Welcome to the July 2018 Learning Brain News.

I’ve been noticing positive education is getting more traction in our schools. This month read how one state education department is allocating resources to this strengths-based approach.

Also this month you will see two new examples of how research and technology are combining to help learners - an autism screening app and a tool to improve attention.

Plus as usual, lots of tips, information and resources to help you help your learners.

Best wishes,

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Devon Barnes
Learning Brain News

Positive Education

group_highschool_children27 Victoria Schools in $6.4m Positive Education Plan

The Victorian government has announced a new $6.4 million positive education initiative for 27 Melbourne state schools.

Teachers are being trained to focus on students’ strengths, instead of their weaknesses to help them have more psychologically healthy lives. Read more.


New - Online Course

Strengths in Education

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 3.23.45 pmWant to get up to speed on positive education and how to identify & use your students’ strengths? Sign up for the Strengths in Education online professional development course presented by positive education expert, Penny Nesbitt.

Understand strengths and positive psychology in education, learn about the evidence-based benefits of using this approach with students, and clarify the difference between a talent and a character strength.

For July only the course fee is $30 (normally $97). Register here and enter “positive1” discount code before checkout.

Latest Research

Helicopter_parentsHelicopter Parenting May Negatively Affect Emotional Well-Being and Behaviour of Children

Helicopter parents It’s natural for parents to do whatever they can to keep their children safe and healthy. But children need space to learn and grow on their own. A study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, found that over controlling parenting can negatively affect a child’s ability to manage his or her emotions and behaviour. Read more.

What's On?

Free Event in Sydney - Building Resilience in Primary Schoolers with a Disability

Cheerful group of kids wtih their teacher in school classroom-1
Join disability childhood expert, Elise Taylor to learn more about the unique challenges faced by primary school children living with disability.

Elise will share how you and your child can identify challenges and have the tools in your grasp to help your child to develop new skills, cope with change confidently and problem solve difficult situations.

  • Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018
  • Time: 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
  • Venue: Cerebral Palsy Allambie Heights Campus, 187 Allambie Road, Allambie Heights, Sydney

Includes free childminding! Learn more.


What's New?

Mobile App for Autism Screening Gives Reliable Data

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 12.46.07 pmA new iPhone app has the potential to transform how we screen and monitor screen young children for autism and monitor their development. 

A 12-month study involving 1,756 families with children aged one to six years found it was easy to use, welcomed by caregivers and good at producing reliable scientific data.

The App is free and the test takes about 20 minutes. Learn more.

Confused, remembering. Portrait teenager girl scratching head, thinking daydreaming about something, looking up isolated grey wall background. Human facial expression, emotion, feeling body languageMemory

Social Media May Fade Memories

Researchers say using social media services like Instagram and Snapchat to document your life may come at the cost of you being able to fully remember the events you documented. Read more.

The Learning Success Blog

Psychological Concept - Profile of Head with a Keyhole Located on Multicolor Puzzle.-2Why Sullivan’s Mother got Fast ForWord for Autism Help: Address Root Causes

Why did the mother of 9 year old autistic boy, Sullivan, choose the Fast ForWord program for him, when she had a multitude of interventions available? 

And did this neuroscience-based program help him?

Read how Sullivan’s mother learnt about neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. And how that led her to the Fast ForWord neuroplasticity program. Read more.

Research & Technology Combine to Improve Attention

Rabiner-504031-editedHow Often do You Wish your Students Could Pay Better Attention?

Attention Research Professor, Dr David Rabiner, has used new science to build a tool to improve attention.

Your students can use this new technology to monitor, practice, and train their attention skills. Learn more.

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 2.05.58 pmFree Download

What Every Teacher Should Know About ADHD: A Poster for School

ADHD is more complex and nuanced than most people realise. Its symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. More often than not, it coexists with other conditions, including learning disabilities. And many of its challenges are “invisible” or easily blamed on laziness.

This resource from ‘Additude’ may help promote a better understanding of the ADHD brain — and how symptoms impact executive functions and emotions. Download now.

Inventing ourselvesBook of the Month

Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, one of the world's leading researchers into adolescent neurology, explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers. Learn more.

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 2.07.15 pmApp of the Month


ChoreMonster aims to make chores fun for parents and kids.

Parents create a list of chores for a child, set points for each chore and the time for completion.

Children can make and manager their own decisions about which chores to do and when to do them, based on the points and due dates.