Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

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


Neuroscience of Leadership: Are you causing people pain?

This is short article on the Neuroscience of Leadership is worth reading and noting.

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TEDx Melbourne – Will Richardson, Educational Leadership


A thought provoking video about educational leadership from Will Richardson at TEDx Melbourne, September 2012!


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TED: Susan Cain: ‘The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or somewhere in between (ambivert), Susan’ Cain’s TED talk is important viewing, and should be shared widely.


As well, Susan recently wrote a very interesting opinion piece in TIME Ideas – ‘Why gadgets are great for introverts’.

In all planning for learning and teaching in our classrooms we must consciously consider the introvert as well as the extrovert and ambivert students!

After viewing the TED video or reading Susan’s article you might like to use one of these Thinking prompts to help in your reflections:


  1. Make a claim about the topic
  2. Identify support for your claim
  3. Ask a question related to your claim



  1. What feelings do you have after experiencing this?
  2. How were you made to feel this way?
  3. What would you like to do with these feelings? 

If Susan’s TED talk, her article and your reflections have whetted your appetite for exploring further I recommend that you read Susan’s book ‘Quiet – The Power of Introverts’. There is an eBook version too. Here!

A tweet today also lead me to Royan Lee’s blog, where he posts about his analysis of data he collected about his students, their personality types, and the effect of their use of social media and digital devices on their learning. Royan’s  ‘…mom ‘n pop research…’ (Action research) is linked here: Social Media and Introverts: by Royan Lee

Take Susan’s Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Related Articles:

Embracing Introversion: Ways to Stimulate Reserved Students in the Classroom 

Introversion and the Invisible Adolescent by Mark Phillips

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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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‘Ten Roles For Teacher Leaders’ by Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion, ASCD

Every teacher is a leader – in their classroom and in their school.

This principles of teacher-leadership outlined in Cindy Harrison’s and Joellen Killon’s article published in Educational Leadership in September 2007, Volume 65, No 1, ‘Teachers as Leaders’ continue to hold true and are worth thoughtful consideration by every educator.

Cindy and Joellen write:

‘The ways teachers can lead are as varied as teachers themselves.

Teacher leaders assume a wide range of roles to support school and student success. Whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally, they build the entire school’s capacity to improve. Because teachers can lead in a variety of ways, many teachers can serve as leaders among their peers.So what are some of the leadership options available to teachers? The following 10 roles are a sampling of the many ways teachers can contribute to their schools’ success…

Roles for All

Teachers exhibit leadership in multiple, sometimes overlapping, ways. Some leadership roles are formal with designated responsibilities. Other more informal roles emerge as teachers interact with their peers. The variety of roles ensures that teachers can find ways to lead that fit their talents and interests. Regardless of the roles they assume, teacher leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.’

The roles they outline are:

1. Resource Provider, 2. Instructional Specialist, 3. Curriculum Specialist, 4. Classroom Supporter, 5. Learning Facilitator, 6. Mentor, 7. School Leader, 8. Data Coach, 9. Catalyst for Change, 10. Learner

Read the full article and more about the roles here :

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‘The importance of leadership in high-performing schools’ – Curriculum Leadership Journal


The monthly edition of Education Services Australia’s electronic Curriculum Leadership Journal landed in my inbox today. The lead article is this thought provoking one: ‘The importance of leadership in high-performing schools’. The article was first published in  ISQ Briefings Volume 16 Number 6, July 2012.

We know from John Hattie‘s syntheses of meta-analyses related to student achievement, published in ‘Visible Learning’ 2008, that students bring to their learning 50% of that which has an impact on their achievement. Teacher have the next biggest impact on student achievement – 30% impact.

This article investigates some research about the impact of school leadership on student outcomes, suggesting that evidence indicates ‘…that school leadership has an impact on student outcomes second only to the influence of teachers in the classroom…’

As leaders in our schools, how do we stack up?

‘There is a growing body of evidence that school leadership has an impact on student outcomes second only to the influence of teachers in the classroom (Hattie, 2003; Leithwood et al, 2006; Tooley, 2009; Day et al, 2009; New Leaders for New Schools, 2009; Day et al, 2010; Barber et al, 2010).

A recent RAND Corporation report found that nearly 60% of a school’s impact on student achievement is attributable to leadership and teacher effectiveness, with principals accounting for 25% of a school’s total impact on achievement. Furthermore the report found that, while effective teachers have a profound effect on student outcomes, this effect soon fades when the student moves on to another teacher, unless the new teacher is equally effective (New Leaders for New Schools, 2009). In order for students to have high-quality learning every year, whole schools must be high functioning, and this means they must be led by effective principals (ibid)…’ Read on…


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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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