and I wasn’t being tested! All of my classmates spoke 3 or 4 languages perfectly and there was I, stumbling to learn German, my first second language. I had become the proverbial big fish in a small pond that was now drowning in the ocean!
One day my Maths teacher at my Swiss school was absent. Everyone was working hard. About 15 minutes into class I asked: “Where is Herr Stump today?” The girl next to me said “He’s sick.” I then asked substitute?”
She said “What’s a substitute?” Still in the ‘taking it easy’ mindset, I literally stood up in class and said “Come on guys, there’s no substitute! Let’s go for a coffee.” The whole class looked at me puzzled, just like I had once looked at disruptive students in my own high school, and their faces were saying “Why would you want to do something so pointless?”
I suddenly realised how conditioned I had become to thinking applying yourself was “uncool”. It would have taken hell to freeze over for an unsupervised class in my old high school in Perth to do assigned work in SILENCE!! Years later, I understood that not only was their behavior cultural (the Swiss are immensely productive and hard-working people, second only to us Chinese) but also that when you know you have been given a chance, a chance that 92% of the population would have killed for, then you are going to make sure you make the most of it. Last month I visited Oxford University in the UK as a tourist. Part of the college campus where real Oxford students eat every night is the “Great Hall” where the Harry Potter films are shot. While there, I bumped into a 17-year-old girl and her mother who were also admiring the hall. This girl had been invited to interview for the university and view the accommodation; she was on the brink of being accepted into the best university on the planet. Her mother beamed with pride, the daughter was so confident, articulate and completely comfortable with her academic prowess. Despite all the things I’ve achieved in Media (which has now rescued me from eternal nerd-dom!) I sincerely wished that I had worked even harder and achieved entry into an institution like Oxford. I salivated imagining the learning experience! This 17-year-old girl would receive a once in a lifetime opportunity due to her unashamed intelligence and hard work, that would be denied to me and so many of her peers forever. It seemed this English student was humble, yet totally unapologetic that people knew she was ridiculously clever; it was a source of pride for her entire family.
When talking to my mother in Perth, she too beams as she sees her daughters are doing well. Many years ago my Mother came to Australia with my Dad and opened a shop. They worked very hard just to give us a comfortable lifestyle. It’s always the migrant DREAM for their children to do well in their adopted home country. However, to my surprise, I now have to talk my Mother into understanding my dream of “making it” in other countries. I dream bigger than being a big fish in a small pond!! If I have one thing to impress upon you, I wish with all that I have, that you will read this and embrace your Asian parents (if you have them) and their pressurizing ways. Never be ashamed of your nerdy love of comparing test scores and raise your hand to be part of even more extra-curricular activities. Build aspirations beyond your school, beyond WA and maybe even beyond Australia. If you’re going to be a nerd, then do it right!! Be the truly esteemed international kind - do it for me, I wish I had! SIMONE HENG
Learning WHEN IT COMES TO FAILURE-BASED LEARNING, NO MEDIUM DOES THIS BETTER THAN VIDEO GAMES. IN FACT, THEY’RE SO GOOD AT IT, THAT FAILUREBASED LEARNING GOES SO FAR AS TO BECOME FAILURE-BASED FUN. JASON FOX EXPLORES THIS TOPIC...
ood gosh!” you may think. “He just used the F-word!”
Failure. In some education circles, “failure” is almost considered a taboo word. Some teachers try desperately to deny its existence, while others make no attempt to soften its impact. Failure - a heavy word that often needs to be sandwiched between nice words. This way, failure can be like sweetened medicine – good for you, a bit easier to swallow, but still not very nice. However, we know failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In the business and entrepreneurial education space, it is often seen as a very good thing particularly during start-up. If you’re failing, it means you are actually doing things. You’re making decisions while at the same time learning more about your offering and your market. “Fail faster” they say, because they know that some of your richest learning comes from these failures. In fact, some go as far to say: “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.” Elegant oxymorons aside, this concept of learning-by-failure is as powerful as it is tricky to handle. To deliver rich, failure-based learning experiences, we need to play with another F-word – “Framing”. Photographers use framing to bring about certain qualities in their printed work. Add a black frame and you’ll get a richer depth of colour. Add a white
frame, and you’ll likely perceive more contrast. Adding a colourful frame may add more emotion or zest – the frame influences our perception. In fact, framing could be considered the process of deliberately crafting the context of an experience so that the desired meanings are more likely to manifest. Educators can use framing to bring about the best learning experience for their students. When it comes to failure-based learning, no medium does this better than video games. In fact, they’re so good at it, that failure-based-learning goes so far as to become failure-basedfun. “Quest to Learn” – a New York school designed for “digital kids” – has based their whole curriculum on video games, game theory and game design. You see, within video games and other deliberately crafted game-spaces (like sport), failure is both frequent and brief. In fact, a well-designed game experience will include a series of shortterm feedback loops – none of which is big and scary. Even when a particular micro-goal or objective is not met, you are rewarded or acknowledged for your effort – and often immediately given a chance to reattempt (with greater wisdom). You can easily track your progress and see the milestones that lay ahead of you. All these components are very deliberate and designed to keep you engaged with the game. Contrast this to your typical academic experience where big ‘scary’ exams are the norm
and failure potentially means having to repeat a whole year – it’s no wonder failure can feel like a disaster. Video games make failure-based learning work because they frame the learning experience in a way that encourages exploration and makes failure fine. Within a game, players know there is a solution to be found, and if something’s not working, they’ll try something else. With every attempt, their learning deepens, their creativity broadens. These days, (since the advent of “saving progress”) there’s no more game over. There’s only game on. What would your teaching be like if your lessons contributed to an epic, realworld game of learning awesomeness? How will you frame your students’ learning experience so that exploration is encouraged and failure is rich with insight? What new parameters can you bring into your classroom (gamespace) that will deepen your students’ learning and engagement? How will you acknowledge progress (beyond grades and assessments)? And, how will this new learning space help facilitate your own progress? It’s time to level up.
Dr Jason Fox is an academic rogue with a knack for making clever happen. He’s a multiaward winning international keynote speaker, the founder of EnjoyExams.com and the author of Master Exams.
