Public Education Student Forum

Professor Martin Westwell invited students from public schools in South Australia to have their say about education! Amelia, Ishaan and Lisa went to represent Brighton Primary School.

We started the day talking to other schools, exploring education news and considering future possibilities. We were inspired by things that were invented in SA. Did you know sunscreen was invented in SA…… also that the plastic lens in sunglasses were invented in SA – how cool – SA is pretty great!

Martin acknowledged that SA children have such wonderful minds. What questions and ideas could they come up with? They might be the next person to invent something amazing – let’s foster this opportunity in public education. We were briefly given this opportunity and all had a go at designing/inventing things – why not have a go at home?! The 3 designs we were given included:

  1. Design a pencil that is good for your teeth.
  2. Design a swing for a social media addict.
  3. Design a charger that can be used for a group of friends.

We then engaged in meaningful conversations with other schools about what public education should stop doing and should start doing based on wellbeing data. Some things mentioned that we should stop doing included excluding others, calling out, being mean, being negative, inappropriate behaviours and many more. Some things that we should start doing included thinking positively, prompting student agency and voice, adopting a growth mindset, engaging in hobby clubs, social and emotional learning activities and much more. This conversation was really powerful with all ideas recorded on an online platform for Martin and his team to unpack.

We finished the day looking at research across the world, thinking about how this impacts us in SA. We watched educational videos from all over the world and discussed what we liked about them, specifically, the strategies used.

Overall, it was a deeply engaging day for all involved. Amelia and Ishaan should be so proud of themselves, they represented the school very well. Other educators commented on their ability to effectively communicate and articulate their ideas. Thank you for being so engaged, we all appreciate it – you are superstars!

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