Register 2019

VIRTUES College Committee Reports

ACADEMIC What’s in an education?

understanding of the challenges faced locally, nationally and globally, and how people come together or work individually to solve them. A common phrase used today is that our generation must be taught not what to learn, but how to learn. I couldn’t agree more. Keep in mind this should be your first priority. It is more important to come out of College knowing how you learn best and how to create that learning environment, than it is to be a human encyclopaedia. One of my greatest honours in the past five years has been to learn from and eventually lead debating at College and to compete regionally and nationally. Debating is, to me, an excellent example of what we are trying to promote: the mindset of analysing unfamiliar ideas, constructing our own ways to understand them, and figuring out how to express this to others. I would be remiss if I did not recommend debating, and activities like it, to all students; it has taught me so much. As a student with the privilege to come to a school presenting many opportunities, I implore you to strongly consider every chance you get to do something more. To me, education is a place for everybody to define what they value and how they would best like to pursue it. The role of education is to empower everyone to go their own way and make their own decisions in the world beyond College, to study particular degrees or take up ideal jobs. Each course and every career is valid, and their value is set simply by what students feel is best for them. A key mission of the Academic Committee was to continue last

year’s work on developing a more comprehensive survey system to enable student–teacher cooperation in improving learning. Thank you to the staff who collaborated by running trials and helping design improvements. For students, school is about your education and what works for you. Everybody in a class agreeing on a few core beliefs and communicating them is an easy way to establish what works and what doesn’t. For teachers, it is a straightforward method to find more effective, less difficult ways to educate. These survey improvements are ongoing and I hope enjoy future success. This year, due to other commitments, the committee was unable to continue a programme trialled in 2018. Seniors tutoring juniors during classroom hours was designed to impart learned skills in a more relatable way, and allowed teachers to make sure everyone in their class was getting the coverage they needed. It would be great to see this return at College next year. In general, more connection between juniors and seniors would be ideal, as academically juniors have a lot to learn from seniors. In geography we rely heavily on the concept of kaitiakitanga – guardianship and protection – as a way to manage and maintain our environment. An analogous idea is that we should make sure every new generation at College receives at least as fine an education as the last. A critical part of that is building stronger bonds between seniors and juniors, to make sure knowledge is passed on, not forgotten. Another idea is to introduce course planning meetings between students

Kia ora koutou. What do we value in education? It is an open question with many answers. Here, I will discuss those answers through the lens of what the Academic Committee has worked for in 2019, and the tasks the committee has in the years ahead. If you want to give your own answers and think you might be able to contribute, you should be able to. All it takes is commitment, the hint of an idea, and a visit to the committee. Get in touch with John-Paul Lay, 2020 Head of Academic, if you would like to play a part in the development of the student body. We value a willingness to further not only your own learning, but also that of others. I thank all the members of the Academic Committee for the time they gave up from their own studies to come and contribute, and for their creativity and thoughtfulness in designing solutions that work for all students with a wide range of needs. I am confident we have some fine academic leaders developing the required experience and values for the years ahead. Again, I remind you, it is never too late to join a committee and see what it is like. Our values should be not only our values, but also those of the society for which we are preparing future leaders. That is why I am proud to have fought for and organised the opportunity for Christ’s College students to attend interschool events like Model United Nations. When our students go to these events, they are exposed to different and contrasting viewpoints. They develop a greater


Register 2019 Virtues

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