Year 9 Meriden student and budding scholar, Christina Zhou, has had her essay shortlist for the highly competitive John Locke Essay Writing Competition.
The competition, which attracts submissions from talented students globally, is known for its rigorous judging process. Hosted by the John Locke Institute, the competition is overseen by senior academics from esteemed institutions, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.
Christina first discovered the competition while exploring academic opportunities at Oxford University online. Inspired by the competition’s thought-provoking themes and fuelled by her passion for history and writing, Christina saw this as an opportunity to challenge herself and engage with her subject of interest on a global scale.
“I have always enjoyed writing and recording my thoughts, whether it is imaginary fantasy stories, daily diaries, or researching topics of interest. In this case, researching a subject I enjoy – History – motivated me to enter the competition,” said Christina.
Her essay, an exploration of successful and unsuccessful social movements through a historical lens, emphasises the pivotal role played by contextual awareness, effective leadership and organised collective action in shaping the trajectory of a movement.
“I argue there is no specific set of standards to guarantee the absolute success of a movement when initiating change. However, we can learn from the experience of pioneers to increase the probability of a movement’s success. Their strong driving force for social progress has played a pivotal role in shaping our contemporary society,” said Christina.
Christina’s essay is a product of extensive research and critical thinking. She completed a comprehensive study of diverse historical social movements and delved into the perspectives of renowned scholars in the field. Additionally, her insights were enhanced by her study of the novel Oodgeroo – Bloodline to Country by Sam Watson during her English classes this year, which grapples with the complex dynamic between forceful protest and peaceful advocacy.
Christina’s accomplishment reflects the spirit of intellectual inquiry and academic excellence championed at Meriden. The school community extends its congratulations to Christina and wishes her continued success in her academic pursuits.