Any child can achieve suc­cess

Unique ed­u­ca­tion ac­ti­vates cu­rios­ity

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - PARENTS AND KIDS | ADVERTISING FEATURE -

AT SUN­SHINE Coast Gram­mar we have de­lib­er­ately utilised con­tem­po­rary re­search in neu­ro­science that in­forms learn­ing, the work of psy­chol­o­gists such as Dr Carol Dweck and lo­cal tal­ent such as Pro­fes­sor Alan Mackay-Sim who en­cour­age us to ask ques­tions be­cause it’s not the an­swers that get you the prize, it’s the bold, cu­ri­ous, coura­geous ques­tions.

We know that an ac­tive mind is fu­elled by an ac­tive body and we are well aware that good sleep, healthy diet and phys­i­cal ex­er­cise con­trib­ute to build­ing an ac­tive, func­tion­ing mind. Our brains were built in­side bod­ies that are meant to move, so to im­prove your think­ing skills, just move.

I have been shar­ing with the stu­dents the work of Dr John Me­d­ina, a molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gist who has a life­long in­ter­est in how the brain sci­ences might in­flu­ence the way we work and learn. The frame­work he presents are the 12 brain rules – what sci­en­tists know for sure about how our brain works and how we can then ap­ply this knowl­edge to thrive.

For the Baby Boomers, Gen­er­a­tion X and Y this means us, too. Aer­o­bic ex­er­cise just twice a week halves our risk of gen­eral de­men­tia. It cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Me­d­ina, most of us do more for­get­ting than remembering. In his brain rules, num­ber 4 is about pay­ing at­ten­tion.

In this hy­per-con­nected, very full lives we live, we be­lieve that in or­der to achieve every­thing we need to get done, to tick off every­thing on the to do list, we need to multi-task. We think we are get­ting more done, but as ed­u­ca­tors we do ques­tion if the qual­ity is be­ing eroded at the ex­pense of the quan­tity.

Dr Me­d­ina states that brains can­not multi-task when it comes to pay­ing at­ten­tion; to truly be present and fo­cused in the mo­ment on the one task at hand and giv­ing it the time and at­ten­tion to en­sure qual­ity. This at­ten­tional abil­ity is very dif­fer­ent from be­ing able to multi-task, such as eat­ing and read­ing at the same time or walk­ing and talk­ing.

At key times in the term when stu­dents must give their full at­ten­tion to com­plet­ing a task within a time­frame and meet a dead­line, they can find that pay­ing at­ten­tion is chal­leng­ing. You must ac­tively and con­sciously turn your mind to that task, for­sak­ing all dis­trac­tions. Dr Me­d­ina’s work has un­cov­ered that if we are in­ter­rupted it takes 50 per cent longer to ac­com­plish a task and we can make up to 50 per cent more er­rors.

When we ap­ply this knowl­edge out­side the school en­vi­ron­ment, the no­tion of not pay­ing at­ten­tion can be­come very dan­ger­ous. Con­sider all the cam­paigns on our roads now to re­duce tex­ting and driv­ing.

An ac­tive mind is a pow­er­ful tool for great learn­ing, dis­cov­ery and when we work in­ten­tion­ally on build­ing growth mind­sets, any­thing can be pos­si­ble.

❝ If we are in­ter­rupted it takes 50 per cent longer to ac­com­plish a task.

NA­TURE: The nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment of SCGS in­spires cu­rios­ity and cre­ativ­ity.

PHO­TOS: MITCH LOWE

HANDS ON: Sun­shine Coast Gram­mar School has unique learn­ing styles.

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