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The Learning Success Blog

Cultures of Thinking: Simon Brooks on Using the Force of Language

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 16, 2016 at 5:08 PM

Colin Klupiec

The use of language in our schools: Do we take it for granted? 

Cultures of Thinking is an educational framework that emerged from the work of Ron Ritchhart and the Project Zero team at Harvard University.

This article belongs to an 8 part series, based on discussions on The Learning Capacity Podcast where I delve into each of the 8 cultural forces that, according to Ron Ritchhart, we must master in order to truly transform our schools.

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

In this series, we take a closer look at practical ways to implement the theory behind it all. This is part 2, where we discuss the cultural force of language.

This is Part 2 of the 8 part series with Simon Brooks about implementing cultures of thinking in our schools. 

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

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

Greg Miller shares new St Luke’s Catholic College Innovation Vision

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 7, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Colin Klupiec

Greg Miller is the newly appointed Principal Leader of the new St Luke’s Catholic College in Sydney’s Marsden Park.

The new school will open its doors in 2017. While the opening of a new school doesn’t sound all that remarkable, St Luke’s will incorporate a complete, or whole school, approach to innovation.

It will also commit to continually working out how to move forward in an increasingly complex world.

Greg Miller spoke to me on the Learning Capacity Podcast and shared how he sees this unfolding.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: School, Podcasts, For Principals

New Western Sydney School a Radical Shift from Traditional Education

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 31, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Colin Klupiec

Real innovation in education, or just talk?

Greg Whitby is the Executive Director of Schools for the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta where he is responsible for 78 schools.

He is at the leading edge of education reform, and he joined me on the Learning Capacity Podcast to discuss the new St Luke’s College opening in Sydney’s Marsden Park in 2017.

Almost everything is up for a rethink, Greg Whitby said. Starting with how the new Principal Leader is selected, the new school will provide a radical shift from traditional school thinking. 

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: School, Podcasts, For Principals

Should teachers be readers? A light hearted look with two teachers

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Colin Klupiec

Effective teaching of reading is a serious issue that deserves attention. But what happens after you’ve learned to read? How much should you read?

Given that schools are such book intensive places, would you expect teachers to be readers? I explored this topic on the Learning Capacity Podcast with music educators Brad Fuller and Peter Orenstein. They both teach at Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney.

It was a light hearted chat about the serious business of reading.

Listen to the podcast.


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Topics: Reading, Podcasts

Peter Carabi: English Language Learning with Fast ForWord

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Peter Barnes

Language and reading are universal skills required by everyone across the world. And with English being such a dominant language, there are an increasing number of people looking for ways to improve their English literacy.

Peter Carabi, vice president of Global Business Development for Scientific Learning is in the privileged position of witnessing the effects of the Fast ForWord programs as they help people around the world with their language skills. He sees how this opens new opportunities for them and often completely changes the trajectory of young peoples’ lives.

The programs are based on neuroscience, and the concept that the brain is not fixed, but plastic, and has the capability to change itself. Peter describes it as one of the things that can give us all hope.

Colin Klupiec caught up with Peter at the biannual LearnFast summit in January 2016, on a sunny day in Manly on Sydney Harbour and recorded an interview for the Learning Capacity Podcast. Peter discussed English language learning and educational neuroscience.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: English Language Learners, Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Educator Simon Brooks: Student or Teacher Centred Learning?

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 20, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Colin Klupiec

Teacher centred vs student centred learning is one of the debates that’s receiving a lot of attention around the world in modern education. And what about self directed learning? Are all students capable of being self directed, or does a student need a certain aptitude to make it work.

I discussed these issues on the Learning Capacity podcast with Simon Brooks.  Simon works with schools in the change management process as they consider new frameworks and ideas for education. He has worked extensively with the Project Zero team at Harvard University, and is a specialist in developing Cultures of Thinking.

In this episode, Simon shares how his experiences influence his ideas on this debate.

Listen to the podcast.

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

Leadership Expert John Spence: Reading is Path to School & Life Success

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 17, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Colin Klupiec

John Spence is an international business thought leader and influencer, and also a guest lecturer at universities such as Harvard, Stanford and The University of Pennsylvania.

According to John, reading is the path to success at school and in business. John is an avid reader, and claims that reading has made a lasting impact on his life and career. He reads 100 to 200 books a year.

I caught up with John on the Learning Capacity podcast to find out more about his story, and what insights he has for Australian & New Zealand students, parents and educators.

Listen to the podcast:

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Topics: Reading, School, Podcasts

Educator Simon Brooks: Implementing Cultures of Thinking in Schools

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 13, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Colin Klupiec

Simon Brooks spent many years implementing Cultures of Thinking in his classrooms.

He now helps teachers implement the framework in their schools. He’s worked closely with Ron Ritchhart and the Cultures of Thinking team at Harvard University’s Project Zero.

Whilst change can be a challenge for many, Simon’s passion to see children truly learn enables him to effectively share the long term benefits of Cultures of Thinking.

I caught up with Simon on the Learning Capacity Podcast to find out how he starts the conversation with schools and their teachers.

Listen to the podcast.


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Topics: School, Learning, Podcasts, For Principals

1 million Students Risk Reading Failure, says Dr Jennifer Buckingham

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 10, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Colin Klupiec

It’s hard to believe, but 1 million Australian children are at risk of reading failure.

A research report released by the Centre for Independent Studies titled Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading suggests most children will need significant or intensive reading instruction.

Dr Jennifer Buckingham, editor of the report,  explained the problem in a discussion on the Learning Capacity Podcast, and the five keys to reading that can help address it.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: Comprehension, Reading, Podcasts, For Principals

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