Aspiring Victoria University teachers are working with school children to build resilience by helping them tell stories on film.
The films may not have the glamour of a Hollywood blockbuster but the effect on the students is perhaps much bigger.
VU's third year education students worked alongside Year 6 children from Springside P-9 College in Caroline Springs to explore issues the children came up with themselves – such as bullying, law-breaking and family conflict.
The children scripted, acted in, and filmed their movies over a one-week workshop on a journey of creative effort and teambuilding. The project was conducted in partnership with InsideOut Australia Foundation, a non-profit organisation for young people at risk set up in 2012 by Rev Gavin Baulch, who serves as a Victoria Police chaplain.
Ligia Pelosi, a lecturer in the College of Education, said the project was valuable for both the school children and the pre-service teachers who participated as part of a Bachelor of Education unit entitled Imagination, Creativity and Design.
"The idea is to build up skills of resilience and confidence in preventative arts-based programs that give children the ability to make good choice throughout their life, rather than deal with the mopping up afterwards," she said.
Before beginning their films, the children identified their own personal character strengths such as curiosity, kindness or humour, and used these to problem-solve.
The pre-service teachers, for their part, not only offered guidance and acted as mentors, but also acquired skills they could use in their own future teaching.
Pre-service teacher Brooke Sweeney said she enjoyed seeing the children identify issues that were important for them and find solutions on their own – without any adult input.