The Science of Learning Hub

Keynote Address – Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath

Foundations of Student Learning

by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter:  Dr Jared Cooney Horvath

Date and Time: 3:45pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 31st October

Location: Broadcast to your school


During this session, we will explore the basic learning process.  More specifically, by combining the concepts of modularity, plasticity, and bottom-up/top-down processing, we will examine how the brain takes in, adapts to, and transfers new information/skills.  In addition, we will briefly consider the role of Metacognition during this process and discuss its role in human learning.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath (PhD, MEd) is an expert in the field of Educational Neuroscience with a focus on enhancing teaching and learning practices. He has conducted research and lectured at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Melbourne, and over 100 schools internationally. Jared has published 5 books, over 30 research articles, and his work has been featured in numerous popular publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, WIRED, The Economist, and ABC’s Catalyst.

Agenda for next week’s Full Day Intensive

Dear SOLC Partners,

We hope that you are all well after a restful break.

Next Wednesday we have our 3rd Full Day Intensive for the Partnership Initiative. SOLC Seminar 17th October Agenda, and we have an interesting day planned. Given the status of your interventions, we have Georgia Dawson presenting from the Centre for Program Evaluation, leading you all in considering how to evaluate impact in your school. Additionally, following the interest in Gavin Murphy’s work on student voice, he will be returning to talk about the more practical elements of authentic student voice, and lead you in considering your own schools next steps. As always we will also have an opportunity to reflect on where you are at, and what your next steps might be, as well as providing opportunities to share and network.

In preparation for the day:

  • For Georgia’s presentation on evaluation, please have your team members each respond to the 2 questions presented at this link
  • RSVP with the names of staff who are attending to:


Looking forward to seeing you all.





Keynote Address – Gavin Murphy

Reflections and Possibilities: ‘So How Was School Today?'

by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter: Gavin Murphy, University College Dublin

Date and Time: 3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 5th September

Location: Level 9, 100 Leicester Street, University of Melbourne, Carlton Victoria


In this talk, Gavin will speak about: ‘So How Was School Today?’; a study into student perceptions of education, and experiences in schools. Funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland, this report presents the findings from a survey of 3,242 Secondary school students about how they’re taught and how they learn. Gavin will present the report’s background and its findings, and what we can learn – particularly from a school leadership perspective – as a result of this student led survey. To conclude, challenges and possibilities for practice from research in this area will be outlined and raised for discussion, particularly in the context of the Victorian Department of Education’s Amplify publication regarding student voice and agency.

About the Speaker

Gavin Murphy is a Research Scholar at University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Education, where he is a member of the ‘Leading, Teaching, Learning’ research cluster. Working in both initial teacher and educational leadership, Gavin has also contributed to Ireland’s national Postgraduate Diploma in School Leadership in collaboration with two other Irish universities. Gavin has presented research on the interrelationship between research on student voice and participation and educational leadership, and argues for the necessity to interlink these research agendas within the school improvement research tradition. Most recently he has also published on teachers’ experiences of the leadership of school self-evaluation. Gavin is currently visiting the Melbourne Graduate School of Education as an Australia Awards Endeavour Research Fellow. His current research examines school leadership preparation and development, comparing Victorian policy on, and school leaders’ perceptions about, their preparation and development, with school leaders in the Republic of Ireland.

Evening Forum 7-8-2018


Our next evening forum is on Tuesday 7th August, 4:30pm – 6:30pm. Level 9, 100 Leicester Street, Carlton

Schools will once again have the opportunity to dial in if required.

The focus of this session will be to consider and plan for the implementation and intervention phase of the program. In doing so your teams will:

  • Re-visit your school’s needs statement following the ‘Diagnose’ phase (you completed this on your Google form)
  • Based on these needs, you will then identify:
    • What interventions have been identified
    • How these interventions will be implemented (for many of you this involves some sort of pilot program)
    • How you will evaluate the impact of your interventions
    • How the UniMelb SOL team can support you throughout (resources, readings, coaching, etc.)

In preparation, your translation teams may consider some of these points. It is also important to note that each school focus is different, and so there’s no ‘right way’ for this to look.

We will work on two documents during the forum:

Plus Delta Feedback Protocol (.docx download)

SOLC Intervention and Implementation Planning (.docx download)




Full Day Intensive – 23 May 2018

The team at the Science of Learning Centre are looking forward to seeing you all this week, and have an exciting program for the day. Please see the agenda that breaks down each of the sessions.  Please follow the link to read a bio for our guest speaker Dr. Paige Williams
This full day intensive is designed to give you further insights into the Science of Learning, and with direct applications to how it be linked to practice in your school contexts. Additionally, in the spirit of this being a genuine Partnership, we will also be seeking your insights as school leaders regarding the Science of Learning PEN Principles.


