Learning from our past
I had the pleasure of spending three days on camp with our 5/6 students last week. Our camp was to Sovereign Hill and the students got to be part of an 1850s school for two days whilst we were there. The students, teachers and parent volunteers were part of the 'living museum' at Sovereign Hill and everyone took this role seriously, ensuring they acted with as much authenticity as possible.
It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience life on the gold fields and to gain an appreciation for how difficult life was for students in that situation 160 years ago. School work was certainly repetitive, completely teacher-led and required both discipline and concentration from the students at all times.
It is important that we take lessons from these older forms of education. Discipline, hard work and respect are all admirable qualities and ones to strive for. However, we also need to be always living in the present (and focusing on the future) as educators. With all of mankind's acquired knowledge at our fingertips in this digital age, teachers are no longer the 'font of knowledge'. Employment paths are not clearly mapped out for our students. As educators we need to be more creative in our approach, provide the ideal environment and stimulus for students to develop a love of learning and allow opportunities for all students to explore big questions and further their skills and understanding at our pace that is relevant to them.
Thank you to the parent volunteers, Libby Crosby and Steve Reid, who attended the camp and the teachers, Mel Douglas and Michelle Mielnik, who planned and attended the camp. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to bond with one another in a different environment, learn about history through 'living it' and also get outside of their comfort zones.