Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Progress to date
Fourteen young people who were previously not attending school, work or any other form of training are enrolled in the Pathways Project. The aim of the project is to reconnect these young people with a successful learning pathway that may lead back to formal schooling, a traineeship or apprenticeship, employment, or university.
To enrol, each young person had to meet with the project’s full time teacher, Caterina di Girolamo, accompanied by a member of their family or a carer.
The day begins with breakfast around 9.30 am and concludes when the GYS Drop-in opens at 3pm.
The attic studio in the Youthie that functions as our learning space has had a new coat of paint and it’s been re-carpeted. There are ten computers connected to the Internet and, before too long, the Department of Housing has promised to line the roof with insulation.
The curriculum development team meets every week, and the community engagement team is also continuing to meet regularly.

Supporting one student at a time to explore their interests
A key element of the Big Picture design that underpins the project is supporting one student at a time to discover and explore what interests them. The plan for this term is to establish a clearer sense of each young person’s interests. Visual diaries, blogs, and zines are just some of the ways each learner is being assisted to tell and develop their story.
It’s hard to be interested in something if you don’t know about it: Does the interest come first or the exploring the world? The learning program is designed to help students ‘see’ and ‘explore’ the world in order that they might find their interests. We are doing this by getting them out and about, and observing them in different settings while interacting with different people.
A group project is also being planned that will allow the students to work together and get to know each other. A number of options are being explored including making a film and making items to sell at a market stall.
We are exploring opportunities for each young person to experience success by connecting them to enjoyable and rewarding experiences. With time, we see a critical role for mentors to connect with and support individual students.

Volunteers and advisors
Talented and generous individuals continue to offer their support to the project. For example, Dr Romaine Moreton, an artist and an academic whose work promotes Indigenous knowledge, philosophy and cultural practices, has agreed to work with us to embed the project in an Indigenous cultural framework. Romaine will assist us to recognise and connect with culturally relevant knowledge and practices.
We are also seeking experienced educators who would be willing to spend about 2-3 hours assisting the teaching team on a regular basis. This might involve one-on-one work with an individual learner, or simply the supportive presence of another adult in the informal setting of the classroom.

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