“IF YOU’RE FAILING, IT MEANS YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING THINGS. YOU’RE MAKING DECISIONS, AND YOU’RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT YOUR OFFERING AND YOUR MARKET. “FAIL FASTER” THEY SAY, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT SOME OF YOUR RICHEST LEARNINGS COME FROM THESE FAILURES.“
What to expect as a new teacher in 2011...
Illustration by Stephen Smythe
“AS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PROFESSIONS IN SOCIETY, TEACHING NEEDS TO ATTRACT HIGH-QUALITY MEN AND WOMEN WHO NOT ONLY ENJOY INTERACTING WITH CHILDREN FOR SIX HOURS A DAY BUT WHO ALSO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR SUBJECTS, ABOUT LEARNING AND ABOUT THE VALUE OF A GREAT EDUCATION. IN ADDITION TO PROFICIENT CLASSROOM SKILLS, GOOD TEACHERS NEED ENERGY, DEDICATION AND GOOD INTELLECTS.” JUSTINE FERRARI - EDUCATION WRITER - “THE AUSTRALIAN” (2010)
Secondary Teacher (Bateman)
Primary Teacher (Bruce Rock)
Teacher in Training (Aubin Grove)
Secondary Teacher (Fremantle)
CRIBE recently interviewed a selection of newly trained Western Australian teachers around WA (Both Metro and country) asking them to comment about their experiences as ’teachers in training’ and also to share some of their thoughts and feelings about their ‘First Year Out’ in the classroom. These are real people and their day-to-day work (along with hundreds of other WA newbies) will directly influence the lives of thousands of students within the next few years. We asked them some simple questions about teaching, here were some of their responses: Tell us your general thoughts and feelings about the teaching profession - what does it mean to you? I believe teaching can be a very challenging profession. I also think you need to be a person that exhibits a lot of patience. However, in saying that, teaching is also extremely rewarding. Much like having your own kids, I suppose, but on a much larger scale! Other than that, I believe it is a great profession for people who have their own families because the holidays are great. To me, teaching means facing something new every day. Sometimes that’s something good, sometimes it’s something challenging, but it’s always different.
Teaching certainly isn’t one of those jobs where you know what to expect when you walk into work in the morning. Students certainly aren’t predictable, but that’s what keeps the job interesting. It’s a wonderful profession that allows you to make a substantial difference in the lives of the students that you teach. Being able to move around within areas of education is also a big plus - there are many opportunities to expand your career. Without question, the holidays are awesome too! I am very lucky to be within a profession which is always dynamic and never dull. Working with kids is always rewarding, especially seeing the growth throughout the year. The continually changing nature of education keeps things exciting – but also challenging. What struggles have you faced in your first year of training? The most difficult thing for me this year has been trying to juggle being a student at the same time as being a wife and mother. The study load and time required to do all the necessary reading, assignments and prac has really cut into the time I would normally spend looking after my family. It has certainly been challenging at times.
One of the biggest struggles I faced in my first year was keeping on top of the various aspects of school life. I often felt overwhelmed with marking, lesson preparation, keeping up with parent contact and ensuring that I was providing my students with all of the knowledge they needed for upcoming assessments. Others will talk about our amazing holidays and the fact that we only “work” from 8 till 3, but I found many a time when I wished for more hours in the day in order to get everything done. Time! I have found that the workload takes up a lot of my free time and I have found this challenging to get used to - but I know once I get the hang of it, the amount of time spent preparing will be less. There definitely needs to be a good balance between work, home, social life, playing sport etc. It took me a while to figure out what mine is but I think I’m getting there. I was fortunate to have been part of an exciting phase in shaping our newly structured Middle School with the first cohort of Year 7 students. There was also a vibrant learning environment specifically built for these transitioning students, a one to one laptop program and the implementation of the International Baccalaureate for
Middle Years. Although an exciting time at the College, it was this combination of so many new initiatives which proved to be much more challenging than anyone could have ever prepared me for. What has been your most rewarding experience to date in your pracs? For me the most rewarding part of being on teaching prac is the way you quickly become attached to the students and how quickly they warm to you. One school in particular I found difficult to leave after only one week there – it was sad and the students felt the same. I had the opportunity to teach two Year 12 classes in 2010, and although the workload was challenging, my most rewarding experience to date was watching those young men graduate. I knew that many of them had worked tirelessly throughout the year in a subject which was not their strongest, and I was very proud of all that they had accomplished. I felt at the time that it was not only an achievement for them, but for me also. The end of year concert. Each classroom teacher prepares an item for the concert. Having a background and keen interest in drama and dancing, seeing my kids perform a routine organised by myself was certainly a rewarding experience! I never once imagined I would one day teach at the very school which shaped who I am today. This unique opportunity provided me with the chance to work side by side with some of my own teachers who had inspired me to achieve my best in all aspects of life in the same way I wish to inspire my own students. I cherish this opportunity and am fortunate to work with such amazingly dedicated and supportive staff. How much emphasis has there been on technology in the classroom or your teaching methods in your first 12 months? In my opinion, there is not nearly enough emphasis on technology in the classroom in my course. From memory we spent about half a day watching someone else use an interactive whiteboard! I think it would be really useful to have a whole course unit devoted to technology in the classroom which addresses not only how to teach our students but how we as teachers use the technology ourselves.
