The impact of noise on learning in open & shared spaces: 4 questions to ask

Why do we have smoke alarms? We can see smoke, we can smell smoke. Why isn't that enough? Hearing is the most reliable sense, because ‘our ears are always on’. We will wake up to the alarm, but not the smell and “it is the only sense that is reliable when we sleep”. (Oseland and …

Psychoacoustics of learning environments: A people-centred approach to noise

As I write, it’s a rainy day. Our small apartment is on the top level of the building, located on a semi-busy road. Not a highway nor a freeway, more of a connection between suburbs. I’m quite used to the steady stream of traffic noise  and today, as it’s raining, so there is the added …

Growing a professional learning community in your school: ONE thing that you need first.

Effective and lasting change in schools, or any organisation for that matter, is a result of a strategic process, designed to meet the needs of the school, rather than ‘sending a couple of teachers off to a workshop'. When I first started at SCIL we decided to run workshops on a variety of educational topics, such as ‘Learning …

School Education: A both/and solution? Standards & accountability AND joy & creativity

I'm a big picture, solutions-focused kind of person. I love solving problems and making things better. As a result, my biggest stressor is when I can't see a way through. I've just listened to a podcast: Why school teacher Gabbie Stroud loved and left her career. Then I read her piece in the Griffith Review, Fixing the …

It’s time to rethink pre-service and early career teachers… We want them to stay!

In the second week of the new school year in Australia the Grattan Institute, an independent think tank, released the report Engaging Students - Creating classrooms that improve learning. It is important to consider the holistic environment that promotes learning and engagement in students. Student behaviour and the choices that they make are critical to …

A Leadership Strategy: Ask not what your people can do for you (rather, the other way around)

My part in the research project ILETC is looking at the role of the teacher, adapting and changing mind frames and practices to take the opportunities that the innovative learning environment affords. This cannot happen in a vacuum, it is effective and lasting when change is the result of leadership, clear vision and the collective pursuit …

Culture & values must relate to everything, even school uniforms. Especially for girls

As students in Australia get ready to head back (or even start) school, many are making sure that they have the right gear, in this part of the work this usually includes the school uniform. In an era that we espouse so-called ‘21st century’ education, characterised by ‘choice, autonomy and flexibility’, the school uniform seems …

Learning to unlearn: Rethinking student success in the 21stC #notNAPLANforYear9

Have you thought about this idea? Those times when you are learning to do something new and your instinct, your embedded knowledge and intuition keeps getting in the way? HBR article: “Why the problem with learning is unlearning?” arrived in my inbox this morning. The author, Mark Bonchek (Chief Epiphany Officer at Shift Thinking), describes …