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The Learning Success Blog

Cultures of Thinking: Simon Brooks on Using the Force of ‘Expectations’

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 13, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Colin Klupiec


Do we have expectations ‘of’ our students, or ‘for’ our students?

My guest in the series is Simon Brooks, who spent years implementing cultures of thinking into his classrooms. He now helps teachers introduce the framework in their schools.

In this series, we’ll take a closer look at practical ways to implement the theory behind it all.

This is part 1 of the 8 part series with Simon Brooks about implementing cultures of thinking in our schools.

In part 1 we discuss the cultural force of expectations.

Listen to the podcast.

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

Special Education Teachers Have Extraordinary Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 3, 2016 at 4:59 PM

Peter Barnes

Unless you are a special education teacher, or are familiar with someone who does this work, you probably have no idea of their extraordinary skills.

Special education teacher, Sophie Murphy, recently handled an inflight emergency that was preventing a plane from landing in Melbourne. What she did to persuade a child with Down Syndrome to get up off the cabin floor and strap into his seat so the plane could land would seem remarkable to most people.

But for Sophie, a teacher with two decades of experience, it was just what special education teachers are trained to do.

Read what she did in this Sydney Morning Herald report.

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Topics: Teaching

Prof John Hattie: What Works Best & What Doesn’t Work in Education

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 3, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Colin Klupiec

Have you ever wondered what doesn't work and what works best in education?

Well, Professor John Hattie has and in 2015 he wrote about it in two papers:

  • "What doesn’t work in education: The politics of distraction".
  • "What works best in education: The politics of collaborative expertise".

John Hattie is the Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne.

He’s also the Chair of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leaders, and co director of the Science of Learning Research Centre.

His work is known worldwide. 

The titles sound provocative and controversial. But the message is quite simple. One year of input should equal one year of progress, for all students, no matter where they start.

It sounds obvious, but John Hattie argues we are too easily distracted from the real issues. And we don’t harness the power of collaborating with our best educators to create what he calls a "coalition of the successful".

I caught up with John at the Improving Initial Teacher Education conference in Melbourne, in April 2016. He spoke to me on the Learning Capacity podcast where we dug a little bit deeper into these two papers.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: School, Learning, Podcasts, Teaching, For Principals

Music Educators Brad Fuller & Peter Orenstein: Collaborative Teaching

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 28, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Colin Klupiec

Brad Fuller and Peter Orenstein are music educators at Northern Beaches Christian School on the North Shore of Sydney. 

They run a unique music program that seeks to provide a rich environment for music students. Their program is built on a collaborative model of teaching and leadership. 

Brad & Peter use their experiences as musicians to experiment with new ideas for teaching. Whilst there is a curriculum to deliver, the spirit of improvisation is strong in the way they teach it.

They emphasise what they describe as a bi-directional model of leadership. This allows for the free flow of ideas between them and their students.

I spoke to them on the Learning Capacity podcast on site, where all the magic happens. In this episode, Brad and Peter give us an insight into their creative and collaborative space. 

Listen to the podcast:


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Topics: Podcasts, Music, Teaching

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