Category Archives: Educational Matters

Two New Insights as a Student

‪Now that I am, once again, a student myself, I have had two profound insights that I must try and implement into my teaching practice. The first being to explaining what we are doing in class (when it comes to any teaching and learning strategy) and show its relevance to the students. As part of my Masters program, I have had to begin reading some academic literature for one of the core units I am doing. Now, I am a reasonably intelligent person but I have absolutely now idea of what the focus of the reading is about. I am completely lost!! It just does not make sense to me, but more importantly, I do not see the relevance to what I am studying. However, there is clearly a reason for engaging in the readings. But what it did get me thinking is that this must happen all the time at school. If students do not see the relevance in what they are learning, or at least understand the content in which it’s being presented, they will just switch off and not engage in the lesson. So moving forward, I am going to try and make overtly clear what the purpose is for each learning activity.

Secondly, the other insight I got as I was researching for answers to what I was reading is exactly that – that information on all things is at our fingertips if we have access to the Internt. No longer do students need to be in a classroom to learning things and it is perfectly fine for them to jump online to learn new things. Yes, of course there is the danger of student learning something from non-academic or incorrect resources but this can be combatted by teaching good research and investigatory skills. As educators, we have to be comfortable with the fact that there are a myriad of ways that students learn. The whole ‘Minecraft teaching method’ is a classical example of this. The following Ted x talk (https://youtu.be/9ekcWQxgk3k) communicates this idea of infinite access to information, and subsequent learning, very well….

So the early days of my Masters program have been highly beneficial. Let’s just hope I can see the benefit of the future scholarly readings that I need to undertake…

Adolescent Mental Health and Well-being: An Educational Leadership Issue

AN EXTRACT FROM A UNI POST I MADE ABOUT A CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP ISSUE _________________________

As a contemporary educational leadership issue, I believe adolescent mental health and well-being is a growing area of concern and the research within the field supports this. Anecdotally, you hear within schools that stress and anxiety are growing concerns and that the number of young individuals being diagnosed with anxiety is on the rise. You only need to look at special provisions lists within schools around exam time to see that more and more students are being given assistance for anxiety-related issues. Furthermore, in addition to ‘water-cooler’ information, the experts are also suggesting that stress and anxiety is a growing concern amongst teens. Michael Carr-Greg states that “today’s children are under increasing pressure” and that “the mental health system is underfunded” (Bita, 2014). Youth aged between 15 – 19 years of age state that stress, school and study continue to be the top issues of personal concern (Mission Australia, 2016) and that 440,000 (15.4%) young people (16 – 24 years of age) have experienced an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months (Beyond Blue, 2008).

These numbers are very top line but what it does tell us is that stress and anxiety amongst school aged students is a serious matter that will continue to grow and occupy more time of leaders within schools. As such, school leaders will need to continue the work that is already being done, whilst at the same time, look for other ways to combat this growing concern.

Just some of my thoughts and I look forward to others opinion on this matter…

                                                                                                    References:
Bita, N. (2014). There are rising levels of stress and self-harm among children. The Weekend Australia. Retrieved March 5, 2017, from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/there-are-rising-levels-of-stress-and-self-harm-among-children/story-e6frg6z6-1227154459499

Mission Australia. (2016). Annual Youth Survey 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2017, from https://www.missionaustralia.com.au/what-we-do/research-evaluation/youth-survey 

Beyond Blue. (2008). Stats and Facts. Retrieved March 5, 2017, from https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts