Headmasters Blog

Real Life Experience through Empathy

At Scotch we don't confine our students' learning to the four walls of a classroom, we allow them to branch out and learn through vicarious experiences. This involves facilitating real life experiences as a tool to not only teach practical skills, but to also provide spiritual and moral lessons which help exemplify the diverse nature of the world in which we live. Whilst at times it may be easier to simply remain put and teach such concepts in the confines of the Western Suburbs bubble, it does not expose our boys to the harsher realities of the wider world; realities that many communities face each and every day.

Our boys are given incredible opportunities, both at home and at school, of which other children across the world could only dream. Our service programme focusses on getting the boys out of their comfort zone and developing their understanding of the world as well as developing empathy for others. Empathy cannot be taught within the confines of a classroom, it needs to be developed through meeting people within the context of their home, whether within Australia or and abroad. These contextual experiences help to widen our understanding of the world.

Whether it be by sending boys to help newly arrived migrant students with their English at Balga Senior High School, or through traveling to Tanzania and helping build and develop the Matipwilli village community, we are teaching our boys the value of service through firsthand experience and immersion. Our role at Scotch is not just to prepare boys for university or a career, we aim to prepare them for life. Developing empathy through experience is a key contributor to achieving this outcome.

The Tanzania tour occurs every two years, and, in partnership with PLC, travels to Matipwili, a remote rural village north of Dar es Salaam to complete work aimed at improving educational opportunities. In 2018 we are aiming to provide funding which will build infrastructure to boost the internet service. In the past, students have laboured alongside local students and village tradesmen to improve current teaching spaces and add new ones such as the trade training centre.

The purchase of materials to assist in building and to buy equipment to boost the internet will be the focus of any funds raised at the Tanzania the Quiz Night on 7 April. This is set to be a great evening and we urge you to come along and show your support.

Book your tickets here.


Dr Alec O'Connell FACE, FAIM, FNAAUC

As Scotch College's 7th Headmaster, I focus on preparing boys for life through focusing on values and cultural alignment.

I am a passionate educator focussed on student and community engagement. My goal as a Headmaster is to graduate future thought leaders who are prepared for life after school.

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