Learning

We are preparing students for their future, not our past. Learning that transforms and inspires.

Our Learning

Mount St Benedict College approaches this vision for learning for all students from Year 7 through to 12 with confidence, competence and compassion.

Framing the vision

Mount St Benedict College approaches this vision for learning for all students from Year 7 through to 12 with confidence, competence and compassion. We are dedicated to encouraging all students to embrace 21st Century fluencies to become innovators and inventors, critical and flexible thinkers, adaptors and creators, risk takers, self-directed learners, social and emotionally connected, media and technological fluent and global citizens of tomorrow.

Paradigm shift

For this to occur there has been a shift in our thinking. Schools today are vastly different from the 19th century model of the Industrial Age where the focus was solely on content and the learning space was static. Today the focus also needs to be on skills or fluencies, and where space is flexible and adaptable.

A Metaphor for the shift to underpins teaching

The concept of curriculum differentiation underpins the teaching at Mount St Benedict. One size does not fit all. We recognize that within each learning space there will be many different learning needs, styles and abilities. Therefore we provide multiple options and pathways for learning to occur - through the curriculum we deliver and the methods we use.

Daniel Pink’s metaphor of the brain is a useful way to understand this concept. For Pink, the left hemisphere of the brain represents the linear, logical, text, sequential, and analytical. While these are absolutely essential, today in our schools they are not enough. What is needed is a focus on the right hemisphere represented by design, synthesis, artistry, a holistic big picture with a new level of thinking of innovative solutions, with a new set of rules. In this way, schools are more likely to adopt creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration and inquiry-based learning.

Research and the trends today

The benefits of a girls-only classroom from Year 7 to Year 12 are evident at our College. Independent research consistently demonstrates that girls simply learn better in a single gender environment. Mount St Benedict girls have strong role models, an abundance of leadership opportunities and are less likely to limit themselves by conforming to gender stereotypes. When combined with our innovative learning programs, the capacity for girls to flourish grows. This is set against a background of world-wide trends which impact on education: technology, globalization, multiple careers and longevity.

Technology and the digital natives and the digital immigrants

The College’s one to one lap top program enables the ‘native speakers’ of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet to flourish. We work hard with our digital instructors, so they do not speak an out-dated language, that of the pre-digital age. We understand that pedagogy needs to be our focus and drive technology.

Personalised learning - deep learning

At Mount St Benedict, there is student-centred learning in action. We make every effort to meet each student at their individual point of need. Our approach values curiosity, wonder, and initiative.

If students need additional support or extension, our Gifted and Talented and Learning Support staff provide individualised attention. In this way teachers know what a learner is potentially able to learn. They are a bridge between the known and the familiar and the totally new and unfamiliar for the student.

Our challenge as educators

The wonderful challenge and privilege of working in this profession is summed up by the following excerpt from the Commission for the Futures, 1989.

The future is not, some place we are going to
But one we are creating
The paths are not to be found but made
And the act of making them
Changes both the maker and the destination.

John Muskovits
Assistant Principal Dean of Curriculum

Further reading

John Muskovits has had published a number of articles on learning:

  • The Third Teacher: From Classrooms to Learning Ecologies Pt 2 Education Today 2013 Vol 13 (2) Term 2
  • The Third Teacher: From Classrooms to Learning Ecologies: Education Today 2013 Vol 13 (1) Term 1
  • A-Z Compendium: Volume One Influential Leaders in Education Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand Education Today: 2012 Vol 12 (2) Term 2
  • An Afternoon of Insight and Sharing of Teaching and Learning Strategies: Education Today 2011 Vol 11 (4) Term 4
  • Going Out of Your Way to Find Your Neighbour: The Good Oil August 2011
  • The Australian Curriculum - a Grand Design... or is it? Education Today 2010 Vol 10 (3) Term 3
    John Muskovits questions the thinking behind the National Curriculum
  • False Start for the New National Curriculum? Teacher Vol 2010 No. 214
  • A Personal View: The Australian Curriculum - a Grand Design... or is it?
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