There is a large emphasis on technology in my classroom as it is a useful tool in engaging students who have different learning styles. It is also an important aspect of my subject when it comes to analysing film, television or music. Students often welcome a change of focus in the lesson and things like interactive computer games or even YouTube clips are an excellent way to grab the boys’ attention. There will be a particularly strong emphasis on technology this year as it is the first time that all of the students in Years 7 to 10 will have their own laptop. To be honest, there has been limited focus on technology within my classroom, however they do have another teacher that does computer-based studies with them. I am however hopefully getting an interactive whiteboard this year which I have used before on a prac and they are fantastic! It’s so funny to think that when I was in Year 7 we were thrilled to have three computers at the back of our class. Now, my students each have their own laptop – used to engage them in the learning process and cater for the variety of learning styles in the classroom. Using such interactive applications on the MacBook allows us to work with kids ‘on their level’ and as a result, they are always engaged. What honest advice would you impart to someone considering or about to embark on a teaching career? Firstly I would say that you need to be dedicated to the course. Without commitment, there were times when I wasn’t sure that I could keep going. Other than that I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the learning and I think most people would find it very rewarding. You need to be prepared to work hard in your first couple of years in order to stay on top of your workload. Also, considering you start with none of your own resources or experience, you need to work closely with your colleagues and learn as much as you possibly can from them. Appreciate any advice that you may receive on how to make your job a little easier and always be willing to ask for help. Preparation is the key! Start early, put in the hours early on to help reduce the workload later and find a balance between work and home. Decide on the amount of time you need to spend at
school preparing etc and stick to it! Don’t skip social events or sporting commitments because ‘you have a heap of marking to do’ - it will still be there in the morning and it is important to give yourself a break from work. Teaching is a busy job but very rewarding at the same time definitely give it a go! Be willing to learn from others. Those rather expensive University textbooks have come in handy from time to time, but I found that it was my amazingly encouraging colleagues who taught me the most about this profession. I have learnt so much by observing senior teachers deal with challenges in everyday situations and by asking for advice and direction. What has been your most embarrassing moment in the classroom or in the staffroom? I would have to be honest and say as of yet I haven’t really had any embarrassing moments but with more pracs ahead I am sure there will be some to come! One of the disadvantages of teaching only boys is that the majority of my students are significantly taller than me. This has become the standard joke in my classroom, particularly considering I have to start writing halfway down the board as I cannot reach the top. One Year 12 student even made me a step to help solve the problem. This was very thoughtful, but embarrassing none the less. During our Ancient Egypt theme we were looking at the Ancient Egyptian Gods. The activity was to draw one of the Gods the way traditional Egyptian Art was created. A student asked if he could have a look at “The God of Fertility” on the internet to see how he could draw it...I hadn’t previously seen what it looks like...needless to say I quickly minimized the internet browser when I saw what it looked like! Probably when my mum came into school unexpectedly to drop off some lunch… Awkward!
ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA ARE PROVIDED WITH OPPORTUNITIES THAT ENHANCE THEIR EDUCATION EXPERIENCE WITH THE HELP OF THE ICEA FOUNDATION (ESTABLISHED IN 2007). LOCKIE COOKE, FORMER CHRIST CHURCH GRAMMAR STUDENT AND FOUNDER OF ICEA, IS AN INSPIRATIONAL YOUNG MAN WITH A PASSION FOR HELPING RESOURCE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY SCHOOLS WHILE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN NON-INDIGENOUS AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. THE ARTICLE BELOW RECOUNTS THE BEGINNINGS OF THE ICEA FOUNDATION AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORK THEY CONTINUE TO CARRY OUT TODAY....
t all started in 2006 when Lockie, a Year 11 Christ Church Grammar student, was invited to Garnduwa Mens’ Leadership Camp held at One Arm Point - a laid back remote Aboriginal community north of Broome. The camp’s aim was to develop indigenous leaders within the community. It consisted of approximately 40 kids from around the Kimberley region spending a week together, developing leadership activities and strategies, taking part in a range of activities such as eating mud crabs and making spears, and as a result, created long-lasting friendships with the Bardi People of One Arm Point. On his return to Perth, Lockie felt inspired by the whole camp experience, deciding he too wanted to give back in some way to the indigenous communities of WA. His realisation that many indigenous students were held back in the classroom environment due to a lack of resources and facilities was a huge motivating factor in his decision. This was the beginnings of what is now known as the Indigenous Communities Education Appeal (ICEA). As he began his final year at Christ Church Grammar in 2007, Lockie participated in a variety of fundraising initiatives: book drives, sausage sizzles and the much publicised Walk the Rope for charity. Walk the Rope is a 7 km walk carrying a tug-of-war rope in order to symbolise unity and commitment to the cause of raising funds to help resource the education of indigenous communities in the Kimberley. A significant amount of money was raised and nearly 2 tonnes of books were collected then distributed to the region. At the end of 2007, the community of Beagle Bay and Headmaster, John Rose, invited Lockie to the Dampier Peninsula to personally hand out some of these books, prizes and funds raised to the Sacred Heart School. While there Lockie met with an indigenous man, Mick Albert,
from Broome who took him on a tour of the Peninsula, introducing him to many schools and principals in the surrounding towns. This gave Lockie an opportunity to talk with students and staff as well as experience first-hand what assistance was most required to make life easier for these communities. During these conversations, the question most often put to the school communities was “What is the best way we can help your school?” The primary concern for staff was the sporadic attendance of students and therefore they felt that some way of encouraging a child’s full-time attendance at school would be most beneficial. Lockie’s ‘Kick-Start Incentive Program’ was the solution. An incentive-based process with the goal of encouraging students to attend more frequently was developed. The program provides the students with the motivation to come to school by way of incentive prizes e.g. new sports equipment, footballs, basketballs, as well as books and toys. The most recent highlight was One Arm Point School reaching a record high attendance rate with 87% of students reaching 80% for Term 4 attendance in 2010. Over the whole Dampier Peninsula, 150 incentive prizes were handed out for the term. Before the program began, less than 50% of the kids in school attended 85% of the time, and currently (from Term 4 2010) 87% of kids in school attended 85% of the time. This improvement in attendance has seen a noticeable increase in the students’ academic achievements. In 2008 ICEA became a registered charity and finally received DGR Status (Deductible Gift Recipient) as a non-profit organisation, therefore all donations made to this charity are now fully taxdeductible.
There have been a variety of companies embracing ICEA since its inception: SHELL Development Australia (Oil and Gas) who as a supporting partner have recently committed to support ICEA for the next 3 years; accounting firm MIA Perth and a national freight company, Nexas Freight, to name but a few. Throughout 2009/2010, ICEA has evolved into a more diverse organisation separating their cause into two distinct areas: To facilitate educational opportunities for Aboriginal young people in remote communities •
Create incentives for school attendance through provision of sporting equipment, providing books and reading material to teachers, students and parents
ICEA’S GOAL IS ALSO TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN NON-INDIGENOUS AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AND TO INITIATE A PROCESS OF UNDERSTANDING AT A GRASSROOTS LEVEL.
To support capacity building for Australia’s future leaders in Aboriginal issues. •
Facilitating leadership camps for Years 11 and 12 students to visit Aboriginal communities and be educated on Aboriginal Issues, community-specific circumstances and Aboriginal culture as well as participating in community-building activities.
