Student passions make a difference
Kingswood students have been part of the ALL Passion Index trial in 2018, developing Passion Profiles and then reflecting on and updating those profiles each term.
The Year 7 students finished the school year working in groups on a community action project, which culminated in an expo for the Junior School students in the afternoon, followed by parents and friends in the evening.
With the goal of making a difference in their community, the students took charge. Each group developed a research question, interviewed experts, conducted site visits and then presented their project as a video, books, an action plan, computer game or performance.
“This project was directed by the students. It was not so teacher powered” said a Year 7 at Kingswood College who completed a two-week community action project looking at gender inequality in sport as part of the program.
“I loved it all,” he said. “Especially when we thought of a big question and how to make a difference. That was the best part.”
This student was able to draw on his passion for soccer, as he worked with a group of like-minded students. The group found that their shared interest on sport led them to a deeper knowledge about some of the issues around pay and stereotypes in sport.
Other members of the group discussed how it was challenging to get agreement at the start of the project, but that once they had agreed on their research question the work became very focussed. They set daily goals, and all enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate.
The Passion Survey was a useful tool for students to think more deeply about their interests. Henry said that he started to think about all the things that he loves about soccer, such as being part of a club, attending training and playing in a team.
Another Year 7 student, worked in a team to develop information about healthy eating and sport. The group created a recipe book and presented to the Junior School.
“I became clear about my passion,” she said. “I learned new things and refreshed what I already knew. I learned about culture, emotion, nutrition and recipes.”
“This project was different to others” she reflected. “We were in groups, not working by yourself. We all had to chip in to make it work: sometimes it can be hard to rely on others. And we were learning about our passions.”
Another student worked in a team that re-designed the school library. They visited the local library, consulted with an architect who specialises in library design, researched the maths behind their plans, and made a scale model of their vision for a new library.
She reflected that “it’s a bit tricky to identify what you’re passionate about but it was easier after doing it once.”
Kingswood teachers who supported the students during this two-week experience report that the students found it challenging, but ultimately rewarding.
Students’ passions guided the work, but it also required collaboration, problem-solving and time-management skills. They found it a good opportunity for students to delve deeper into their passions.
The two-week experience was a positive way for the students to end a year in which they had identified their passions and where they had experienced passion in their learning.
For many students the community action project has helped them to think about how they will use their interests to make a difference in the future.