A New Way of Teaching

By Amy, Aged 17

Youth Opinion

Posted 29th Oct 2020


As humans, we never stop learning. There is always going to be something we don’t know, it’s just impossible to know everything. The phrase ‘You learn something new every day’, is especially true, but who are we learning things from?

It is commonly adults teaching the youth and never vice versa. Of course, we need teachers and professors to work in our educational institutions, and parents to teach their children valuable life lessons. Nevertheless, I think that whilst it is important to learn from those older, young people have so much to offer and are often overlooked simply because of their age. Many adults would benefit from having a genuine conversation with a young person on any topic, just because we are younger, does not mean we are less knowledgeable and not worthy of their time.

I think that young people want to be heard, especially by those older than them. It is one thing to be talking with someone around the same age, but having a conversation with an adult who is engaged and willing to listen, is not as common, but necessary. Personally, I do not have many conversations with adults who take what I say seriously, only some teachers at school take the time to listen, sometimes not even my parents. When I want to vocalise my opinion on a topic, I discuss this with my friends because I know they are going to listen and take in what I am going to say. Many adults just ride us off and do not even bother to listen, but we have so much to offer.

I think that adults and those from older generations have a lot to learn from young people and Gen Z, especially at this time. As a generation, we have experienced and witnessed so much, as many scientists and researchers continue to provide us with many answers we do not want to hear. Especially on issues such as our changing climate and learning it is something our generation is going to suffer the consequences of in the years to come.

There is so much uncertainty in our futures; we do not know what is going to happen in the next few decades. However, it would be beneficial for everyone if we were simply listened to. If adults, especially those in power, took the time to listen to what young people want for their future, I think we would all feel a lot safer. 

Young people have so much to say. We want to be vocal on our opinions, share our stories and experiences. We are told from a young age that we cannot have or express certain opinions or we are inferior to those older because we do not have any life experience. Although we certainly do not have as much life experience as those older than us, that I cannot argue, but we still have had a variety of experiences and can form our own opinions. We should be able to freely express them without the backlash from adults and simply have them listen to us, there is always something to learn.

I think that young people today can teach the older generations that we are not afraid, and as young people, we demand to be heard. Yes, we have the technology they never had, but we use it to do so many good things and to connect and share ideas and opinions across platforms. They could learn a thing or two about not only using the platforms but how beneficial they can be. I think some adults are too quick to judge and form their opinions based on assumptions, not on what they know.

When adults can put this aside and learn that everyone’s opinions are valid, there would be so many more conversations taking place and many young people having their voices heard. There is so much we can learn from them, but there is just as much they can learn from us. This is going to be our world within the next few decades; we should be able to have a say and shape our future.

Acknowledgement of Country
We respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout South Australia and we pay our respects to their Elders –  and to past, present and future generations of their children and young people.

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