Create Aboriginal cultural awareness at WA Schools through leadership, student committees, NAIDOC Celebrations and the establishment of “Marja Mob”.
Sustaining Aboriginal cultural awareness beyond school years and giving school leavers opportunities to join the ICEA ‘family’.
Teaching cultural awareness to Australia’s future leaders through the provision of cultural awareness training.
The overall philosophy at ICEA is to encourage young people to become actively involved in a variety of fun, fundraising initiatives, thus embedding
in them a deeper understanding of Indigenous Culture. ICEA’s goal is also to bridge the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous communities and to initiate a process of understanding at a grass-roots level. A major component in bridging this gap is to introduce WA schools directly with indigenous cultures through celebrating ‘NAIDOC Week’. This may involve: ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremonies by indigenous elders; hosting traditional dance, music and art displays; sampling traditional bush tucker tastings and techniques and experiencing sacred smoking ceremonies. ICEA hopes to maintain and promote cultural heritage by combining the efforts of communities, councils and individuals. Coastal activities such as surfing competitions are also a predominant event on the ICEA calendar. These competitions are combined with the presence of Aboriginal elders who openly talk to the participants about the coastal regions and the origins of the land. This creates a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal culture for the participants and a new-found respect for Australia’s original inhabitants and their movements
in our Nation’s history. Barriers are broken down, cultural awareness is explored and an understanding of reconciliation is discovered. By contacting the ICEA Foundation, they will be able to provide your school with the necessary steps in raising an awareness of indigenous culture and reconciliation. If your school is keen to get involved, you can make contact via their website www.iceafoundation.com.au which will point you in the right direction, providing information on the culture and the steps necessary to engage with the indigenous groups of your school’s location and original land to promote reconciliation in your community.
JOSEPH OLOO IS A SELFLESS VISIONARY AND A MISSIONARY LIVING AND WORKING IN THE SMALL REMOTE VILLAGE OF MUKURO , IN THE SOUTH NYANZA PROVINCE OF KENYA, AFRICA. HE HAD A VISION TO BUILD “THE MAMA PAULINA SCHOOL OF HOPE”, A SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN WHO WERE DISADVANTAGED BY POVERTY. NAMED AFTER A LOVING WOMAN IN HIS VILLAGE WHO ONCE CARED, NURTURED AND FED NEEDY CHILDREN AND ORPHANS, JOSEPH IS NOW DETERMINED TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE BY EDUCATING THESE INNOCENT YOUNG SOULS, AND CONTINUE MAMA PAULINA’S LEGACY. AFTER BEING INTRODUCED VIA EMAIL THROUGH SOME OF JOSEPH’S CLOSE FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS IN WA, SCRIBE DIRECTOR, CAM ALLEN, HAS JOINED THE CAUSE TO ASSIST AND PROMOTE THE GROWTH OF THIS INSPIRING GROUP OF PEOPLE. IF YOU FEEL YOU CAN HELP TOO, PLEASE READ ON...YOU MAY CHANGE LIVES SOON ENOUGH... 66
had a conversation recently with a friend of mine, John Nettleton, at a cafe in Palmyra. John is an amazing photographer who has done some extensive travel over the last decade, capturing the beauty and diversity of cultures around the world.
I would like to share with you an email that Joseph sent me in early January.
During this particular conversation, John told me about a recent trip he made with his partner, Diana, to Kenya on an African Safari. It sounded amazing.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. It is with deep regards that I would wish to share with you the theme and projections that led to a total devotion in establishing Mama Paulina School of hope.
John and Diana met Joseph Oloo on the TUP Safari - Kumuka as he was working as a cook for the trip. During their adventure they got to know Joseph very well and he told them about his heartfelt story of determination and strength in setting up education for underprivileged children in his village. This was a man balancing an enduring working life whilst trying to support the growth and development of the ‘Mama Paulina School of Hope’. Both John and Diana have been providing the support they can by collecting boxes of educational supplies for the school including books, crayons, puzzles, duplo, and lego, and very soon hope to have these transported directly to Joseph and his team through Emirates Airlines.
This has not been edited and is a true representation of a very special person; Dear Cam,
The mama that it was named after, was a loving mother of great humor. Many children from the village that grew during her time used to stay by her in her traditional round hut in the evening. She used to tell them stories which were of a great encouragement to their educational tenure and gave them food. Children used to love her and especially orphans preferred to stay at her place. She took care of them with a tender heart until her time of leaving the world.
Being that poverty and a change of lifestyle could not be realized within a fortnight. The gradual effect would be only realized by every small thing we do and contribute to make the world a better place. The first attempt to implement my dream forming a group was not fertile after realizing that some of the members were not committed to the contribution but were hungrily waiting for any sign of fertility so that they could happily grab and eat everything greedily. This made me realize the risk of trusting many without a vision and a calling and preferred to go it alone with the few volunteers who could forgo their pride and greed for the good of the whole community.
After some ‘online’ introductions from John and Diana, I started communicating with Joseph directly via email. Very quickly, I got a sense of this man’s character. I knew straight away that his efforts in educating these underprivileged kids in his village required some additional support and outside communication. SCRIBE has come on board to support Joseph and the school and are seeking the help from Schools around WA through their various fundraising initiatives. More information about how YOUR SCHOOL can help Joseph’s ‘School of Hope’ is available on the next page. We will keep your school in contact with this community through our website and through photos and letters you will be able to see first-hand what a difference you can make to people’s lives, lives which unfortunately are often cut very short because of unfortunate living conditions and poverty.
“IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG BEFORE I REALIZED THE FEELING OF THIS GREAT LOVE AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE DISADVANTAGED AND THE POOR LIFE STYLE OF OUR VILLAGE OF WHICH I WAS A CULPRIT.”
It didn’t take long before I realized the feeling of this great love and responsibility to the disadvantaged and the poor life style of our village of which I was a culprit. The government is doing a good job and has established a free education system in primary schools. This has realized a great turnout of children that has made it hard for the teachers to provide quality education in public schools. The early childhood quality education lays a well established foundation to the children that help them pursue their upper education profile in future.
