My talk at the Positive Schools Conference in Brisbane

Following Michael Carr-Gregg at a conference of this nature is a bit like following the Rolling Stones at a music festival. It’s great to on the same bill, but you are a little concerned if anyone is really there to hear you! But that’s what I had to do today at the Positive Schools Conference […]

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Positive Schools Conference in Fremantle

Today I had the privilege of giving a key-note talk at the Positive Schools Conference in Fremantle. This was a great opportunity for me to engage with some of the leading minds in Australia in the field of mental health, wellbeing and education. I gave a talk based on my Drowning not Learning blog post from last […]

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Only the “bright” allowed to shine…

In the latest Sun-Herald in Sydney, there is an eight page spread about how parents should choose an independent school. obviously it has had significant input from various independent schools as well as including a 39-point checklist for things to look for when choosing the right school for your child. It spoke of looking at the individual needs of […]

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Sometimes “successful students” fail themselves…

Last month the Sydney Morning Herald carried an article that suggested that perhaps students chose university courses based on the prestige associated with such courses, rather than what was most appropriate for the individual. Personally I don’t think this is so surprising… do you? After all, since Year 1 they have been categorised as either […]

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Lessons From the New York Subway

During my recent visit to New York, I inevitably ended up travelling across town on the subway. As I entered the carriage I saw a guy with a guitar slung around his neck, just quietly strumming to himself, obviously rehearsing. Another guy sat across the carriage from me struck up a conversation with him. It […]

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The Natural Disaster Nobody Sees

Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote, inspired by my time in New Orleans. It is obvious people go the extra mile to help those affected by a natural disaster. We only need to think of the global responses to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In January 2010, […]

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Drowning, Not Learning

In his book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar PhD describes one model of motivation that influences the approach a student may take to their learning. He calls it the “Drowning Model”. “The drowning model shows two things; that the desire to free ourselves from pain can be a strong motivator and that, once freed, we can easily […]

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How Should We Measure The Effectiveness of a School?

Consider the following students… Christopher* is a Year 12 student who is on course for a top ATAR. He is likely to be the Dux of the School. However, Christopher has always had issues socializing, and suffers anxiety. It is not clear how he will function outside the structure of a small high school. David […]

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What’s The New Kid Like?

“What’s the new kid in Year 9 like?” I asked Mr Jones* the Maths teacher. “He’s terrible at maths,  he’s definitely not too bright,” Jonesy assured me. Whilst this is purely anecdotal and certainly not a universal approach to describing students, it is fairly common in my experience. I have asked what the child is like, and I’ve been told what the […]

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