Donna Nitschke is the Coordinator Neuroscience in the Classroom in four DECD schools (Wandana, Para Vista, Northfield and Dernancourt). As Neuroscience Coordinator, she has developed a program to improve student learning.
The ‘Being the Best Learner You Can Be’ Program aims to help every student improve all the skills that people need to be able to learn well, manage emotions/behaviour and have great relationships with other people. To do this, the program focuses on helping students to improve attention, memory, emotional literacy, and higher order thinking skills. These skills are usually called “Executive Function Skills”. Our Neuroscience program also teaches the importance of looking after general health through good patterns of sleep, diet and exercise. These three things are included in class work because sleep, diet and exercise make a huge difference to how well our brains work and, therefore, to how well we can learn.
Donna Nitschke works alongside teachers to deliver the student-focussed program. It is designed to help students build an awareness and understanding of how their brains work and what they can do to make learning easier. As well, our Neuroscience focus teaches students to test, practise, review, and take responsibility for their personal skills development.
Every term students from each classroom attend a Be the Best Learner excursion with the Principal to celebrate their achievements over the term.