It was painful to see the children learn at mercy of sun and rain. This made me devote to construct on a building. It has taken a while since it is for sure expensive to person of my earning. The construction is not yet over and has still along way to go but many of the parents and the orphans has realized my commitment and have already been turning in large number of kids entrusting school with steering the education to a brighter future no matter of how limited the resources available are. This has made me worry since my ability is too limited to deliver to my satisfaction, the dream of bringing a generational transition to these poor and innocent children so that they too may see the light of their world in the near future. Due to unwanted strikes of malaria, poverty and Aids in this village illiteracy and poor education services has made the community vulnerable and we experience the need of giving the disadvantaged 67
children fair opportunity in shaping their future.
for lack of resources and most part of the constructions are not yet done.
Mama Paulina school of hope has created a vacancy of 10% free education to the total orphans per the population of the school.
We would therefore wish to humbly request our willing friends in Western Australia who have the same vision and calling to join us in this project so that we may restore hope to the hopeless. By doing this you are lending a hand in the making the world a better place.
We have also organized a nutritional back up to these children by providing them with a breakfast of porridge to empower them in their class concentration. This is because some of them at times do get to school very hungry. The area’s income is low in such away that we can not charge them enough money to pay for the teachers and to run the school efficiently. We still have to dig deep in our long pockets in order to buy a text book and a chalk to our school. Together with our teachers we do this work voluntarily at a wage less than two dollars a day. And the parents have also proved to join hands in the making of school compound clean. We now have the baby, pre-unit, nursery and class one making a population of 126 children in the school. Many parents are willing to bring more but we cannot afford to admit more up to their request
If your School is interested in fund-raising for “The Mama Paulina School of Hope”, contact us at SCRIBE MAGAZINE and we will help you make contact with the School.
May God bless you all. Joseph Oloo
We will give you the opportunity to see first-hand via the SCRIBE website , via regular email correspondence and photographs, the difference you can make to the lives of the village and school! firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 08 9433 5493
eaders in the 21st century take many forms, and this is no more evident than in our schools, where leadership positions range in diversity and importance. There are Principals, Deputies in charge of Curriculum, Deputies in charge of Pastoral Care, Directors in charge of staffing and IT, Heads of Learning Area, Heads of House, Heads of Year, Deans, Chairpersons; the list seems endless. Consequently, in an environment seemingly saturated with leadership positions, it’s only natural that not everyone who is charged with the responsibility of a leadership role will be any good at it. Different leadership styles will emerge, and soon enough, leaders’ shortcomings will be exposed for others to criticize. Scholars will talk about leadership styles such as transactional, transformational, servant, autocratic, laissez faire and collaborative. However, all this means very little when you’re confronted with an inept leader who simply cannot seem to get the job done! You just want to have a good whinge about it and move on with your life without getting involved in an intellectual conversation with someone who likes to have a reason behind everything. Here are a few of the more common alternative leadership styles that I’ve noticed during my time in the education system. How many do you recognize?
The Blameless Bureaucrat
The Pondering President Enjoys having robust, communal conversations where everyone’s voice is heard and all options are explored. The flip-side to this is that the PPs fail to actually make a decision or get anything done. A big fan of meetings, committees and sub-committees, PPs probably just love saying the word ‘reconvene’, and fear the possibility of a negative outcome, so prefer to sit on their hands rather than using them to get anything significant accomplished. The legacy of this type of leader is a lack of progress, and a complete failure to keep up with the times. In education, this can mean dwindling academic results, outdated departmental procedures or unimaginative pedagogies.
The Manic Monarch In stark contrast to the Pondering President, the Manic Monarch loves to make a decision, often when there’s not even a decision to be made! Enthusiastic and committed, yet hasty and ill-informed, MMs like to be seen as innovative and visionary, but in reality are merely erratic and illogical. MMs fail to consult those who the decision might affect, and as a result, stability under the MMs rule is not a common theme.
The Fair-Weather Pharaoh FWPs love being the centre of attention when things are going well, but are sure to be missing-in-action when things go a little pear-shaped. FWPs enjoy the accolades of a good idea – even if they’re not the one who came up with it – but are quick to pass the buck when something doesn’t quite go as planned. The rule under FWPs soon becomes characterised by individualism as followers begin to keep their innovations to themselves through a lack of trust. This can result in stale teachings, re-hashed routines and uninspired teachers and students.
Whenever you go to the BB with a problem or issue which needs to be addressed, the immediate response you’ll get is, “It wasn’t me.” BBs will blame the students, the parents, another teacher or “someone down in admin” before they take responsibility themselves. What they fail to recognise is that, regardless of who’s at fault, it’s their responsibility to sort out a solution. Sadly, they are too busy shifting blame and looking for scapegoats to get down to doing what they’re being paid to do. Ironically, BBs develop over time because of the fact that what goes wrong usually is their fault, and so they become quite adept at deflecting the blame from their desk. This Art of Deflection is initially effective, but followers soon begin seeing through BBs and their excuses. The upshot of this is that the BB’s followers are forced to develop as leaders themselves, or else risk being a passenger on a rudderless boat.
The Over-Organised Officer If OOOs spent as much time doing their job as they did organising their day, they could not only run their department and their school with their hands tied behind their back, but they could also trot out the National Curriculum seamlessly in the space of 12 short months. OOOs have laptops full of spreadsheets detailing budget expenditure, co-curricular hours and calorie intake-to-burn ratio per hour, and their colour-coded and intimately detailed diary is the centrepiece of an immaculately presented office desk. This systematic order would all be admirable if only it didn’t come at the expense of the job OOOs have been employed to undertake. Their department is in disarray with teachers teaching the wrong content and students five or six weeks behind in their assessments. But at least the OOO will be able to stick to the annual photocopying allocation right down to the last leaf!!
The Stressed Sergeant SSs are always flat out like a lizard drinking. Their desk is a mountainous landscape of papers and files which spill out onto the carpet and their diaries are a mess of notations, meeting times and Post-it notes which are harder to decipher than the Da Vinci Code. SSs like to give off the impression that they have more work to do than any other member on staff, but the reality is that they are quite simply disorganised or
incapable of prioritising. Their way of disguising this fact is to always seem to be in a hurry. As a result, any issue which needs to be addressed at short notice is given precious little attention, if any. Not only does this affect their own job, but also those who depend on the SS getting things done efficiently.
