Options Week Reflection

OPTIONS TRAIL! What a day that was.

For our group, it was quite a success. The most unexpected part was the amount of information we got from our interview with the General Manager of the Weekly Review (Trent Casson). We learnt a lot of which we hadn’t previously even explored! It was a whole new perspective for us. We’d never gone over the fact that local newspapers are thriving more than ever because of all the big newspapers moving to the digital media. Next time, if there will be a next time, I would love to improve our surveys a bit. Things like ages would have added a lot to our collected information, such as knowing which age groups are fine with the movement to digital news. Another thing I would of loved to do would have been set up more interviews with other people in the Journalism business, not just a General Manager. It would have been nice to get an interview with someone more along the lines of a journalist, who could tell us how they are getting affected by the switch. Apart from that our Options Trail went just as planned. As opposed to our Mini Trail, we all lead our group together, when last time I had to take the role of leader. This time around Aidan decided to take the interview, which last time he backed out last minute of, so I had to do it for him, but I was more than glad to get the experience at the time. By the end of it we had gotten everything we wanted to get and more, so overall it was a success.

Futures Week Reflection

So last week we discussed our future and it wasn’t so much as an eye opener as it was restating my point (to myself). I still believe that our future will be dark until we discover some way of preserving the Earth and dealing with the very real problem of global warming. Apart from that, I feel that humanity will keep growing as it has, new ideas popping up everywhere, especially with the popularity of the internet. But if we were to talk about personal future, I’m not so sure, no one can ever TRULY predict the future. Sometimes, it’s harder to predict your own future than another’s.

OPTIONS TRAIL ON FRIDAY! I’m excited but nervous. MY group is ready, we have all the resources we need, it’s more a problem of getting ready for actions project. We are all quite confident in ourselves and we’re very ready for this Friday.

Learning Goals. What can I really say? I feel I have sort of achieved some of them (like leadership and independence) but then there are some which I feel I haven’t achieved nearly as much (such as first aid and divergent thinking) which are things that will have to be worked on in future and just something that I have to keeping chipping away at.

Critical Question: World Around Us

“The subjects we learn in school provide the most effective tools with which to understand the world around us.” Do you agree or disagree?

The only reason this question is a tricky one for me, is that it all depends on a person’s definition of “understanding”. According to our good old friend, The Oxford English Dictionary, understanding means “The ability to understand something; comprehension”. If you take it by that meaning, then I fully agree with the statement.

At school our core subjects are Science, Maths, English, German, Art and for us taskies, Latin. If we go by the previous definition of “understanding”, these core subjects do teach us about the world around us. Science is literally about understanding the world around us and how it works. Maths is just the core of science plus we use it on a daily basis. English we use all the time, even during this very paragraph and without it, we wouldn’t be able to communicate as well, so there would be less information for us to pass on to one and other. German is similar to English in it’s usability, except that it’s not as widely accepted. On the other hand it has been proven that learning a second language can do things like stave of dementia, increase brain growth and more. Art can be quite a controversial topic, but in my opinion, it does help with things like creativity, imagination and analytical thinking. Latin has been an controversial one for us taskies, because we just see it as extra work, but Latin has all the same benefits as learning a second language as well as improving your English.

But to me, to understand the world around us, we don’t need to literally understand it, we need to  understand the world around us. By that I mean, we need to know and learn practical things for the real world, not things like quadratic equations and what the author really meant by “the curtains were blue”.

In my opinion, what we learn in schools is less about teaching us about the real/practical world, but more to teach us to learn. At our school, we do the program I am currently in, the Galileo Program, which has been explained to us as the teachers giving us the opportunity to learn, rather than “this is right, write it in your books.”. But to me, I also see it as an opportunity to learn life skills, that we will need later on in life, such as the Community Services we do, or all the interviews we’ve done to better understand the reality of things.

I think one of the main problems contributing towards this is not only that schools don’t do things like our Galileo Program, but also that they are too heavily academic focused, expecting everyone to do something academic. What about all the the people who want do art or something that requires less maths and more creativity? That is one of the biggest flaws with the current academic system. The people who get through with high scores, aren’t always the most intelligent, they just know how to jump through the right hoops at school.

So in conclusion, if you go by the literal meaning of understanding, then yes, I agree, our current curriculum helps us understand our world. But If you were to go by the idea of practicality, then no, I would have to heavily disagree.

Bibliography:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/understanding

http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/09/10-superb-psychological-advantages-of-learning-another-language.php

http://plpnetwork.com/2013/11/07/obsession-academic-teaching-preparing-kids-life/

Week Six Reflection: A Hidden Place

2014-03-05 13.22.10

To the normal person, it would seem that I’m gloomy, sad or trying to hide from something. While in fact, that’s not even close. This is place of serenity, of calmness. This is where a go every week, to get away from everyone else and all the happenings of the week. This is where I am happiest. This is a hidden place, this is My Place. When I first found My Place, I thought it was one of a kind, and that it was like finding the Garden of Eden. But then I learnt, most people have a hidden place, just for others it could be elsewhere. I once met a person, whose hidden place was in the middle of a bustling street. For the longest time I couldn’t understand, but now I do. A persons hidden place doesn’t have to actually be hidden, it just has to be where they feel happiest.

Critical Question: Justice

“Is Melbourne Fair?”

To answer this question, we first need to know the definition of fair. According Oxford Dictionary, fair means “Treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination”. If we follow this definition, I feel Melbourne is quite fair.

For one it has the Independent Third Person system. During Justice week on one of the trails we got to meet one and she explained to us what she did. For those who don’t know who an Independent Third Person (from now on referred to as ITP) is, it is a person who informs young/disabled people  of their rights when they are taken into custody. They are called upon if no parent/guardian is contactable. For more information head to: http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/file/file/Volunteers/ITP%20Program/ITP_Brochure_09.pdf . ITP’s are quite important, because from time to time, the police can be too rough on a suspect/witness or they might rush through the rights and confuse the suspect/witness. Without ITPs, a lot more people would be saying things they shouldn’t have to, or they wouldn’t understand their rights fully.

From the trail, when my group got to speak with a jail guard, we learnt quite a bit about how jails operate. For one, they give prisoners a chance to come out to a life of some sort, because they teach them all sorts of tradie skills while doing their time. They also have a sort of canteen where they can weekly spend “money” for things like cigarettes and other things for entertainment. Having gone to Old Melbourne Gaol I learnt that even though it looks and sounds horrible, it was all in all quite fair. We had also gone to the Magistrate’s courts, where we got to sit in on a couple court cases, in which you could see that the judge had done their research, had looked over previous history and other relevant information, as opposed to things like gender, race and religion.

On a larger scale, Melbourne is quite a diverse city, with all sorts of cultures. According to wikipedia, almost a quarter of Melbourne’s population is born oversees and the city is home to residents from 180 countries, who speak over 233 languages and dialects and follow 116 religious faiths.

But on the other hand Australia has been known to be quite a racist country with it starting back when settlers first landed on Australian shores. Starting with the discrimination against Aboriginals decades ago, and it still continues with some police saying that young African people are a lot more likely to commit a crime, while racism in itself is a crime.

So Melbourne could improve, but there is always room for improvement, no matter the situation.

Bibliography:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/fair

http://www.communitylaw.org.au/flemingtonkensington/cb_pages/race_discrimination_case_documents.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Melbourne#Population_history.2C_density_and_growth_statistics

http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/file/file/Volunteers/ITP%20Program/ITP_Brochure_09.pdf