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The Learning Success Blog

Risky Play and Its Role In Early Childhood Learning and Development

Posted by Jane Shearer on September 21, 2021 at 1:35 PM

Researchers suggest that engagement in risky play provides children an opportunity to navigate and cope with uncertainty, resulting in decreased anxiety, according to a recent Canadian study.

Risky play is defined as a thrilling activity involving challenges that test limits and the possibility of getting injured. Typically, children love trying out new things and, in the process, seek opportunities that allow them to engage in challenging activities or risky play.

While risky play might seem dangerous for kids, it offers many benefits, including improved social, motor, and spatial skills, critical aspects in building student learning capacity. Below are some of the essential roles of risky play in early childhood learning and development.

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Social & Emotional Learning

How Music Can Boost Children’s Mental Health In Tough Times

Posted by Jane Shearer on December 23, 2020 at 1:58 PM

Australians are struggling to cope with recent world events, with around 13% reporting high or very high levels of psychological stress. In New Zealand, the situation is also somewhat worrisome, with around 31% reporting some level of stress. It isn’t only adults who are affected. Even prior to this year, teen stress rivalled that of adults, with issues such as academic and sporting pressure weighing on their minds.

Parents wishing to help their children improve their mental health often look to natural yet effective ways to lower stress levels. Some of the most powerful methods studied to date include mindfulness based activities like meditation, time spent in nature, a healthy diet, exercise and music - both as a hobby and in the form of therapy.

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Topics: Autism, Confidence & Resilience, Music

Why Your Child Really Needs to Learn About Cybersecurity

Posted by Jane Shearer on August 24, 2020 at 1:51 PM

Since most learning is now moving into the digital age, teaching your kids about cybersecurity is a must. Here are some very real reasons why!

Identity Theft

Over 1 million children had their identities stolen, and that number is growing exponentially, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research survey. Children are often specifically targeted by hackers and identity thieves, since kids tend to have clear credit records compared to adults.

Once criminals obtain enough information to open up a bank account in your child’s name, they go on to rack up mountains of debt. To prevent this from happening to your child, it’s critical that they are taught basic cybersecurity protocols that prevent identity theft by not talking to strangers online or giving out sensitive personal information via email or text.

Malware and Viruses

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Bullying

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.

Listen to  our discussion on the Learning Capacity Podcast

 

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Podcasts, Careers

How to Use Strengths & Positive Psychology in Teaching - Penny Nesbitt

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 12, 2018 at 7:27 AM

Peter Barnes

Should we concentrate our teaching on trying to improve where students are performing badly, or focus more attention on helping them build on their existing strengths?

It shouldn't be an either /or choice. But according to positive psychology expert, Penny Nesbitt, working on a student's natural strengths will be more rewarding for both the student and their teacher.

Penny spoke to The Learning Capacity Podcast about the movement to positive education and how the strengths approach is being used in classrooms around the world.  She also spoke about the power to two little words:  "NOT YET".

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Podcasts, Social & Emotional Learning, Positive Psychology & Strengths

Principal's New 7 Way Reading Program: Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Peter Barnes

I just read an inspiring article by Carole Meyer, a school Principal in Washington State, USA about how her school transformed its reading program. 

The problem at Salk Middle School in Spokane, Washington was that 328 of the 736 students were not proficient readers, based on the state’s reading assessment. This was almost half the students.

So in mid 2013 Meyer decided to find a way to get every student reading at or above grade level.

She succeeded.

The students in the new reading program:

  • Achieved more than a year of reading growth in only one semester
  • Lifted their pass rate so they were passing more than 90% of their classes
  • Shifted their mindsets toward becoming better readers
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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Reading Assistant Plus (RA+)

How Fast ForWord Improved Student Outcomes in Canada School District

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mike McKay is a retired superintendent of the Surrey County schools district in British Columbia, Canada.

He was a public educator for 35 years. The area he supervised has over 160 languages spoken. 

You can imagine it would be difficult to measure the potential problems with language and reading development in such a large and diverse region. 

But back in 2008 he attended a conference hosted by Scientific Learning Corporation, where he saw the research behind the Fast ForWord programs. 

When he came back, he asked his board to trust him, and give him $300,000 to get started. It was bold pitch. Mike tells the story of how things have panned out in this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, School, Fast ForWord, Learning, Literacy, Podcasts, For Principals

Lessons About Learning from Coal Seam Gas Activist, “The Frackman”

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 11, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Colin Klupiec


You might be wondering what coal seam gas has to do with learning.

But for ordinary Australian, and now film maker Dayne Pratzky, the “Frackman”, it’s become a major issue.

Australia is currently experiencing a “gas rush”, and when the Queensland Gas Company arrived at Dayne Pratzky’s home to inform him that drilling for coal seam gas was about to commence on his property, a battle started that would see Dayne become a global activist fighting against a multi-billion dollar industry.

Dayne learnt much about the coal seam gas industry, but also about himself, and what people can do to help themselves in the face of seemingly insurmountable tasks.

This is a message for all Australians, with particular focus on our next generations. Listen to this Learning Capacity podcast episode to hear Dayne tell his story:

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning, Podcasts

A Student Called “Australia” – Gabbie Stroud’s Hope for Education

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 11, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Colin Klupiec

Gabbie Stroud loved her job as a primary school teacher.

Eventually, what she calls the changing nature of teaching led to burn out, and her decision to leave the profession.

In an essay she wrote for the Griffith Review, she talks of her frustrations, but also of a future for education filled with hope and guided by a few dangerous ideas. 

While Gabbie is not in the classroom now, her passion for education remains strong, and she calls for things like profound commitment to teachers, trust, and renewed thinking on things like creativity, imagination and ingenuity.

And she does this for the sake of a student she calls Australia. In her essay she asks, “Who would teach her? How would she learn?" In an episode on the Learning Capacity Podcast, I continue this discussion with Gabbie as we search for the answers to some big questions.

Listen to the discussion:

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, School, Learning, Podcasts, NAPLAN

Students’ Achievement: Encouragement, Maths Tables & Learning Capacity

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 20, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Peter Barnes

“The single biggest thing that a parent can give their child is the encouragement to do better, and not give them limiting beliefs about their ability or what they could achieve”.

This is an opinion expressed by David Stanley, former math teacher and now Director of Learning Ecosystems Growth at Learn Fast Australia, in a wide ranging two part interview on the Learning Capacity Podcast.

 In the first part David discussed rote learning of maths tables, how this can improve a student’s learning capacity, the role of parents in helping students set goals, and the educational power of celebrating success.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

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