“Student essay prize aims to stimulate thinking on issues”

Interesting headlines like this are a sure way to catch my attention.

So when I saw this headline in the pages of the Education Age of April 4th, I found myself reading the words of Barry Jones with much interest. Commenting on the increased use of Twitter, Jones states “it is increasingly difficult to get people to engage with important issues in thoughtful and systematic ways.”

People have a quick response to an issue that takes about 10 seconds to produce,” says the writer, academic and former science minister in the Hawke Labor Government. “And if you can’t come up with the right answer to a problem in 10 seconds then people simply push it aside or ignore it.”

While we can sit back and argue the value of Twitter, the range of its use and the complexity of conversation attainable, the fact that educators aim to encourage writing in their students is not in doubt.

The John Button School Prize is a valuable addition to the range of writing competitions open to Victorian students. With a closing date of July 8th, Year 10-12 students have ample time to submit entries and be in the running to win an award of $2,500 for the best essay on a subject concerning Australia’s future.

The Prize has been instituted to commemorate the life, work and writing of John Button, who was a Victorian Federal Minister who believed that good ideas and good writing could make Australia a better place. The John Button Schools Prize seeks to encourage senior students who also feel strongly about Australia’s future to publish their best ideas in an essay.


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