As a part of their Philosophy of Learning classes, Year 7 students are encouraged to maintain a learning journal to reflect on the highs and lows of their learning experiences.
Mr Capelli uses his participatory and entertaining presentation techniques to show students how to become more flexible thinkers, leaders and life-long learners in today’s fast paced world, including what he calls his ‘magic’ crayons to unpack a raft of complex concepts relating to metacognition and reflection. He weaves music, movement, sign language and stories to engage and help students to understand themselves and their unique ways of learning.
For the first time in 2020 we also asked Mr Capelli to engage with our Year 8 cohort. Our school-wide approach to implementing and building our ‘Culture of Thinking’ based on the work of Harvard’s Project Zero, has meant that students in all Year levels are being challenged to make their thinking visible. Mr Capelli’s approach to visual journaling and demonstrating thinking through multiple senses provides girls with a range of tools to record their thinking and learning.
Contemporary research suggests that it is important for students to focus on how they feel and respond to their learning (Dweck, 2006; Ritchhart, 2015). Such self-awareness is important in developing resilience and for a growth-mindset culture to emerge.
Mr Capelli also spoke on the importance of celebration and the intrinsic satisfaction of mastering everyday challenges. Pivotal to these messages is his use of the word Kaizen (little by little). Utilising the concept of Kaizen, students are encouraged to think about their learning in the context of small incremental improvements rather than great immovable obstacles.
Dr Ann Farley
Director of the Centre for Professional Practice