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The critical importance of affect

Mindful as I am of the miniscule amount of content that any human is willing or capable of absorbing, then storing in long-term memory and then committing to a practice change from any PL day, I strive to maximise my limited opportunity.

The temptation is to cover more content, to design better PowerPoint slides and to play icebreaker games to “get them moving”.  It doesn’t work.  These attempts are about me … and my learning environment is explicitly learner-centered.

So I took some time to investigate the affects that people articulate as those that best enhance their learning.  We talk a lot about safety in the classroom – but how sure are we that feeling safe is really the optimum, or even the only, feeling that helps?

I’ve synthesized some of this research into five feelings that seem to enhance learning and transformation:

  • Inspiration – as understated as Australians are, we do like to get just a bit fired up.
  • Challenge – it seems we really do love learning environments where expectations are high.
  • Provocation – a good argmument about what matters, where both sides are prepared to be wrong, is a great tool sharpener when it comes to practice.
  • Strengthening – we respond positively when prior knowledge and achievements are built upon.
  • Connection – put simply, we absorb more knowledge and learn more deeply in the company and collaboration of others.

It poses the question of whether our students at school are really so different to us.  When was the last time your students were inspired by you, provoked by you or compelled to solve a big problem as a team?

Maybe it’s time we got a little more serious and a little more explicit about the feelings that are generated in schools, if we wish to maximise output and outcome.  And maybe again, it isn’t only about playing it safe.

Free WEBINAR – 21st Century Approaches to Home-School Communication


Schools all around Australia are grappling with the best ways to have their relationship with Parents look a lot more like a partnership than a conflict.Schools all around Australia are grappling with the best ways to have their relationship with Parents look a lot more like a partnership than a conflict.It certainly isn’t for lack of effort that it sometimes seems that schools and parents just aren’t on the same page any more. We know you’ve heard the cliche before, but perhaps this really is a case for ‘working smarter and not harder’ for once.

If we took a moment – yep, like spending one hour on a webinar! – to learn about the best ways, the best channels and the best messages to send parents then we might just start to feel like we’re getting a greater return for investment on all the time and effort we’re putting into parental communication.

It’s not about doing more. It’s about speaking to:

  • the new spaces that today’s parents are active in.
  • using means that they engage with.
  • and speaking with conviction to what really matters.
This webinar is all about how you can do just that through a series of research and field proven tips, tricks and strategies that you can deploy immediately in your school.

An entertaining and engaging online event presented by Adam Voigt we’re bringing the expertise of Real Schools and SchoolStream together for this one. Our mission – to combine forces in building powerful home-school connections across Australia.

Your school really can’t afford not to be a part of this!