Schools should be places where kids learn, yes, but also where we all pursue ‘higher learning’ — where, whatever our age or experience, we seek to become better students, to become intellectually virtuous. In last week’s newsletter we shared the research of Dr Caroline Basckin, Preparatory School Learning Enrichment Teacher, in advancing teachers’ understanding of literacy for students with disabilities. This week we highlight three teachers who are moving knowledge forward through their research degrees, and modeling ‘studiositas’ for our boys.
Mr Jeff Mann, Coordinator of Student Experience, is completing his PhD at Western Sydney University exploring the benefits of outdoor learning experiences for mid-adolescent boys. Hear more about his journey in this short video. Mr Mann recently published a systematic review of research into outdoor learning in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. He led a global team of researchers, including well-known educator Pasi Sahlberg, to screen over 17,000 journal articles and fully read 150 targeted papers to identify what the research says in this field. You can read his article, ‘Getting Out of the Classroom and Into Nature: A Systematic Review of Nature-Specific Outdoor Learning on School Children's Learning and Development’, by clicking here.
Mr Brent Wilsmore, Preparatory School Sportsmaster, is undertaking a PhD at Wollongong University investigating how school sport programs affect students’ motivation, performance and well-being. Despite the ubiquity of school sport, this is, surprisingly, a largely unstudied area. This research promises to better understand and shape the experience of thousands of students, well beyond Scots. Mr Wilsmore is soon to commence his study of all boys from Years 3 to 12 at the College, using Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory to explore boys’ sense of autonomy, mastery and relatedness in their sporting activities.
Mr Eric Hutchens, who joined us in Term 1 as a Senior School Music Teacher, recently undertook and passed the oral examination of his Master of Philosophy Thesis at UNSW. This requires researchers to discuss their thesis with their examiners, responding to critiques and demonstrating their mastery of the topic. Mr Hutchens’s research thesis was entitled ‘Unaccompanied Double Bass in Jazz Composition and Performance: A Case Study of Three Works by John Patitucci'. He looked at the influences on influential jazz composer Patitucci, deduced from transcribing and analysing many of his works. Mr Hutchens also drew conclusions about how music teachers can think pedagogically about their work with students.
Congratulations to these and other staff seeking to advance knowledge and model for our students the virtue of studiositas!
Dr Hugh Chilton
Director of Research and Professional Learning