Parents Voice in Government School Education

For schools: further reading

Online articles

Program combats ‘lonely at the top’ mentality for principals

This article covers a mentoring program for principals in the Catholic school system. The program focuses on several areas that are central to RbE, including a positive school culture, collaborative decision-making and a focus on relationships.

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The bullies hiding in plain sight

“The bullies who are quick to raise their fists are not the ones we should be worried about – it’s those who are hiding in plain sight.” This Saturday Paper article from July 2023 is by journalist and parent Erin O’Dwyer.

(The article is free to read but you will need to supply an email address.)

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Kindness in School: Insights from Students and Teachers

John-Tyler Binfet, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada 

This article draws on classroom research to show how students and teachers understand the concept of kindness in the school environment.

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6 Steps to Help “Mean” Kids Be Nice

Claire Lerner LCSW-C

When children boss other kids around, say hurtful things, exclude peers, and act in other unkind ways, they are not acting mean on purpose. By and large, these kids are struggling with difficult feelings of insecurity/self-doubt and anxiety.

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How Your Attachment Style Colors Your World

Peg Streep

Attachment theory provides us with a specific lens to see the effects of childhood treatment on our development, specifically on what are called our “mental models” of relationships, as well as our ability to manage emotions.

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Are Mental Health Disorder Rates in Youth Really Increasing?

Gil Noam

In this report, researchers expressed particular concern for adolescents due to increases in their social media use, anxiety, depression, and self-inflicted injuries.

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What your students will remember about you

Angela Duckworth

The best way to develop a deeper relationship with your students is to think about who your mentors have been and how they’ve supported you.

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5 Things More Helpful to Say Than “Calm Down!”

Andrea Bonior Ph.D.

In times of conflict, here’s how to not add fuel to the fire.

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The Myth of Self Love

Esther Perel

Article about dealing with mistakes and regrets.

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Self Compassion

Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.

How ‘self-compassion’ helps to build inner strength, competence, self-discipline, and resilience.

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The place of gratitude in the search for a deeper peace

Dr Kerry Howells

Transcript of the Tasmanian Peace Trust 202 Lecture. Dr Howells explores the role of gratitude in human flourishing.

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Can practising gratitude really make you happier?

Jennifer Wong

This article from the ABC delves into the psychological evidence… and yes, practising gratitude really can make you happier.

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6 Tips to Stop Overthinking

Amy Morin

Whether they beat themselves up over a mistake they made yesterday or fret about how they’re going to succeed tomorrow, overthinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts—and their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.

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The Blue Dot – Kindness issue


The 12 articles in this issue delve into various aspects of kindness: neuroscience, sustainability, kindness movements around the world, and not least, education. (Some articles in this issue are referenced directly elsewhere in this website.)

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How to make the hard conversation a little easier

Georgia Whitkin, PhD

Sometimes teachers and school leaders need to have difficult conversations to move things forward. This article has useful tips for getting through those difficult situations.

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Positive Education at Geelong Grammar

“The story so far and a response to criticism”

John Hendry

How Positive Education and a focus on relationships in education came to be adopted by Geelong Grammar.

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How Parental Stress Can Affect a Child’s Health

Vanessa LoBue Ph.D.

Chronic stress can lead to behavioral and emotional problems for children at some point during development –  sometimes, before the child is even born. What can be done about it?

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Being Kind to Yourself

Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D., and Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D.

How being kind and compassionate to yourself can promote resilience and wellbeing.

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The Trust Factor: Strategies for School Leaders

Julie Peterson Combs, Stacey Edmonson, Sandra Harris

All three authors have been school leaders and are now Professors of Education.  Written in short, easy-to-read chapters, this book presents real-world examples and relevant research to help school leaders develop the essential skills they need for building trust with staff, teachers, students, and parents.

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The Book of Forgiving

Desmond and Mpho Tutu 

A practical call for forgiveness from people who learned it the hard way. Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Anglican archbishop Tutu (God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations, 2011, etc.) teams up with his daughter, Mpho, also an Anglican priest, to advance the cause of forgiveness.

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Into The Magic Shop

James Doty MD

Stanford neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education relates how to achieve lofty life goals by harnessing the power of both the brain and the heart.

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How Children Learn

John Holt

This classic book, based on Holt’s observations of children in learning situations, argues for a more self-directed approach to children’s learning.

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Trying not to Try; The Art and Science of Spontaneity

Edward Slingerland

A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity—an ancient Chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand—and why it is so essential to our well-being.

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Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Scott Kaufman

This book challenges the traditional metrics of ‘intelligence’ and the conventional wisdom about the childhood predictors of adult success.

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Gratitude in Education; A Radical View

Dr Kerry Howells

Teachers at all levels of education will find this book practical and inspiring as they read how other educators have engaged with challenges that reveal different dimensions of gratitude, and how some have discovered its relevance in gaining greater resilience, improved relationships and increased student engagement.

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Distressed or Deliberately Defiant?

Dr Judith Howard

Managing challenging student behaviour due to trauma and disorganised attachment.

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Happy Teachers Change the World

Thich Nhat Hanh & Katherine Weare

Happy Teachers Change the World is the first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.

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Why We Act

Catherine Sanderson

Why do so many people just stand by or look the other way when bullying or cruelty are being perpetrated? Why We Act draws on the latest developments in psychology and neuroscience to tackle an urgent question: Why do so many of us fail to intervene when we’re needed―and what would it take to make us step up?

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Jonathan Sacks

Delivering a devastatingly insightful critique of our modern condition, and assessing its roots and causes from the ancient Greeks through the Reformation and Enlightenment to the present day, Sacks argues that there is no liberty without morality, and no freedom without responsibility.

Here is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place, and face the future without fear.

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The Good Ancestor

Roman Krznaric

One of Britain’s most popular public philosophers introduces the six ways we can drastically change the way we think in order to ensure a tomorrow: long-term thinking for a short term world.

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What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing

Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey

Well written, well resourced and the format is engaging. The book offers a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” The focus is on trauma, and the book aligns closely with the core message of RbE – “relationships matter”.

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