Guest blogger: Hazel Raymond, School Counsellor, Brisbane Boys College

With a focus on unlocking, developing and harnessing the twenty-first century skills of collaboration, creative thinking, team work and problem solving, Year 9 students at Brisbane Boys’ College visited State Library of Queensland, to better understand Queensland’s history and to reflect on the state’s diversity and cultural heritage.

Upon arrival, students interviewed staff members to consider membership options and conditions. They explored the six spaces available in State Library and took photographic evidence of their group utilising each space. Boys also discovered an e-learning subscription service in that includes over 5,500 courses and over 136,000 video tutorials on topics such as web development, marketing, IT, business management, and job seeking. 

Following their induction, students were asked to explore the Swings and Roundabouts: 100 Years of Queensland Political Cartoons Exhibition. Featuring over 80 cartoons by 30 of Australia’s best political cartoonists, this exhibition revisits the 2018 political year, capturing the humorous side of the year’s leading political headlines.

The exhibition includes works by leading political cartoonists Mark Knight, Alan Moir, Cathy Wilcox, John Shakespeare, Judy Horacek and 2018 Political Cartoonist of the Year, Matt Golding.  

Boys are pictured below, sketching a friend’s portrait from a distorted mirror. 

Brisbane Boys College student sketching a friend’s portrait from a distorted mirror, Image provided by guest blogger

The final task was to search through the Corley Explorer – a digital collection of hundreds of black and white photographs of homes in Brisbane, captured by Frank and Eunice Corley in the 1960s and 1970s. The couple were thought to have taken over a quarter of a million photographs and donated 61 000 to the State Library in 1995. Students were to locate the closest home to their address and note differences to the same home on Google maps. The process generated much discussion and was a very interactive means of exploring Queensland’s history.

The increased maturity of the Year 9 boys celebrates their independence, character strengths and capacity for self-directed learning. The focus on collaboration, creative thinking, teamwork and problem solving resulted in a renewed understanding of what State Library has to offer in addition to learning about other significant landmarks around Brisbane. The ultimate outcome of this process will be the completion of a reflective journal and the creation of a video which highlights the boys’ newly recognised skills in action.

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