Student Voice ...

kia ora tātou.

I'd like to follow on from my last post My Vison for 2013 in which I spoke about deliberate acts of involving Student Voice in meaningful ways.

I was really excited to hear that the Eastland Community Trust ECT had invited CORE Education to lead a four stage process  "to develop a dynamic education programme to improve the economyin the district, ..." and leading with the question "is secondary education in Gisborne the best it can be?"

On Friday, we had students involved in the first stage, i.e. they were interviewed, in small groups, by members of CORE Education. Derek Wenmoth (e-learning Director for CORE) and Mary Ann Mills (Senior Leadership Team CORE) had turned up the week before to meet with principals individually about the project; myself and Michelle Lawrence (Specialist Classroom Teacher) spent a good hour with them talking about the project. Derek is a well respected educator and I follow his blog.

I think that the ECT were smart when they thought about utilising the services of CORE education. Derek blogged a recent entry entitled Building better schools - what do  we value most? And this topic is extremely pertinent to this work.  I quote Derek

"... the leaders in high performing education systems demonstrate two key attributes. Firstly, they have convinced their citizens to make choices that value education and their future, placing a higher value on education than consumption. Secondly, they demonstrate a belief that all children are capable of success, and embrace diversity, personalised approaches etc."
I think that the Eastland Community Trust is fulfilling the first requirement and showing genuine leadership for our community by exploring and pursuing this action - which speaks volumes of valuing education.  The second requirement is reliant upon the leaders of our community, not just educational leaders, but genuine leaders from within the community to participate in the dialogue.

However, I'd like to propose a third component. My call is that we recognise that at the heart of a 21st Learning environment are the young people. Their voices must be meaningfully involved if we are to realize the "... belief that all children are capable of success ..."  There are too many lost opportunities because we have not considered the real contribution that our young people could make if but given the opportunity. 

Four inspiring kids imagine the future of learning
As you are well aware by now, I'm a big fan of Nikhil Goyal, the 17year old who wrote a book on what's wrong with the public education system in America and more importantly how to fix it.  On the TED blog website there are four inspiring kids imagine the future of learning!

So why don't we begin to involve our young people in meaningful ways around creating a future oriented curriculum - imagine the possibilities, imagine the future.  After all, dosen't it sound a bit strange that we'd not consider involving them in discussions and planning around something so important - their future?

Thank you to the Eastland Community Trust for the opportunity to do something really big with our young people of Gisborne - after all is secondary education in Gisborne the best it can be?

Enough said, enjoy the weekend with friends and family.

Video of the week - Seth Godin Stop Stealing Dreams 

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