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The Learning Success Blog

Are You as Smart as a First Grade Student?

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 5, 2018 at 8:40 PM

Peter Barnes

Here is an interesting exercise that shows how an earlier reader will perceive a text differently (and in this case more accurately) than many experienced, competent readers.

You may have already seen it as it has been around for quite a while. It came to my attention when one of the Fast ForWord founding scientists published it recently.

Read the sentence below and see how you compare to a year one student: 

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Topics: Reading Assistant, Fast ForWord123

Dr Marianela Diaz - Innovative Early, Bilingual Education in Panama

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 30, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Peter Barnes

Psychologist and Educator, Dr Marianela Diaz searched the world for best practices in early learning before establishing the first Cleverest Education learning centre in Panama.  

She discovered Singapore leads in many aspects of early education and spoke about her experiences in a conversation on the Learning Capacity Podcast.

Dr Diaz says, "Since I am a psychologist and I'm into education, I know that the most important years are the very early on, the first five years is where you make your neuron connections. So, that's why we decided to go into early education". 

"I also wanted to do something that would actually coexist with cognitive learning and emotional learning".

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Topics: Podcasts, Early Learners

10 New Fast ForWord Features Teachers & Parents Love

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 21, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Peter Barnes

More than 2.8 million students around the world have improved their learning and reading with the Fast ForWord123 neuroscience-based programs.

The scientists behind this evidence-based learning enhancement technology have been busy recently making it even more effective with improvements based on the usage data of all these students.  The result is Fast ForWord Foundations I, the flagship of the new Fast ForWord. 

Thanks to Logan De Ley, from Scientific Learning Corporation for the following list of the top ten big wins for students and educators.

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Career Planning in Secondary School: Start Early & Keep Options Open

Posted by Gordon Doyle on June 2, 2018 at 10:52 AM

Gordon Doyle

The 1st June tells me that not only is it the first day of winter, but that the year is flying by.  I avoid the temptation to look back at the things I haven’t done – and wish I had.  Or to dwell too much on the things I could have done better – if only there had been more .... time, perhaps?  Instead, I choose to look forward – and I want to encourage you to do the same thing.

Looking forward

Its a clichéd phrase I know, but apart from death and taxes there are no certainties in this life. If you’re a Year 10 student or a senior secondary student, you’re unlikely to be thinking too much about either of these, but almost certainly, the prospect of what you are going to do with your life after leaving school is likely to have already dawned. 

Looking forward, perhaps you can see the many opportunities that stretch out before you.  Perhaps you ask yourself the question:  What do I need to do to keep these opportunities open?  To ensure that I have choice? 

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Topics: Careers

Why Work Experience is Too Valuable to Miss Out on Doing

Posted by Gordon Doyle on May 1, 2018 at 7:22 PM

Gordon Doyle

The opportunity to undertake Work Experience as part of the normal course of events in Year 10, is positive for students for many reasons. But I shall limit my discussion to two important ones, particularly for students in Year 10. 

First of all, school based Work Experience should always, in my opinion, provide an opportunity for a young person to test a career area of genuine, possible career interest to them

It is not about doing just anything for the sake of filling in a week.  Nor is it, if the young person has a part time job already, doing more of the same.  Neither is about working in a family business.  They can get that experience any time.  It is, as I have indicated above, about testing a career area of genuine, future career interest.

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Topics: Careers

Mothers and Mothers-To-Be: Memory & Learning Reduced by too Much Sugar

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 21, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Peter Barnes

Too much sugar, especially from soft drinks, may damage your child’s learning ability and memory.

That’s the finding from a study of the diets of more than 1000 pregnant women and their children.  The study included assessments of the children’s cognitive skills at ages 3 and 7.

This research, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, suggests there may be learning benefits from reducing the sugar intake of women during pregnancy and limiting sugar consumption by their young children.  

Key findings include:

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Topics: Memory, Learning Capacity, Learning

Year 10 Students: 4 Principles for Senior Subject Selection    

Posted by Gordon Doyle on April 7, 2018 at 3:40 PM

Gordon Doyle

Do you have a son or daughter in Year 10 this year? 

These days, most students will choose to remain at school and complete Year 12, regardless of whether they have university or TAFE aspirations, are interested in apprenticeships or traineeships, or have other after school hopes. 

Think about the next 8 to 10 years

The post school options available to young people today are wider and more diverse than ever.  At the same time, competition for opportunities is also significant. 

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50 Year study: Behaviour influences income more than IQ    

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 4, 2018 at 6:40 PM

Peter Barnes

New research shows behaviour in high school is a stronger predictor than IQ or socio-economic background of better jobs and higher income.  

The research has been published by the American Psychological Association based on data collected from 346,660 U.S. high school students in 1960 and follow up research 11 and 50 years later.

The 1960 high school phase measured a variety of student behaviours and attitudes as well as personality traits, cognitive abilities, parental socioeconomic status and demographic factors.

The follow-up surveys measured overall educational attainment, income and occupational prestige.

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Topics: Social & Emotional Learning, Careers, Behaviour, Learning, School

560 Sydney Primary Students Sign Pledge Against Bullying

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 25, 2018 at 10:37 AM

Peter Barnes

All 560 students at my granddaughter’s primary school in Sydney signed a massive banner with the pledge: “Standing Together Against Bullying”.

The banner is prominently displayed at the school’s entrance.  The mass signing is part of her school’s participation in the National Day of Action against Bullying & Violence.

Similar activities took place in many schools around Australia on March 16, 2018.

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Topics: Behaviour, Social & Emotional Learning, Bullying

How Do We Reduce Bullying in Our Schools?  NSW Government’s 4 Criteria

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 8, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Peter Barnes

A tiny minority in our community think kids who are bullied should just ‘suck it up” because it “builds character”. 

That’s nonsense.  It’s mid 20th century thinking. And even then it was a minority belief.

We now know that bullying can have devastating impacts. Students involved in bullying can develop behavioural and emotional problems and have trouble learning, according to many academic studies.

Parents and teachers know this, of course. They don’t need studies to tell them what they see happening to their children and students.

How can schools take a stand against bullying? 

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Topics: Social & Emotional Learning, Bullying

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