The Contented Colonel CCs feel as though they’ve worked hard all their life to get where they are today, and now deserve to kick back and enjoy the view. Often intelligent and knowledgeable in their field, once at the top, CCs tend to switch into cruise control, abandoning all ambition and vision in exchange for relaxation and mediocrity. They can do their job to a satisfactory level, but all progress will be put on hold as CCs know that they can sit quietly in their position for the rest of their careers before retiring to a life of solitude in the suburbs. Their followers lack guidance and affirmation, and therefore wind up despondent or similarly lazy. Of course, all of this is not to say that there aren’t competent leaders in our schools, but what it does highlight is that those leaders who do their job efficiently and effectively also manage to carry the burden of the bungling, ineffectual pretenders they have around them. And we should thank our lucky stars everyday that we have them there to keep things ticking along!! THE MASKED EDUCATOR
Some of our richest learning occurs when we just don’t get it.
e r i p s A
Tailored Educational Packages for leadership and development Tailored Educational Packages for leadership and development
TAILORED EDUCATIONAL PACKAGES is a new, innovative, school-orientated business that specialises in the development and delivery What is the Wizard’s Lair? The Wizard’s Lair is a challenginggoal Leadership Developmentand Program, designedbuilding to identify and develop of leadership, setting team leadership attributes in young adults. Highlighting the importance of team work, resilience and inclusivity, the packages for students in Western Australia. activities empower students by fostering an inclusive team environment. It is best suited to Years 9 and 10 and can be tailored to accommodate groups of 30 to 90 students.
We respond to current educational trends and tailor our packages to reflect your College’s aims, values and of ethos. Ourwhile workshops encourage to develop enquiring and flexible Students face a series challenges passing through the “Wizard’sstudents Lair” which can be constructed on the school grounds minds, a positive self-concept and a sense of direction. (oval or surrounding bush land) or in parklands nearby. Consisting of 8 tasks, students are placed into 8 groups and have only 20 minutes to complete each task. The number of challenges and time allocated can be tailored depending on the size of your group, timeare availability and your own objectives for the day. We run and owned by teachers, employing a range of proven activities and challenging tasks that allow students to discover and fulfill leadership potential which can often go The STOP DOin process Think, Organise, Plan, DelegateOur and Operate) is an integral part of the a seven step process unnoticed day (Stop, to day teaching in class. programs also focus onday. theIt isimportance of we encourage the pupils to implement when facing challenges as a team. A guest speaker will introduce and this in communication, inclusivity, planning, resilience and delegation of tasks as keydiscuss components of relation to their involvement with State, Australian and Olympic sporting teams. being part of a successful team. Three of our packages include:
THE WIZARD’S LAIR
A challenging 1 to 2-day Leadership Development Program, designed to identify and develop leadership attributes in young adults. While working in small teams, students face a series of challenges while passing through “The Wizard’s Lair” that require open communication, teamwork and resilience.
A ½ to full day workshop where we work with your College’s elected leaders. It focuses on what it means to be a leader in our community and the responsibilities of being part of a leadership team.
THE YEAR 12 GIANT RELAY
The Giant Relay is designed to provide senior school students with the opportunity to work together in an informal and relaxed environment. While encouraging students to work as a team, it also creates an environment where they are given the opportunity to get to know everyone in their group.
Contact Brendon McCormack for more information. PHONE: 08 6161 7678 MOB: 0407 441 362
Trusting Children want to learn... How Can a Montessori Education Help Your Child? REBECCA LIDDINGTON, MUM OF TWO PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN, IS CURRENTLY TRAINING TO BE A MONTESSORI EARLY YEARS PRACTITIONER AT THE MONTESSORI CENTRE INTERNATIONAL, UK. REBECCA SHARES HER PERSPECTIVE AS A PARENT ON THE ADVANTAGES OF A MONTESSORI EDUCATION AND THE EDUCATIONAL METHODS USED, WHICH SHE BELIEVES WILL HELP ARM HER CHILDREN WITH THE NECESSARY TOOLS TO FACE THE FUTURE WORLD. BOTH REBECCA’S CHILDREN ATTEND BLUE GUM MONTESSORI SCHOOL, WA.
e live in a hectic world with endless choice and opportunity. We are a community of busy adults constantly working and socialising. There is global marketing, 24hr media and a World Wide Web that, each in their own way, have revolutionised communication and business networks. As a parent I wonder, in all this noise, how will my children learn to clearly process all that they experience, how will they develop, grow and survive?
Italian University. She began her work in education in the early 1900s, initially caring for culturally and socially deprived children, and remained dedicated to her work until her death in 1952. Her educational methods are based on the scientific observation of children’s learning processes; the approach is respected globally with many of her methods now standard practice in other childhood educational environments.
I seem to lament the notion that my childhood was perhaps more innocent, I remember more freedom for adventure and discovery - and I wonder if I am alone in this? I know it wasn’t all day bike rides and bush adventures, but I see my children bombarded with media images from such a very young age, that I wonder if their childhood experience and innocence is being damaged. I do not want to turn back the clock, the future is for my children, but I do seek an education for them that will arm them with the tools to navigate the world today and its potential faces in the future. In this search, I discovered Montessori.
Montessori believed that a person is motivated to learn from within by a natural curiosity and love of knowledge. A truly educated individual learns throughout life, not just during the school years. The goal of childhood education should be to cultivate this natural desire to learn. It is through knowledge and the tools to observe, concentrate, understand and act that a child in adulthood will make informed and appropriate life decisions.
Montessori education is driven by an ambitious aim: “To aid the child’s development into a complete adult human being, comfortable with him/ herself, with his/her society and with humanity as a whole” (Montessori
Guided by her discovery that “children teach themselves”, Dr Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children freely choose appropriate developmental activities and materials which they use at their own pace. Independent activity constitutes about 80% of the work in a Montessori classroom while teacher-directed activity accounts for the remaining 20% (Montessori Australia Foundation). The environment
outcomes emphasise the ‘why’ and ‘how’ a student has arrived at an outcome and not just ‘what’ students know. “Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination…to enthuse”. Montessori (2007a). The Montessori approach is a globally recognized pedagogy. Montessori children are found to be: well-settled, active learners with an inner discipline to concentrate, they have a strong sense of well-being and are empathetic to others and the environment. In a constantly changing global society, it is perhaps more important than ever that early years and primary children are provided with a strong learning foundation and the key mental tools to understand and process the world they live in. I am extremely pleased with my choice of a Montessori schooling for my children. They appear to be thriving in the prepared environment. I have certainly seen positive benefits over the recent long summer break. My ‘turning four’ son has woken each morning eager to start a day full of jobs and activities, and my six and a half year old daughter tells me, “Don’t worry, we know what we want to do, we will call you if we need help.” Self-sufficiency and self-belief in their own abilities, at such a young age, is surely a great strength and start for any individual. There are a number of excellent Montessori opportunities in WA offering educational programs for children from birth to three, three to six, six to twelve and twelve to eighteen years of age. Discover more about a Montessori education, and how it can support your child’s development, visit Blue Gum Montessori School to observe Montessori in action or attend an information event; visit www.bluegummontessori.wa.edu.au for events and dates.
