Student Workshops: Empowering young people to think

Stylised image of senior students discussing photographsenQuiring minds fully interactive seminars provide a space and opportunity for young people to meet, explore different views on a particular issue and work together to create an inclusive community, focused on the wellbeing of all.

During workshops, students wrestle, tussle, struggle, grapple with their own values, and conditioning. Students learn to listen to, understand and consider the views of others.

Workshops are for Year 7 to Year 13 students – in appropriate groupings – and utilise a variety of texts, such as drama, art, music, film, literature and dialogue, in order to engage students in meaningful critique of contemporary issues.

Workshop topics and the questions they unpack are listed below.

Science & the criminal mind

How has our dominant scientific approached shaped and influenced our thinking about: the prediction of crime, the nature of crime, our responses to crime?

Transport and the Ways We Move

What does it mean for vehicles to be 'green'? Why do we transport the things we do? Can sustainable transportation extend to all forms of transport? Are there options for truly sustainable transportation? Why do we need to consider the ethical implications of emerging transportation technologies?

Artificial Intelligence

What do we mean by 'intelligence'? Why might we want to create machines that have 'intelligence'? Should we create machines that have 'intelligence'? Can we create machines that have 'intelligence'? How might we respond to machines that have human-like intelligence?

Identity, sexuality and consumerism

How do we become who we are? How do we understand sexuality? What do we mean by consumerism? What are the effects of living in a consumer society? How does it shape us as human beings?

Social media and social responsibility

What is social media? What does social responsibility look like around social media? What is privacy and why does it matter? What makes someone a friend? Why are these questions important?

Ethics and Sport

Why is sport important to us? What is the nature of sport? Does science and technology change the nature of sport? How has money affected sporting activities? What is the role of sporting bodies (FIFA. Olympic Games Committee, etc.) Is match fixing ever acceptable? What is the role of sponsorship in sport?

Crime and punishment

What makes something a ‘crime’? How is ‘punishment’ justified? What form should a punishment take? What role does the media play in shaping our ideas about crime? What is justice?

Human identity and personal identity

What does it mean to be human? How do we become the individual’s we are? What can genetics tell us about our identity? What can neuro-science tell us about our identity? What important aspects of being ‘me’ do they miss?

Surveillance and its implications

What does it mean to be ‘safe’? What are the potential impacts of surveillance technologies? Is there a ‘public’ space and a private’ space and if so, why do they matter? How much should the state intervene in the life of individuals and communities?

What matters to you?

Explore a range of issues and work on a campaign to promote your stance on one of them. Issues include: what is acceptable use of cosmetic surgery? Is the genetic modification of animals an acceptable practice? Should we grow synthetic meat? Can we do anything to earn a living? Is it permissible to exploit planet Earth until we need to find a new planet to live on?

Ethical Issues at the End of Life

Who/what defines death? How can we best care for those who are dying? Are there situations that may be worse than death for people? What does it mean to die well?

Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life

When does human life begin? Is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis ever acceptable? What do we do with frozen embryos that are no longer wanted? Is it acceptable to use embryonic stem cells? What issues does surrogacy raise for individuals and communities? What issues does embryo adoption raise for individuals and communities? Is pre-natal testing an acceptable practice? Is it ever permissible to modify genes to allow certain traits to be removed or be selected for?

Our relationships with other animals

What makes a creature a ‘pest’? How can we best respond to creatures who we consider to be ‘pests’? Why do we experiment on animals? Is it appropriate to experiment on animals? Is it appropriate to genetically modify other creatures for human benefit?

Building community in Aotearoa - reorient, reconcile, respect

What is the relationship between culture and identity? What is the significance of language in shaping a people's world? How does our interpretation of things shape our understanding and our actions? What does respectful relationship look like? Are our laws just? Why does the imposition of one way of life on another lead to hardship and suffering for some people? How can we reconcile our understandings in order to engage with one another and work together to shape a community focused on the well-being of all?