Keynote Address Biography -Aisling Mulvihill

Attention and Executive Functioning for Self-Regulated Learning

 by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter:  Aisling Mulvihill, The University of Queensland, Brisbane

Date and Time:  3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 20th June

Location: Room 219, Level 2, Kwong Lee Dow Building, 234 Queensberry Street,  University of Melbourne,  Carlton Victoria

NOTE: Staff of Partner schools do NOT need to register


     Attention and executive functioning are inter-related cognitive functions that are foundational to self-regulated learning. These cognitive functions, and our support of these in the classroom, relate more to ‘how we learn’ rather than what we learn. While we might not always teach these skills explicitly as curriculum content, they are a critical element of our teaching style, and the supports and strategies that we provide to our students.
     This presentation introduces educators to the science of attention and executive functioning. Educators are guided in exploring how they currently utilize implicit knowledge of these cognitive functions to facilitate self-regulation in the education context.


     Aisling Mulvihill is a practicing speech pathologist, clinical educator and researcher at the University of Queensland. Her research activities span the topic of self-regulation from early childhood to adolescence.
     In 2006, Aisling completed a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College, Dublin. She has worked as a paediatric Speech Pathologist in both Ireland and Australia across sectors of public health, education, and private practice. Aisling has specialised practice in supporting children with learning and social-emotional challenges relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and Specific Language Impairment (SLI). In 2013, Aisling co-authored the Ant Patrol Children’s Stories, a series of six educational children’s stories that aim to support children’s social and emotional learning. The series has been well-received by educators, allied health professionals and parents.
     Aisling’s PhD research investigates the development of self-talk as a self-regulatory tool in children with and without developmental vulnerability. Aisling is also involved in a large-scale interdisciplinary science of learning research project investigating the effect of metacognitive training on attention control in young adolescents.


This event is free and open to the public.  

Each attendee should register using the form below, except for staff at Partner schools who do not need to register.

Once you register you should receive a confirmation email.



If you do not receive the confirmation email, or if you have any queries please email us at:

Event Details

Presenter:  Aisling Mulvihill, The University of Queensland, Brisbane

Date and Time:  3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 20th June

Location: Room 219, Level 2, Kwong Lee Dow Building, 234 Queensberry Street,  University of Melbourne,  Carlton Victoria


The Science of Learning Schools’ Partnership Initiative is supported by the University of Melbourne Engagement Grants program

Follow up from the Second Evening Forum

Dear Partners,
Firstly, thank you to you and your teams for your involvement and contributions last night. As an external observer and supporter, it has been very exciting to see your respective teams engage in the process of ‘diagnosis’, and the patterns and insights that have emerged. In addition to you learning from researchers in the centre, and us learning from you; we also want you to share and learn from each other. A key goal of last night’s Forum was to give you all a voice to share your journey thus far, and in doing so hopefully push each others thinking in new directions. In the weeks leading towards the full PL day, you will be gathering final points of evidence for any questions that remain unanswered, and hopefully last night’s engagement with other Partnership schools will help support that work.
In wrapping up the synthesis of these discussion points, we are still waiting to received documentation back from a few of you. It doesn’t have to be using the Google Doc, but if you could send us something covering:
  • Summary of the key points you spoke to; with references to specific data (figures included if possible)
  • Your ‘Needs Statement’
Once your teams finish developing these statements, please email to Irina, at: 
Full Day Intensive: Wednesday 23rd May
Details for the full PL Day (23/5) will be released in the coming weeks, and as discussed last night this day will see us shift our thinking into the ‘Intervention’ & ‘Implementation’ phase. In preparation for this, you will want to have a clear, evidenced based understanding of what is happening in your focus areas. If you need support in refining this over the the coming weeks please let me know and we can book a time to discuss. 
Evening Forum (Keynote): Wednesday 20th June
Also discussed was the upcoming Evening Forum Keynote with Aisling Mulvill from University of Queensland, on: Attention and Executive Functioning for Self-Regulated Learning. At this point we have a lecture theatre booked, but understand that most of you will view remotely if watching with the entire staff. Based on this, we are seeking feedback on the most appropriate time – if you could please indicate preferences here: 
Current thinking is that this will be an hour long presentation from Aisling, and we will provide you with some cues / prompts / resources in which to support staff practice moving forward from this point. Following this we can include time for a discussion with Aisling, but this will depend on time, and the amount of schools who are attending in person. So we will assess this once we have gather your feedback on when to schedule. 
Great to see you all again yesterday, and look forward to talking to you all soon.

1/5: Forum 2

Forum 2 will be held:
Tuesday 1st May, 4:30pm – 6:30pm. Level 9, 100 Leicester Street, Carlton.
Schools will once again have the opportunity to dial in if required (details to follow).

