by Mark Gronow, 2015 Brother John Taylor Fellow
This three-part paper examines ways to improve student engagement in mathematics. Research shows that students begin disengaging from mathematics from the early years of primary school. These papers, by Mark Gronow (Head of Mathematics, Stella Maris College, Manly), outline research into mathematical structure and structural thinking, and how it impacts student engagement. It explores how current practices have created fixed mindsets in the teaching and learning of mathematics, and how attention to mathematical structure increases students’ structural thinking, develops growth mindsets to support deeper understanding of mathematical procedures, and concepts to improve engagement.
by Zeina Chalich, 2016 Brother John Taylor Fellow
The role of schools and educators has changed significantly in a generation, driven by globalisation, advances in technology and shifting political views. Additionally, the demands of parents, students and society have also been transformed with schools now responsible not only for delivering the academic curriculum but also for meeting the social and psychological needs of students and preparing them to work in a changing world. This paper by Zeina Chalich (Leader of Learning and Innovation, St Finbar’s Primary School, Sans Souci) examines how teachers’ understanding of critical and creative thinking influences their pedagogy and student behaviours in science and technology.
by Kim Moroney, 2017 Brother John Taylor Fellow
Play is often viewed by those removed from the early years of learning as trivial and the opposite of real learning. This has been disputed by researchers and scholars advocating for the life‐long educational benefits of play. In this paper by Kim Moroney (Early Learning Project Officer, Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office), the academic, social, physical, spiritual, cultural, and wellbeing benefits of play in the early years of school are explored and demonstrated to be misunderstood, undervalued and underutilised. This paper provides research which strongly recommends immediate action to improve pedagogical understanding and implementation of play in Catholic schools to ensure 21st century learning capacities and social and emotional wellbeing.
by Kelly Humphrey, 2018 Brother John Taylor Fellow
Assistant Principal, St Michaels Coolamon