Bibliography, references and photos
Australia Foundation). A Montessori education takes into account the whole child; it nurtures a child’s spirit, selfesteem and self-belief and it respects a child’s innate interest in learning. It is this founding principle which inspired me and I believe will offer my children a strong foundation of understanding so that they are confident to face the world and all its challenges. Dr Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870 and was the first woman to be granted a medical degree from an
trusts children will learn because it respects a child’s need to know, discover, process and understand. The role of the teacher in this environment is to observe and facilitate the learning opportunities rather than instruct. The curriculum is holistic; it is organised as a spiral of integrated studies. The logical, ordered and sequential nature of the environment allows a child to learn through discovery: Theorems are discovered, not presented; spelling rules are derived through recognition of patterns, not merely memorized; the Montessori learning
Montessori, M (2007a) The Absorbent Mind, Amsterdam: Montessori Pierson Publishing Company. Montessori Australia Foundation www.montessori.org.au Blue Gum Montessori School www.bluegummontessori.wa.edu.au
SCRIBE GADGET GURU, BRAD TYRRELL, EXPLORES AND RATES A VARIETY OF TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS TO ENHANCE THE TEACHING AND LEARNING EXPERIENCE...
www.agilewebsolutions.com/onepassword MAC AND WINDOWS PROS – Effective access to all sites using one system CONS – Takes time to input all your data (first time only)
he nature of identification has changed dramatically with a vast number of memberships now offering online access to special offers and information. The ability to keep track of all these online accounts/passwords/subscriptions has become a real issue. Agile Web Solutions 1Password is a Secure Software Vault that creates one Master Password for all of your online needs. Within its core you can store your Credit Card information, Memberships (WACOT), logins and software license keys. It also integrates to your web browser and allows you to save the various site usernames and passwords all with one secure password. For those worried about security, all details are stored in an encrypted data file that only the Master Password you set can be accessed from. A must have program to keep track of every aspect of your online life.
3D Timeline www.beedocs.com MAC ONLY PROS – Stunning quality and export options CONS – long time between added features
erhaps one of the best visually dramatic pieces of software is that of Beedocs 3D Timeline. With a simple interface, you can turn information on a timeline into a stunning 3D fly-through with each event on the timeline having dates, pictures and information shown. You can directly play the presentation from 3D Timeline itself or you can export as a Quicktime file at a maximum of 1080p. It also has export options for various Apple devices along with Keynote directly. A simple piece of software that gives a new dimension for presenting information.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imo-instant-messenger-for/id405179691?mt=8# PROS – Good range of services offered, free CONS – Nil
oday we have so many ways of communicating over various online websites and software applications, it becomes impossible to be signed into everything at once while on the go, until now. Imo.im has been available online through the web for a while now but recently it released an iPad version for users on the go. This allows you to be signed into MSN, Yahoo, AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, Myspace, Skype, Facebook and Jabber all at the same time so you can always be contacted without the need to have so many different apps open. The ubiquitous nature of this app speaks for itself.
Keynote Theme Nations MAC ONLY PROS – Time saved CONS – Price
ime is critical when creating products and often it is easier to purchase templates that you can customise in order to be more cost efficient. A great site with a fantastic set of templates for geography and concepts in general is the nations templates on the keynotethemepark website. The shear amount of resource and ideas generated in this one set of templates is outstanding. Being able to effectively glass both accent bars and globes along with high quality PDF files for every country in the world and then apply these to any number of different presentations is what makes these templates so great. Well worth a look for any user of Keynote looking for new ideas.
JVC GY-HM100U ProHD Solid State Media Camcorder
PROS – Outstanding quality, CONS – Removable media can go missing
sers demand quality video content today and being able to find the right hardware at the right price is important. The JVC GYHM100U ProHD Solid State Media Camcorder is truly the right camera for the job. Utilising SDHC memory card storage, the camera takes truly amazing quality True HD 1920 x 1080. Critically it can be set to record in Quicktime movie format for seamless integration to Final Cut Studio. While the price can be of concern, you will not regret purchasing this camera.
MONOPOLY HD iPad PROS – Stunning graphics CONS – Pricey
e have all enjoyed the hours of fun with Monopoly and now we can all over again. Monopoly HD for the iPad has amazing graphics with various play style options. Firstly, single user play against the computer itself with a maximum of four players. Second is a local network play via Bluetooth or wifi. The view that is offered can be customised but the traditional view of tabletop is by far the best. Well worth the purchase for the car trips.
iStat Menus http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/ MAC ONLY PROS – Easy to see information, CONS – Can be slightly technical
hether you consider yourself an advanced Mac user or a beginner, the ability to self-diagnose problems on your Mac is an important skill. Bjango’s iStat Menu for Mac allows users to see a variety of different utility information easily and is extremely customisable. Users can see data transfer rates, temperatures, battery options (including health) and many more advanced features by simply enabling them. With a large variety of sensor information, this simple application can help you save a lot of time in diagnosing various issues. Bjango has a free 14-day trial so give it a go before you buy.
Snowball Microphone http://www.bluemic.com/store/ MAC AND WINDOWS PROS – Excellent quality, plug and play CONS – Price can be a concern
udio can make or break the quality of presentations. With an increasing amount of online content having voice recordings followed by onscreen how-to-videos, your existing built-in microphones might not be producing to the quality you need. The Snowball Microphone from Blue Microphones is truly a masterpiece for creating perfect audio. Apart from its interesting design, the microphone has three modes for recording but most importantly is a simple plug and play device. While the cost is a factor, once you record your first podcast you will never be disappointed by poor quality audio again.
