Young People and Agency

Young People and Agency

The Senior Boys Wellbeing Theme for Term 4 is Agency – our understanding that we have power and determination over our impact on the world.  We think this follows on nicely from our theme of Service, in that Service shows us the need to act for others – and Agency reinforces the power of our actions.

Naturally these actions could be for the good of all – and Agency as a Wellbeing Theme reminds us that we have the power to make lives better for others.  But it also reminds us that we have the power and the responsibility to take charge of our own lives – to be active in setting and chasing goals and solving problems.

These recognitions are a really important part of the process of growing up, as we spoke about in last week’s article.

Agency is important to our wellbeing because we all need to feel like we are in the driving seat of our lives. We may not be able to control all things in our lives – none of us can – but it’s important to understand you can control your response to it.

COVID is teaching us much about this… we cannot control the spread of the disease and lockdowns and the need for vaccinations – but we can choose how we respond to it.  We can choose hope over hopelessness. We can choose to use the time to better ourselves or to connect with family and friends. We can accept and focus on moving forward.

Agency in the school context is really important too, and in a number of areas of school life.  It is important in terms of leadership for a start – we want all our students to see themselves as leaders and to feel they have a voice to speak up and make a difference – to everything from school processes to what they see as the injustices of the world.  In this, it links strongly to our core message of Growing Good Men – feeling like you can be authentic to your own values, and speak up when you need to.

Having agency in academic terms is important too – and links strongly to Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset – our belief that we can grow and change and take charge of our learning.  This will also feature in the Senior Boys’ work this term.

We looked at this video of a young person taking agency last term, and it serves as a wonderful reminder of breaking down stereotypes of changemakers, and believing that our young people have what it takes to create a hopeful future.

Photo by Misha Voguel from Pexels

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