Lorraine Makatu explains what happens when student agency is supported and nurtured.
Mangere Central School has sister schools in Bali, and Lorraine shares some of the experiences of students who start to explore different places and life experiences in Indonesia and Jakarta, for example. The school web site is the portal, and the families are able to go in and see and ask questions. The students asked questions like: ‘what did they eat?’, ‘Are they on Facebook?’, and ‘Will they Snapchat with me?’. It was a reality check when one Skype call used the whole Bali school’s data for the week.
The students are also involved in local projects such as the SH20 upgrade, where students are working with the environmental managers of the project to help ensure the environment around the school is protected. For example, a culvert was dug and some eels were found. So now, all of the eels are being relocated. The health and safety manager is also being shadowed by one of the students – they are making connections with what is in the school such that students are walking around saying things like ‘someone will trip on these shoes’.
These are great illustrations of transference – making connections between knowledge domains, and applying the learnings across them. They also show how students are developing identities, taking on roles, and making connections between their current world views and the other domains around them.