Recently three Year 10 Muirfield students were invited to an Educational Forum at the State Office of the Department of Education to meet with Departmental leaders. Directors and others who have oversight of change in designing systems wanted to hear from students. Only one other school was invited, which added to the responsibility that our students felt in representing all young people, not just students from Muirfield.
Caitlin, Tom and Zac provided student perspective on potential changes. According to our three students, there was a strong message from Directors that future classrooms should be larger with greater number of students in each class. This “flexible” use of space and teachers apparently enables teamwork. Our students strongly disagreed. They said they prefer smaller classes. Tom said, “Smaller classes give your more direct teacher time.” Caitlin added that this helps you get a deeper understanding and you get more feedback from the teacher in a smaller class. “Ideally,” said Zac, “I’d like to see classes with 15 to 25 students. Too small and you miss the ideas from other students and the discussion. Too big and you miss the individual interaction with teachers.”
They all agreed that more needs to be done in using technology to teach different things in different ways.
For student voice to be powerful and effective, young people need to be confident that they are heard, even when they disagree with the dominant ideas. It says a lot about how articulate and confident our students are, that they are able to respectfully and logically present an alternate position. Thank you to Mr Jankovics for accompanying the students.