Earlier this term, five brave young autodidacts from our graduating class were awarded the Shearwater Certificate - marking the end of a year-long journey in self-directed education, and an alternative pathway to the HSC.
The students presented their stories, all different but with a common theme: responsibility for their actions, reactions and inactions as a maturing experience. Dubbed ShearX by the students, the presentation night was in effect a discussion with their teachers and mentors who would endeavor to investigate how this journey of self education unfolded for the five.
Zuki Lammerton who was keen to find herself in this new school, and in life, created and completed five costumes for the recent Wearable Arts on her journey to learn to sew.
Edan Agam Rom, with his excursion into film and music, moved between various genres and story, directed his own film and played a self-composed score.
Dylan Leng developed a sports diet to accommodate free diving and marathon running, amid a raised consciousness around food for fitness
Jason Howarth, who completed an early entry unit at Southern Cross University with a distinction this year, began with an initial concept of a website design/blog/photography project, which metamorphosed into an interest in motivational speaking.
Lorien Hays' project was in website design, advertising and graphic arts. Lorien, who also completed a unit at SCU via Head-Start, for which he received a High Distinction, also developed a small company with some friends and was accepted into SAE in Melbourne along the way.
The route these young folk have embarked on, although not traditional, is increasingly being seen as a acceptable pathway to academia, as tertiary institutes and employers look more toward portfolios of achievement, not to mention a wonderful way for those inclined to use their senior school years to pursue careers or destiny ambitions.
ABC news recently ran a story about the future of schooling, which featured a Year 12 from Linuwel Steiner school in Maitland, which does not offer the HSC pathway to its students, who built a tiny house in Year 12 as part of her major work project.
(who just happened to be fortunate enough to be asked to keep an eye out and encourage their perseverance)