CHILD “Mum, I’m bored, I need something to do”. This line sound familiar? One I have heard too often with the school holidays drawing to a close. I ponder and think back to my childhood days (not too long ago) at the response my mother would have greeted me with . “Well, go off on your bike and play with the kids down the road”. Today, and I am guilty of this, I answer my seven-year-old son with these replies , “ABC kids is on in only ten minutes” or “Go and play on your DS”. It seems that today’s generation of children fill their time very differently to that of my own era. We don’t just go off and play with the kids down the street any more alone or in the park. Parents today now schedule in play dates, soccer practice, dance lessons and give (I’m guilty) high-tech toys and gadgets that claim they are educational and can just about do everything under the sun. But can they ? Take the DS Nintendo for example, a hand-held game console manufactured by Nintendo - sold in millions over the world. This little gadget can set you back a few hundred dollars and turn your children into little zombies all with one push of a button. When my 7-year-old is on one of these, he becomes nonresponsive and transformed into his own virtual reality world. Frustrated with the lack of communication from my son and spurred into action from a book I have been reading called “The Winter of our Disconnect” by Susan Maushart (highly recommended read), I took the plunge! Yes, I strategically misplaced the DS, blatantly lied and told my son he had left it at Aunt Jackie’s house. After a tantrum and many, many tears later, he resigned himself to the fact that his DS wouldn’t be coming back that afternoon ( and for many afternoons to come) . That afternoon was quite blissful – not only did we have a DS-free day but we also dragged out a pack of cards to play 21, banked money in the monopoly game, had a backyard cricket match, painted a cardboard box that transported him , his
4 year old sister and a group of friends off to the land of Peter Pan and Neverland. He managed to do all of this free play just in time for dinner and bath, only then fall into bed. As I was tucking him in and his eyes were closing (resembling the zombie stare), his response that night to my delight was “Mum, I’m not bored any more…”. NAOMI – HARVEY, WA SCRIBE - Naomi, thank you for your honest and warm reflection. Technology it seems is now firmly embedded into our children’s lives - it is a good idea to give them a rest from it from time to time.
A-GRADE DISCREPANCIES? My teenage daughter attends a private country high school. I just wanted to know why there is such a difference in standards and expectations of what an A grade student looks like from different high schools. There doesn’t seem to be a level playing field. JODIE – HARVEY, WA SCRIBE - Hmmm, that is a tough one, Jodie... We are going to open this one up to our readers and get them to respond on our website. We will make the responses available online soon. We will also publish these answers in the next issue.
CLASS NUMBERS Could someone tell me why Catholic Primary Schools are able to have a much higher number of students in a classroom especially in the early grades (ie Kindy and Pre-Primary), compared to the Government system? SARAH – AUSTRALIND, WA
Policy Statement 2-B10: Two - Teacher Workloads:
4. Class Sizes The Principal shall determine class sizes within the following parameters. 4.1 Primary Kindergarten - Year 3, 30 students per class, Years 4-7, 32 students per class, Composite PP/1, 26 students per class, Composite 2-7, 30 students per class. Note: 1. MAG classes are not regarded as composite classes. 2. Existing classes in excess of these maxima will be eliminated by attrition. Note: In situations where an individual class size above the class maxima is required, the Principal and the teacher shall hold discussions with a view to reaching an accommodation. Such discussions may include compensation such as additional DOTT or reduced duties (eg yard/bus supervision) 4.3 Where a school wishes to vary the above, the Principal shall first obtain the approval of the Director of Catholic Education. http://cms.ceo.wa.edu.au/policies/ policy_statements/human_resources.jsp Sarah, if you look up the following link on the WA Department of Education website; www.det.wa.edu.au/docs/class-sizes. doc, this is a MEDIA STATEMENT released 28/10/2008. This will give you some relevant information about class sizes in the government system. We hope this helps with your question. We welcome our readers to write in via our website for more opinions. www.scribemagazine.com.au
SCRIBE - Thank you for your question Sarah. Please find below some relevant Media and Policy information to help with your question. According to the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia:
STRESS LESS I’m using this moment to express my concerns about the captivity of the spirits of today’s children. As parents, it is our duty to protect and educate our children: however has it gone so far that we have encapsulated them into lives of routine, order and structure, stripping them of the experiences of free play, nature and creativity? The pervasive culture of extra-curricular activities has blossomed, children are heading straight from school to a vast array of organized sporting, musical or dance classes. Times are changing, children are losing their backyards as our average block size shrinks. Children are discouraged from exploring their surroundings for fear that they might get wet, dirty, or appear dishevelled. Let’s fire the children’s imaginations, let’s stress less and let’s encourage the children play! VICKI – HAMILTON HILL, WA SCRIBE - Vicki, read Louise Corteen’s article on Page 14, you two are on the same wavelength!
REVENGE ON MY CHILDREN
SPECIAL NEEDS ‘VERSUS’ MAINSTREAM
At what point can I stop being embarrassed by my children and start embarrassing them?
We have a daughter with special needs in a well known metropolitan Secondary School and she spends part of her school day integrated into mainstream classes. She is always accompanied by a teaching aide, who we know does an amazing job with her! I know at times she can be a distraction to the mainstream students.
My children seem to be capable of asking people cringe-worthy questions like asking the height-challenged: how long did it take you to grow that round?, or drawing attention to people with noteworthy differences: “hey, look at that man with a metal leg”. My children have toileting accidents in inappropriate circumstances like in the middle of a church service, they will throw a tantrum when surrounded by judgmental spectators. They are honest to a point that I would like the ground to engulf me on far too many an occasion. I’m filing all these little gems so that one day I can pull whatever dignity I have left and use it to hatch a plan of revenge. The day will come that I can pick my hormone-infused teenagers up from a party: in my nightie, hair in rollers, pink fluffy slippers. It will be that moment that I will be able to appreciate the true joys of motherhood!!.
I was interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of parents who have ‘Children with Special Needs’ in their classroom on a regular basis. It obviously has some wonderful results for my child’s development, but does it restrict or impede on mainstream childrens’ learning?” CRAIG & JOSEPHINE – APPLECROSS, WA SCRIBE - Whatever negative points people may care to raise and try and justify on this issue, they are far outweighed by the positive effects on your daughter’s development and that of many other children with similar needs.
SONYA – BUSSELTON, WA
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