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Secondary Students and the School of the Future

Note: This event happened on September 13.

Media Release
14 September, 2006

Secondary Students and the School of the Future

Learning centres, a curriculum that includes peace studies and education in a microchip were some of the thoughts to emerge at the recent inaugural “Our School of the Future Challenge.”

The University of Waikato School of Education organised the secondary schools competition, which challenged students to present their vision of the school of the future.

The judges said entrants Hamilton Girls High School, James Cook High (Auckland) and Trident High (Whakatane) School each approached the challenge in a thought-provoking way and the themes chosen were impressive.

The winning team members Eileen Nowland-Walker, Shiuvani Chand and Rosina Tuvau from James Cook High began their presentation with images of a world post-nuclear war. They then talked about how a curriculum should encompass subjects such as marine biology, peace, space and global studies.

The Hamilton Girls High team of Sylvia Holman, Eliza Jackson and Chloe Hodgkinson challenged the audience to think about how education has changed over the century and what it could become. They advocated for independent learning, learning buddies instead of teachers and learning centres instead of classrooms.

Finishing off the night with an entertaining performance were Trident High School students Mark Cranswick, Sirini Twigley and Kirsty Zink. Their humorous approach involved drama and warned of the dangers of a made to order education stored on a microchip that is inserted into the wrist. The trio talked about education as a fun experience.

The teams had 15 minutes to present their vision of a school of the future and were judged on their presentation skills, quality of content, teamwork, audience reaction and use of technology. The winning team members each won a scholarship for their first year of study at the School of Education.

Competition designer Terry Locke, a School of Education lecturer, says the challenge was designed to encourage our students to think critically about the education system that they are part of and to consider ways of making it more responsive to students’ 21st Century needs.

Names of students who participated:
Front: Hamilton Girls High – Sylvia Holman, Eliza Jackson and Chloe Hodgekinson
Middle: James Cook High (Winners) – Eileen Nowland-Walker, Shiuvani Chand and Rosina Tuvau.
Back: Trident High – Mark Cranswick, Sirini Twigley and Kirsty Zink

Names of judges:
Anne Sturgess – Secondary Advisor in Gifted and Talented Education
Stuart Middleton – Executive Director of External Relations and Students Affairs
Bev Cooper – Coordinator Secondary Programme at the School of Education.


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