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The Learning Success Blog

Teaching STEAM, “soft” Skills, Minecraft and Lego Robots: John Burfoot

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 5, 2019 at 1:14 PM

Peter Barnes

What is STEM and why did it become STEAM?  

I asked John Burfoot, a STEAM teacher in a New South Wales Primary school to explain and we recorded our chat as an episode of The Learning Capacity Podcast.         

John also told me about how STEAM lessons enable students to learn valuable 'soft' life skills, as well as technical and technological skills.

His journey from a student who failed all his final high school exams to a degree qualified teacher is inspirational, and can serve as a reminder to students that their lives are not defined by what marks they achieve in school exams.

He worked as an electronics apprentice, a job in avionics, and making explosives for special effects in films before realising his passion is teaching.

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Topics: Learning, Podcasts, Careers, Teaching

What to Wear to Get the Job You Want -  Bernadette Payne

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 28, 2019 at 1:03 PM

Peter Barnes

How should you dress to get the job you want?  Does it even matter much what you wear for a job interview? 

This is an important question for young people making the transition from school or tertiary studies to the workforce. And perhaps going to their first ever job interview.

To get some answers to these questions I spoke with award-winning stylist, Bernadette Payne. 

Bernadette focuses on educating men and women about how their choice of clothes and personal styling can make important contributions to their success.

Her advice may be helpful if your child is attending interviews for jobs or even volunteer positions.

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Podcasts, Careers

How to Navigate the Transition from School Year 12 to Tertiary Study

Posted by Gordon Doyle on December 9, 2018 at 12:37 PM

Gordon Doyle

Are you a recent school leaver?  Waiting for your results? Are you hoping for a university offer?

In my last article, How to Make Career Decisions at the End of Secondary School, I discussed a number of things Year 12 students needed to consider relating to their future.  By their “future”, I’m not talking about the rest of their lives,but I certainly am talking about the next stage of their lives – that is, the next study stage, and the working stage to which that naturally leads. 

So I’m looking at a period of time up to ten years out. 

After the HSC exams and registering preferences with your tertiary admissions centre (UAC, VTAC, QTAC etc), it’s time to take a break.  Hopefully, you have done, or are doing that. 

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Topics: Careers

What Does Pinocchio & Facial Profiling have to do with Career Choices?

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 8, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Peter Barnes

How do young people, school leavers, and those who have completed post-secondary school education figure out what they want to do as a career? How do they succeed in the interviews for the job they want?  And how can they learn some of the people skills to help them succeed in their workplace?

There is an interesting skill that may help. Internationally recognized facial profiling authority, Alan Stevens spoke to the Learning Capacity Podcast and discussed the course he has developed for school leavers transitioning to work. And he explains why the Pinocchio nose story may not be totally fictitious.

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Topics: Careers

A Free-Range Global Career: Jess Leondiou Explains How & Why

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 30, 2018 at 1:17 PM

Peter Barnes

For nine years, Jess Leondiou has been doing what many people aspire to do: living the dream and working her passion.

Jess has a free-range global career, living and working in multiple countries in Australia, Europe, and Asia.

She is the driving force behind The Butter Collective - leading a dynamic team of independent creative designers around the world. 

Jess shared insights into her career, which is becoming a more available option for people in our digitally connected world, in an episode on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

She describes the freedom it provides her, and also the challenges, including how to find a WIFI signal on Mt Annapurna in the Himalayas.

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Topics: Careers

How to Make Career Decisions at the End of Secondary School

Posted by Gordon Doyle on September 24, 2018 at 5:11 PM

Gordon Doyle

Many senior secondary students around Australia are under considerable duress at this time of year. The Trials for the HSC, VCE and other State based credentials are over and students have received their results. 

It is often the case that results are not as good as the students hope.   

As a result, they sometimes feel dejected.  It can be difficult to get motivated in these circumstances, but they have little or no choice.  There is nothing they can do to change the past. 

Pressures ......

There are other pressures.  Schools, parents, peers, siblings, the media all bang on endlessly about “what course (and that invariably means what university course) are you going to do after you finish school?” 

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Topics: Careers

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

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

 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

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