This week with our Principal - Mr Taylor

Term 3 Week 3

Dear Parents and Caregivers,


Week Three, Term Three. It is Education Week once again. This year’s theme is ‘I learn, We learn.’ This indicates that learning is best done, not in isolation, but collaboratively together. Learning is best undertaken when new concepts can be explored and investigated and discussed. When learning together, learners are able to consolidate their depth of understanding by confirming, challenging and defending ideas. When working together, learners can review evidence and draw links and conclusions. When working in isolation the consolidation and the acceleration of understanding is limited by the power of one brain only. When we can share different ideas, different perspectives and different strategies we can go deeper. We need to build a culture of learning whereby learning together is the norm.


On Saturday 22nd July, 11 teachers from Banora Point PS travelled to Emmanuel College at Carrera to learn with one of the great educators in the world today, Jo Boaler. Jo is the Professor of Mathematics at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education in California and the author of 8 books, innumerable journals / research and co - founder of the website . Jo Boaler believes the idea that people are either ‘math people or not math people’ is a myth and is causing ‘math damage globally’ through math underachievement. Jo points to the growth mindset work of Carol Dweck and the research around the growth of synapses or electrical connections in the brain when learners make mistakes. Jo Boaler talks about people with a growth mindset as those who believe ‘I can learn anything’ and that math classrooms with short sharp questions that have a right or wrong answer destroy a math growth mindset. This type of environment delivers the outcome thinking ‘you can do this or you can’t.’ Jo Boaler says we must avoid developing the situation where students feel locked up in Mathematics. That is, fearful of a right /wrong answer. Jo champions the idea of open problem solving with no real beginning and various strategies or methods to a variety of answers. Jo says math classrooms should be more visual, rather than just numerical and abstract. We also learned that students should learn the benefit of a ‘growth mindset’ and of the value visual learning brings to the learning within the brain. The day was nothing short of inspirational and I am proud to have gone along with our brilliant team from Banora Point PS to join 550 educators from all over Australia and New Zealand. Our thanks to Emmanuel College for hosting such a brilliant event. Jo’s Boaler’s summary of the design principles of rich, beautiful Mathematics learning:


P. Taylor