As we come to the end of the ‘diagnosis’ phase, the focus of this session will be to:

  • Consider your reflections, questions, and decisions as a result of this process
  • Share your journey thus far with other Partnership schools

Based on this, we have provided you with a few prompts below, which we would like you to consider in preparation for the Forum.

If you would like, you can formalise these responses using PowerPoint or Word, then we can share your screen with the rest of the attendees and you can speak to the visuals. A more informal presentation of these points is also fine. Please note that this is a snapshot of where you are currently at, there is no expectation that all data has been collected or analysed.

What was the focus area your team identified at the start of the program?

  •  Please reflect on the data that you have collected
              o  What data did you already have?
              o  What further data did you collect, and how did you gather it?
              o  What themes / patterns / insights emerged in this process?
  •  Based on this process of ‘diagnosis’, have you identified a need? Please describe it.
  •  What do you plan to do next? This may involve:
               o  Do you have any questions remaining that you need to gather data on?
               o  Early considerations of potential interventions / responses
  • What support do you need moving forward?

In preparation for the forum, can you please indicate if you will be attending in person, or remotely.
If attending in person, please let us know your numbers so we can cater accordingly.

Updated SOLC Partnership Network Schedule & Feedback Diagnostic Tools

Dear school leaders,

I hope this post finds you all well as term one draws to a close. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of visiting or chatting remotely to many of you and your teams. It’s such a positive part of the role to see the fantastic work you are all doing in your respective spaces, and the impact you are having with your students. So a big thank you for opening your doors and sharing your work so far.

It’s quite an exciting time as you begin to consider what is currently happening in your schools, and as you begin to gather data to support your diagnosis with your teams.

Based on this I have provided you with a spreadsheet that may assist the schools engaging with a translation focus on feedback. On this spreadsheet you will find several tools:

  • Student perceptions of feedback practices: This has a range of measures to diagnose the current level and frequency of feedback practices in your school, and to help in considering the where to next for you and your teams
  • Teacher reflection tool: How do our teachers use feedback? And, how does it inform their practice? This tool will help answer these questions
  • Observation Checklist: With many of you I discussed the environmental conditions that support feedback practices and this checklist will support reflections during learning walks and in planning. I would be explicit if using these, and share these pre-conditions with your teachers
  • Feedback coding framework: Some schools have started with considering how teaching staff conceptualise ‘feedback’, with staff individually responding to this question using post-it notes, or ‘tweet’ activities. This coding scale will assist you in quantifying the overall staff conception of feedback by allocating frequencies to a number of keywords. In doing this, you may need to interpret and classify responses accordingly.
  • Note: You may have similar tools already in place, or choose to modify / alter these. What is important however that you have some sort of measure for what is happening. We will use the same measure post-intervention to evaluate our impact.

Please click the following link for the updated Partnership Schedule. This includes a change from ANZAC Day Eve for the next Evening Forum. And a consideration of Evening Forum dates based on the evolving nature of your translation foci. Please remember all resources and communications are documented on the website:

Look forward to chatting to you all again soon, and as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you would like to discuss.



20/2: Evening Forum – Feedback

Thank you all for your attendance and participation at Wednesday’s SOL Initiative Partnership Launch. There were so many positive conversations about the research and how this can support your schools’ goals, and we at the Science of Learning Centre are looking forward to sharing the journey with you and your teams.

This Tuesday (20/2) we have the first Evening Forum scheduled for those schools with a translation focus aligned with feedback. This Forum will take place from 4:30pm – 6:30pm at Level 9, 100 Leicester Street Carlton.

School Welcome

Welcome to the 2018 Science of Learning Partnership Schools Initiative. We at the Science of Learning Hub at the University of Melbourne are excited to be working with your school this year. The goal of this program is connecting research and practice, to enhance your learning community and improve the outcomes of your staff and students.

Your involvement in the Network will allow you access to Science of Learning and University of Melbourne academics, and to form relationships with other schools in the program. Participating teachers will be given the opportunity to work in teams to design, implement, and evaluate a research project to improve educational outcomes. Schools and participating teachers will be supported by an expert in the field, on-campus workshops and keynotes, as well as school-based support and coaching. We will provide further information on the focus and nature of these Research Projects and the program generally at the launch of the Science of Learning Partnership Schools Initiative on: Wednesday 14th February, 2018 at Graduate House, 220 Leicester Street Carlton, 9am – 3pm.

Please click here to access the 2018 SOLC Network Schedule outlining the key dates for the program to assist with your planning.

Please click here to download the RSVP sheet that you will need to complete and return to us.  The RSVP sheet gives us information about your schools SOLC participants, and indicates who will be in attendance at the Network Launch.

The key contacts for this project are Professor John Hattie and Luke Mandouit ( Others from the Science of Learning Research Centre will be involved during the year.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Network Launch, and further discussing the exciting opportunities this Partnership can offer your schools. If you have any further enquiries, Please communicate via email contact with the SOLC team using: