WHY HAVE A CITY CURRICULUM?
(September, 1998, email
to selected senior staff)
Because it nurtures occurrences like
It was some time between 10.30 and
11.00 am, Thursday, 3rd September - the second day of 9O's CCP. In
the Homeroom, Brett, Ashley and Tom were gently discussing the Legislative
Assembly's 'Question Time' that, with their classmates, they had attended
the previous afternoon - most students being somewhat critical of the 'sledging
and hedging' that had gone on.
Brett mused, "I reckon 'Question
Time' should be measured by the time taken asking the questions."
Simple as that! Pennies dropped.
A wonderfully lateral thought! And he knew exactly what he was saying!
Think about it. If, say, 'Question
Time' was the length of time it took to ask a cumulative (not consecutive)
10 minutes of questions, how much better the questions and how much more
relevant the answers?!
Too good an idea to let pass!!
I suggested that the students should slip around to Parliament House to
see if they could share the idea with the Deputy Speaker. (The Speaker
was absent, as we had learnt the day before.) Nothing to lose.
You never know.
Some time later they returned, having
spent ten minutes with Mr John McGrath, MLA, Deputy Speaker! How
this had happened I don't know. The Parliament was sitting and the
Speaker wasn't due back till next week we had heard yesterday! But
happen it did.
The boys reported that they had proclaimed
the idea to the Deputy Speaker but felt that he hadn't really absorbed
it and had seemed somewhat distracted.
I congratulated them, saying that
the very fact they had spoken with him was marvellous, regardless of his
response. I repeated this commendation fulsomely and publicly during
the end-of-day Homeroom Assembly and had moved on to other matters when
the Homeroom telephone rang.
I asked one of the students to take
the call for me and say that I would ring back. She was in the process
of doing this when I overheard her say, "...and who shall I say called?"
"John McGrath", we all heard her
Needless to say there was some excitement
in the class as I dutifully, now, went across to take the call.
Mr McGrath recounted his time with
the boys, expressed his sadness that he had been unable to talk with them
longer, wanted to let me know that he was going to pass Brett's idea on
to the Speaker when he returned and was going to put it into the review
process that the Parliament has regarding the conduct of 'Question Time'!!
He said that he wanted to write to the students accordingly. All
of this, of course, I promptly relayed to the class.
This was at 3.35 pm, just before
dismissal. It was a superb and climactic illustration to all and
sundry of the immediacy, reality and significance of their curriculum.