Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

Learning for living, Character for life, Hope for the Future

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‘Defining and Developing Spirituality in Christian Schools’ – Mark Treadwell

Circle - Phil's Provocations
At ACEL last week I listened to Mark Treadwell speak about conceptual learning. Today I received in my email inbox, eCSM, from Circle which included a link to Mark’s article that I’ve linked here. It is worth reading carefully and pondering on. What does developing a comprehensive program for embedding Christian values in learning and teaching mean for the development of our students’ character and their relationships with each other and our God.


Mark Treadwell writes:

‘…Schools that embed Christian values into their culture and promotion subsequently attract a clientele that desires such values. This provides the school with a warranty to espouse those values with clarity and purpose. The elements that contribute to the formation of a student’s character and principles should be developed in a planned and strategic manner and done so explicitly and with no apology. This requires a good understanding of how virtues can be developed, encouraged and outworked in a student’s life to a point where they become dispositions that are applied with passion…

Read on…

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‘Lead Like Jesus’ – Ken Blanchard

A tweet today pointed me to this YouTube video (April 2012),

Lead Like Jesus‘ – presented by Dr Ken Blanchard.

While Dr Blanchard, the global and spiritual leader of the Ken Blanchard Company, speaks from the point of view of leading within business the points he makes are equally applicable to we Christians who lead in Christian or secular educational settings.

Ken speaks of how Jesus took 12 unlikely men and transformed them from novices into master leaders. He also speaks of his own journey as a follower of Jesus and how he puts the principles found in the life of Jesus of servant leadership, into practice in his life and business.

Where did Jesus learn about leadership?

Who was the first servant leader?

Why did the Father make Jesus a carpenter?

What principles from the Saviour’s life will always hold us in good stead in our role as leaders?

The Video is 1 hour 19 minutes long but if you have the time it is well worth viewing and reflecting on.

A related 55 min. video is the one linked here: ‘Developing your leadership point of view‘, where Ken outlines more of the principles of Jesus’ servant leadership. Also well worth the time to view and reflect on.

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Adventist Schools Victoria – Combined Schools Day of Worship 2012: Secondary

Get Connected, Stay Connected!

I asked about a week ago that readers stay tuned for the slideshow from the Adventist Schools Victoria Secondary Combined Schools Worship Day. Here it is! (Thank you to Ormond for the photos, and perhaps another anonymous photographer too!)

The event was held at Nunawading Christian College on Friday August 17 with students from Years 7 to 12 taking part. The theme was GET CONNECTED!

The schools’ chaplains coordinated the program. Once again, a big thank you to them for the time they put in to planning and bringing all the components of the morning together.

Supported by teachers as well as the chaplains, students from each school lead out in aspects of the program, including the welcome to attendees, leading in prayer, singing in worship and providing music, along with presenting inspirational drama and choral items.

A big thank you as well to the teachers and students. You were inspiring!

The speaker Pr Mau Tuaoi, Senior Chaplain at Gilson College, emphasised the importance of getting, and staying connected to God.  As happened in the primary program, at the end each student was also presented with a reminder of the day – a carabiner engraved with the words, GET CONNECTED.

In addition to the worship time, students and staff had the opportunity afterwards to share lunch and a social time together.

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Adventist Schools Victoria – Combined Schools Day of Worship 2012: Primary


Every year since 2006 Adventist Schools Victoria has held a Combined Schools Worship Day.

This time of worship has become a looked-forward to, very special time because we bring together students and teachers from all of our schools to give praise and worship to our Creator God!

This year the event was held over two mornings at one of our schools Nunawading Christian College. The Primary schools’ worship took place on Thursday August 16 and the Secondary event was held the following day – Friday August 17. Primary students from Years 3 to 6 attended, and secondary students from Years 7 to 12.

The theme this year was GET CONNECTED!

The programs were organised by the schools’ chaplains. We wish to thank them for the time they put in to planning and bringing all the components of the service together. God certainly blessed their planning, as well as the worship time!

Led by teachers and chaplains, students from each school lead an aspect of the program. The components of worship ranged from the welcome to attendees, to leading in prayer, singing and providing music, along with presenting inspiring drama, art and choral presentations. Each school also featured on a short video that showcased the school and highlighted snippets that illustrated their students’ commitment to exploring the character of God, His love in their lives and their service to others – following the example of Jesus Christ.

A big thank you too to all of the teachers and students. You were inspiring!

The speaker Hayden Petersen, Chaplain at Edinburgh Adventist Primary School, emphasised the importance of getting, and staying connected to God. Hayden used a number of personal experiences to illustrate connections, including rock climbing where the climber needs to be, and stay connected to the safety equipment – a metaphor for maintaining connection to our Saviour. Later each student was presented with a take-home reminder of the day – a carabiner engraved with the words, GET CONNECTED.

In addition to the worship time, students and staff had the opportunity afterwards to share lunch and a social time together.

Below is a slide show and video of the interpretive dance presented as an expression of worship. (Thank you to Mike and Israel for the photos and video footage!) I will update the post when I receive more media so stay tuned.

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Adventist Schools Australia – Ministry of Teaching video, 2012

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Our ministry to our students and school communities is that of teaching. Let’s continue to encourage young people in our schools to also consider taking up this vital work, so that they also may make a difference for those who come after them!

