Kevin Rudd Proves Young People can be Deep Thinkers.

Last week was an interesting one for Geelong as it included a visit from Kevin Rudd. For those non-Australians reading this, Kevin was a former Prime Minister and is quite the media celebrity. The interest was fuelled by ongoing speculation concerning the Labour Party leadership – but that isn’t the point of this blog.

The day after Kevin was in town I had dinner with some friends who had met him as they work at the school Kevin visited where he spoke to the Year 9’s.


Part of our discussion took me back to a conversation with The Lloyd’s on a New Years Eve back in the UK. They have two sons – Ben was around 11 and Daniel around 9 and I asked them about the dreams, plans and hopes for their lives. Both gave quite articulate and detailed answers then it was time for them to go to bed. Sue and Mick (Mum and Dad) were in shock! Not at the details of their futures but that they had thought about it and were able to articulate them.

I was not surprised.

That’s why I was not surprised to hear that the Year 9’s had got some great, insightful questions for Kevin. Young people think deeper than we often believe. Now I am not saying they are into politics but they are thinking about the future, the environment, animal rights, overseas aid, ending poverty – the list goes on.

The challenge for us adults is not to fall into the trap of not listening to our childrens point of view, not asking them deeper questions but assuming they don’t know or don’t care.

Have you been surprised by the depth of a teenagers thinking ?

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  • Mandy

    I work with teens in my job as a writing teacher, and I love reading their insights. I think if we ask questions that create opportunities for self-reflection, kids can become more aware of their experiences. After students do a big writing assignment, I like to follow up with a prompt where they reflect on their experience writing the paper, and I always find that the students whose self-reflective writing is the most thoughtful and detailed are the students whose essays are the strongest. We need to make time for conversations with our kids of all ages where we ask questions and listen to what kids have to say. 🙂

    • Nigel

      I totally agree – I sometimes wonder if any research has been done to compare life experiences of the self reflective person as compared to the less reflective.

      Also it’s true that good questions promote good conversation and deeper thinking.

      Thanks for your comment.