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The Learning Success Blog

NAPLAN: Alarming Achievement Gaps says Grattan Institute's Dr Pete Goss

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 29, 2016 at 4:41 PM

Colin Klupiec

For many educators and parents, Australia's NAPLAN is controversial. But whatever your opinion of NAPLAN, the data does provide some information about student achievement.

According to the Grattan Institute’s new model of interpreting NAPLAN data there is a widening achievement gap in Australian schools.  

For example there is a spread of achievement of up to 7 years between students in year 9. This has been described as alarming.

I visited the Grattan Institute in Melbourne to speak with Dr Peter Goss, one of the authors of the report.

He explained the findings in this episode of the Learning Capacity podcast. And he also discussed the implications of the widening achievement gap for Australian education.

The discussion with him was so extensive I have recorded it in two podcast episodes. Be sure to catch part two, episode 57, where we discuss the effects of disadvantage on NAPLAN results.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: Learning, Podcasts, NAPLAN, For Principals

Nervanix Attention Software Boosts High Value Learning: Dr Steve Miller

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM

Colin Klupiec

Image if you had a piece of wearable technology that could "listen to your brain".  And use what it hears to help you to track your concentration while you study.

This might sound a bit like science fiction. But it's actually available now with the Clarity software and headset from the Nervanix Corporation.

It might surprise you to know that the technology behind it, known as EEG, is actually about 100 years old.

Dr Steve Miller is the chief science officer for Nervanix. He’s one of the driving forces behind the development of Nervanix Clarity.

Dr Miller explains how it all works in an interview on the Learning Capacity podcast.

He points out the significant implications for education. And how this new technology can enhance learning for all students involved in high value learning.

Listen to the podcast episode:

 

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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience, Nervanix Attention Technology

Colin Klupiec - Northside Radio: Learning Capacity, Education, Reading

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 11, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Colin Klupiec

In my role as producer of the Learning Capacity podcast, I get to talk to many interesting people from around the world.

Occasionally, the tables get turned, and the people I meet start to ask me more questions than I ask them.

Nick Kenny, hosts a program on Sydney based community station Northside Radio, FM99.3. It’s named A Fair Call and is a political commentary and current affairs talk show. He invited me to join him on the program to discuss what learning capacity is, what I thought about current developments in the education system in Australia, and why I thought reading is so important.

He wasn’t afraid of asking tough questions, and it made for a very enjoyable discussion. The program was recorded, and I’m pleased to add it to the growing list of interviews that make up the Learning Capacity podcast.

Listen to the discussion:

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Educational Neuroscience is Not Pop Science, says Cogmed’s Mimma Mason

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 10, 2016 at 8:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mimma Mason is the Cogmed Manager for Pearson Australia, and has previously explained working memory on the Learning Capacity podcast.

But she also spends much of her time helping people understand the emerging field of educational neuroscience. Is it another band wagon, or pop science?

We’ve asked this question before, and it seems like the consistent message is that educational neuroscience is now increasingly informing educational practice and research.

So if it’s for real, how do we implement it? And what does this mean for future teacher education and professional development?

Mimma helps us understand what to make of it all in a discussion on the Learning Capacity podcast. 

Listen to the podcast episode:



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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Memory, School, Cogmed, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Creating Cultures of Thinking: Dr Ron Ritchhart - Harvard University

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 2, 2016 at 6:22 PM

Colin Klupiec

Dr Ron Ritchhart’s work on Creating Cultures of Thinking has helped transform the process of learning in classrooms around the world.

Creating Cultures of Thinking has developed from Ron Ritchhart's work as a part of Project Zero at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

Project Zero is a 50 year old organisation that began with just a few researchers, and now has over 30 employees.

Ron spoke with The Learning Capacity podcast and talked about his book, Creating Cultures of Thinking: the 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools. It’s challenging, and in some places confronting, but the stories he tells are quite compelling.

Listen to this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

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Topics: Learning Enhancement, School, Learning, Podcasts, Cultures of Thinking, For Principals

Teacher Cameron Paterson: Using Cultures of Thinking in the Classroom

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 2, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Colin Klupiec

Cameron Paterson is a teacher at a private school in Sydney, Australia. He first came across Harvard University's Project Zero a little over 10 years ago.

The ideas resonated with Cameron. He was attracted by the progressive nature of the thinking in the Project Zero team. Since then he’s studied learning and teaching at Harvard University and has completed a Masters degree. 

He’s worked extensively with Dr Ron Ritchhart and Mark Church in Creating Cultures of Thinking within his own school.

For Cameron, creating cultures of thinking is not just a passing idea or educational fad. It's backed by research and case studies from around the world.

The Learning Capacity Podcast spoke with Cameron who shared his experience using thinking routines in the classroom, and how he’s made it real and successful.

Listen to this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

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Topics: Learning Enhancement, School, Learning, Podcasts, Cultures of Thinking

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

“Phenomenal” improvements for son after Fast ForWord, says Father

Posted by Colin Klupiec on February 28, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Colin Klupiec


Dr Con Kafataris, father of six, describes the changes he saw in his son George, aged nine, as phenomenal” after George completed the Fast ForWord program.

It was a little bit of a journey to find Fast ForWord for George but after trying a few avenues, including speech pathology, Dr Kafataris came across the program through a book titled, “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Dr Norman Doidge.

“The science seemed plausible”, said Dr Kafataris, so he decided to give it a go.

What were these “phenomenal” improvements? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Or read more below for the complete podcast transcript.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Reading, Autism, Fast ForWord, Learning, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

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