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The Learning Success Blog

Students with Better Social Skills Achieve Higher Test Scores

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 31, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Peter Barnes

Children who are co-operative, socially responsible and helpful in kindergarten achieve higher scores on reading, writing and numeracy tests in primary school, compared with children with less pro-social behaviour.

This is the finding from a 5-year study of more than 52,000 kindergarten students from nearly 2800 schools.  The study was led by Dr Rebecca Collie at the University of New South Wales School of Education. 

Test scores from the children’s NAPLAN (Australia’s National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) in 2012 and 2014 were compared for four different social and emotional behavioural profiles observed when they were in kindergarten:

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Topics: Writing, Social Skills, Literacy, Maths, Social & Emotional Learning, NAPLAN & PISA

 Year 12 Final Exam: Turning a Negative Result Into a Positive

Posted by Gordon Doyle on January 31, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Gordon Doyle

Top View of Boot on the trail with the text Whats Your Next Step?.jpegThe 2017 New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) results were released on 14th December.  For those who wish to attend a university in 2018 – or perhaps 2019 if they take a gap year – the ATARs  (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks) were released the following day. 

For many, their efforts and high hopes will have been rewarded.  For others, feelings approaching despair in some cases! More than once I have answered knocks at my office door, fielded phone calls, text messages or e-mails saying something along these lines: “I didn’t get the ATAR I need to get into my course.  My life might just as well be over!”

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Topics: Careers

Why Sullivan’s Mother got Fast ForWord for Autism Help: Address Root Causes

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 PM

Peter Barnes

Why did the mother of 9 year old autistic boy, Sullivan, choose the Fast ForWord program for him, when she had a multitude of interventions available?

And did this neuroscience–based program help him?

Sullivan’s mum writes a blog, Rethinkinglearning, where she has documented her journey since he was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.

She writes:

Read More

Topics: Autism, Fast ForWord

Read Aloud to Remember More 

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 15, 2018 at 12:38 PM

Peter Barnes

A new Canadian study shows people who read aloud are able to remember more.

This finding has implications both for older people and for students.

According to Medical News Today researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada put 95 people into four groups who:

  1.  Read silently
  2.  Listened to someone else read
  3.  Listened to a recording of themselves reading
  4.  Read out loud in real time.

The people in the group which read out loud had the best recall.  Those who read silently remembered the least. 

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Topics: Memory, Reading, Reading Assistant

Educator Evidence Based Decisions Survey 2017: Teachers Trust Teachers

Posted by David Stanley on December 11, 2017 at 3:41 PM

David Stanley

During Semester 2, 2017, educators from Australia and New Zealand participated in a survey to explore how they make decisions about sourcing teaching materials, programs, technology and pedagogy.

This was inspired after an approach by Dr Tanya Vaughan to speak to attendees of the Educating with Neuroscience Conferences in Australia and New Zealand in August about the “Evidence for Learning Toolkit”.

Just how important is evidence in educators’ decision making? The survey also explored the types of evidence and how much was “enough” …

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Ekamai International School: Building English Language Brains Fast

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 1, 2017 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

The Ekamai International School in Bangkok was close enough to visit whilst we were at the Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Asia conferences in November.

This Seventh Day Adventist school has over 1,300 K-12 students who come from 33 different countries and English is typically not their native language. 

I was intrigued to see the focus of Ekamai school’s leaders on the importance of English. Students can’t miss the prominently displayed signs proclaiming:         

Be Competitive Globally, Speak English Fluently  

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Topics: English Language Learners, Fast ForWord, Fast ForWord123

ENS 2017 Asia Conferences: Accelerating Learning for all Students

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 1, 2017 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

Hundreds of educators and other professionals enjoyed learning at the Educating with Neuroscience 2017- Asia conferences in Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok last month.

LearnFast was asked to extend the events to educators in Asia, following the success of the ENS 2017 conferences in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland earlier in the year, Some of the takeaways reported by those who attended:

“Sleep affects everything”
"The use of technology in studying brain activities that would help the students perform better in school and be a life-long learner”
"The importance of physical activities to improve cognition”
"I’m very touched by the generosity of information. The speakers’ passion for education and learning is inspiring"

Each day’s sessions started with:

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Topics: Conferences

Apprenticeships & Trades – a Good Way, and Maybe Best for Many

Posted by Gordon Doyle on November 27, 2017 at 2:19 PM

Gordon Doyle

In recent years, there has been an obsession on the part of many in schools, in government and in the media to push young people off to university. Doing this is self serving, rather than serving the interests of the many who would be better, and more happily placed doing other things.  More practical things.  Like an apprenticeship.

University? Or a trade?

The trend to push and to value the university option ahead of apprenticeships and trades careers is to be greatly lamented.  In circumstances where this occurs, many young people with interests, skills and a passion for something more “hands-on”, are often made to feel their choices are second best; that apprenticeships leading to careers in the trades are what you fall back on if you don’t get in to university. 

Emphatically, they are not second best!

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Do Children Learn Enough about their Future Finances?

Posted by Murray LeClair on November 7, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Murray LeClair

When it comes to school, many adults lament that they weren't taught enough about 'real life' skills when they were kids.

It is a common complaint: 'I can do trigonometry and know what happened to all of Henry VIII's wives, but I don't know how to do my taxes'.

For the next generation, it is possible to change this so they will feel better prepared when they leave school and enter adult society.

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After the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) - What Next?

Posted by Gordon Doyle on November 2, 2017 at 1:08 PM

Gordon Doyle

This year, some 70,000 New South Wales Year 12 students sat for the Higher School Certificate.  Many of these students will have university aspirations and of those who do apply, most will receive an offer.  The offer may not be to their highest preference, although Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) statistics indicate that 70% of those who apply will receive an offer to one of their top three preferences.

Understanding the options

Young people need to understand however, that, depending on what they want to do, university is just one way to achieve their career goal. 

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Topics: Careers

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