In a recent letter to State Directors of Education and Adventist Church pastors and ministry teams Dr Daryl Murdoch, National Director Of Education, Adventist Schools Australia wrote:

‘Education Day 2012 

…Sabbath August 11 is a special Sabbath set aside to focus on our Adventist school system. Our schools are a core ministry of the church and it is our continued commitment to ensure that they provide the very best for the children in their care. As such we want to ensure that we are attracting and calling passionate and committed people to teach in our schools.

These videos have been produced with one aim in mind – to call people to the ministry of teaching, to make a difference, and as such influence the next generation for Christ…’

One of these videos was shown on August 11 in many Adventist churches around Australia and I post them on this blog for viewing by those who follow the blog. The shorter is 60 seconds in length and the longer version runs for 4 minutes and 22 seconds. Perhaps these might inspire a young person you know to consider a teaching career…

Long version

Short version

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Prep D at Heritage College: Tanja uses her class blog to engage students and parents, and showcase what her little students are working on! This post describes the beginning of their journey this year to get to know Jesus more!

Prep DH

We are all specially made Princes & Princesses of God.

Today we made a promise to:

  1. Look after people who are sick, hurt or sad
  2. Cooperate and work together
  3. Share with others
  4. Be helpful to our families, friends and others
  5. Tell people about Jesus
  6. Use our special talents that God gave us

We had some special prayer time in the King’s Castle.

We read a special verse in the Bible that tells us how special we are, and how we’re part of God’s wonderful family:

“See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!”

1 John 3:1

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eCSM – ‘Why do we… give detentions?’ by Greg Mitchell

I received this from eCSM in my email inbox recently. Definitely thought provoking!

(eCSM, continuing CIRCLE’s commitment to bring you ‘succinct, practical wisdom’ on educational issues. eCSM is a monthly electronic provocation on transformative educational leadership for executives, managers and professionals.)

Greg Mitchell is a highly experienced and passionate educator. He is keen to challenge ‘accepted practice’ in order to develop excellence in teaching and learning. He currently works as an educational consultant to improve the culture of organisations.

I [Greg Mitchell] was recently standing in the reception area of a high performance government high school, signing in before delivering one of a series of talks to Year 12 students.

As I was putting pen to paper, the phone rang and the receptionist answered. After a minute or two she covered the phone with her hand and, with a puzzled expression, asked for advice from a nearby teacher.

It seemed that a Year 10 student had arrived late at school and had been given a detention for her tardiness. The parent was ringing to claim responsibility for their daughter’s lateness and to request that the detention be quashed!

I quickly finished my signing in duties, refrained from hurdling the counter and screaming down the phone, and went off instead to attempt to inspire the senior students to take charge of their future.

But to me there were a myriad of issues that needed to be unravelled in this little piece of telephone drama…

1. Surely a Year 10 student should be able to take responsibility for getting themselves to school?
2. Why do parents collude with their children to subvert school rules?
3. What is a student doing using their phone during school hours?
4. Why do schools hand out detentions in the first place?

Detentions are the McDonald’s punishments for the behaviour management world.

They are fast food from a narrow menu, delivered by large numbers without thought to a range of clients with a vast array of needs and issues.

Detentions in themselves are not necessarily ‘evil’. But so much more is going on in the vast interplay of issues involved in misbehaviour: the student/teacher/time variables that make simply sending a child to a room seem at best, shallow; at worst, neglectful.

Detentions are the punishment of the time poor teacher and the unimaginative school.

The best schools are the Master Chefs of the behaviour management world. Usually they are enthusiastic empiricists with a real passion for helping solve problems with students.

Their menu runs something like this…

Behaviour: What is the real problem with this student’s behaviour that we really need to address?

Effects: What are the effects of that behaviour and whom does it really affect?

Causes of the behaviour: Is it revenge, attention seeking, self-confidence or power that is driving this? Could these causes be redressed by attending to needs such as better food, a good night’s sleep, some waste elimination and so on?

Action plans: Have we got coordinated plans to deal with the regular repeat offenders and the irritating little things that go wrong?

Mistakes: What do we know doesn’t work? Can we stop repeating ineffectual punishments that provoke students to use revenge, seek attention, lack self-confidence and play power games (such as detentions!)?

And the very best of schools have a similar plan for teachers as well as students.

They assist the teachers who constantly use punishments to try to ‘win’ the behaviour battle by instead equipping them to see school as a partnership in which discipline cuts both ways.

I don’t know what this great school that I was working with did with the late detention student. The impulsive part of me would have loved to say to the parent…

“I’ll happily cancel your daughter’s detention but of course I’ll expect you to do it for her – would you prefer the lunch or after school time slot? Oh and by the way, could you come in and collect your daughter because I’ve just suspended her for using her phone at school and texting during class!”

However, the practiced professional that I am would have booked a parent/teacher/student meeting before school one day to see if there was anything we could do to help with improving task management issues…I’m sure this child has a track record!

It’s time to adopt a tailored and creative approach to behaviour management: to trade our packaged hamburgers for fresh, handmade gourmet cuisine.