Making Connections

A school functions as a learning community when its members (and visitors) understand thinking and research and connect it to inform practice. 

The following videos and resources will help make your own connections and understand the way we work at Waimairi.


Professor Carol Dweck - Stanford University. The benefits, and risks of ‘praise'.

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area. Mindset: The New Psycology of Success


Professor Martin Westwell. Flinders University. Learning about ‘Neuromyths’

"Teachers haven't gone looking and found these [ideas]; they have been actively marketed to educators.There's a lot of money to be made selling things to schools and school systems and plenty of people who are on the look out for sciency sexy sounding ideas that are easy to package and sell as 'solutions' to the 'problems' of schooling. Researchers... are frequently also to blame because they go out and market their theories or research findings before these have been through the checking processes of science.”  CEFPI Conference, Adelaide, South Australia  2014.

Take your own test with this video


Professor Angus Hikaro Macfarlane. University of Canterbury. The Educultural Wheel.

NZCER Press. ISBN 978-1-877293-29-0

Kia Hiwa Ra! Listen to Culture—Māori Students’ Plea to Educators

"Kia hiwa rä ra ' literally means 'to be alert.' This book is intended to alert teachers to models of good teaching in diverse classrooms and to encourage them to be alert to the various cultures that are represented. If we want to extend academic achievement for Mäori Maori students, we need to create a strong foundation for their learning. This foundation includes building upon students’ cultural and experiential strengths to help them acquire new skills and knowledge.

This book records the work and thoughts of culturally relevant teachers, all of whom demonstrate connectedness with students and who see their classrooms as places where they 'listen to culture' in order to forge meaningful relationships that enhance the quality of the learning environment.

Kia Hiwa Ra is a book which can help all teachers to become 'educultural': helping them to understand themselves, their culture, and the culture of others—and to be more successful with all students.NZCER Press


Professor Emeritus Graham Nuthall. (1935-2004). 

"Graham Nuthall is credited with the longest series of studies of teaching and learning in the classroom that has ever been carried out and it has been recognised by the educational research community as one of the most significant. A pioneer in his field, his research focused on the intimate relationship amongst students and the teachers within the classroom, resulting in a deeper understanding of the significant and often very subtle classroom interactions which influence learning.” Nuthall Classroom Research Trust.

"Busy teachers in classrooms with 20 or 30 students cannot monitor everything an individual student does or all the interactions among students engaged in group work. As a consequence, teachers can find it difficult to catch misunderstandings as they are formed or to offer timely feedback on individuals' success at learning tasks. As Nuthall once wrote:

The teacher is largely cut off from information about what individual students are learning. Teachers are forced to rely on secondary information such as the visible signs that students are motivated and interested. They are sustained, however, by the commonly held belief that if students are engaged most of the time in appropriate learning activities that some kind of learning will be taking place …. Teachers depend on the response of a small number of key students as indicators and remain ignorant of what most of the class knows and understands. (2005, pp. 919-920)

Fellow New Zealand researcher John Hattie (2009) has described the importance of timely targeted feedback for student learning, which means accurate feedback, rather than the hit and miss information gleaned from peers. Feedback that helps a student to answer the important questions of "Where am I going?", "How am I going?", and "Where to next?" has powerful positive effects on student learning. Timeliness is crucial: it is important to correct misunderstandings when they happen, rather than at some time afterwards, as can occur.” National Education Policy Centre


Professor John Hattie. University of Melbourne. Visible Learning.

  1. "My fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of my teaching on students’ learning and achievement.
  2. The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do. I am a change agent.
  3. I want to talk more about learning than teaching.
  4. Assessment is about my impact.
  5. I teach through dialogue not monologue.
  6. I enjoy the challenge and never retreat to “doing my best”.
  7. It’s my role to develop positive relationships in class and staffrooms.
  8. I inform all about the language of learning.  Visible Learning 
1 Tillman Ave, Strowan, Christchurch, New Zealand. Ph. 03 352 9208