Principal's Blog - 28 November 2019

27 Nov 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

I wonder what it that motivates us, that keeps us going, gets us out of bed in the morning and that pushes us to be better than we were yesterday? Is it money or power or fame? Is it a desire for recognition or gratitude or acknowledgement of an achievement. Is it the carrot or the stick that motivates us or is it something that comes from within? Researchers in this field often refer to another motivating factor which is not often acknowledged or spoken about. Sometimes, we do things just because they are interesting, because they are fun, because we like doing them and because they contribute.

I often reflect on our young men and wonder what the silver bullet might be as far as their motivating force. If I knew the answer I would write a book, make a fortune and spend my life on the speaking circuit. But I think we all know that there isn’t one answer. I think however, the idea presented above is a pretty good one. I often say to young men and their families at the VCE expo evening, 'choose subjects that you like and you are good at, because none of us want to end up in a career we hate and that we are no good at'.

I think this idea of doing things because they are fun, interesting and because they make a contribution lend themselves very well to the rationale and methodology behind our new learning program. Our staff this year have spent a great deal of time, expertise and energy creating new learning programs across all subjects at the Year 9 and 10 levels. In doing so they have provided the students with choice. Students will now choose a course within subjects rather than just choosing the subject itself.

For example when you and I did Year 9 RE, we did not have a choice, we had to choose the subject. Under our new model, boys have the opportunity to choose 1 of 8 Year 9 RE courses. If a boy is inclined towards science, he might choose a subject call 'Angels and Atoms'. Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. This unit allows students to form their own opinion of the age-old question, ‘can science and religion coexist?’ If a student is more interested in Art, he might choose 'Religion through the challenging eyes of artists'. Religion and Art have been intertwined for centuries and remain integral to each other in contemporary society. The question to ask is why? This course aims to investigate the connections between religion and art in contemporary society, including digital multimodal texts as Art both informs and challenges our faith.

In choosing these courses, students gain a sense of control over what they are doing. More than this they take on a sense of ownership. If we own something, we are more likely to take responsibility for it and give it our best. This is one of the guiding factors behind this program – choosing to do what interests us, excites us and inspires us will ultimately lead to us producing our best. And isn’t that all we are hoping for our young men?

Mark Murphy