From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

Just Google it!

Do you ever find yourself losing the battle between deciding to use your brain or simply search the internet? It seems that as technology improves (as does ‘searching’ – once a skill in the pure domain of librarians) our ability to recall facts also declines.  

There is a lot of research now that supports improving brain function through retrieving information. Through retrieval, we improve neural connections in the brain – a bit like exercising a muscle. So it’s actually worth pausing, thinking and trying to remember what the capital of Portugal is before googling it. In this interesting article, Psychologist Daniel Willingham (whose work informs our Effective Learner model) gives an outline of two key ways that the brain is actually better.

Retrieval is effortful and it’s sometimes the thing that learners get stuck on. But you can see (and recall) that knowing your times tables, knowing sounds and parts of language, vocabulary and so on are all vitally important parts of the learning process. Sometimes these things are best done through repetition.

So perhaps next time at the dinner table, before letting Google decide – stop and take a little time to practise retrieval!


Better Conversations

Understanding Boys Podcast Series launches tomorrow
The Crowther team has been busy putting together some conversations with amazing people about ‘what it takes to be a good man these days.’ This podcast series originally arose from a conversation with Tom Harkin (from Tomorrow Man) who wondered: ‘Where do boys and young men hear stories and advice about good men?’ Well, on our podcasts you can hear exactly those things!

There are some fascinating voices on the series – you can hear from quite diverse people (Rev Tim Costello to Jeff Kennett) as well as Lisa McCune and even Steve Biddulph. There are stories that are moving and even challenging. My favourite comment from an interviewee (in regards to ‘what does it take to be a good man’) was simply ‘Backbone and Heart.’

You can subscribe here and be first to receive the first episodes tomorrow.

Please be in touch if you feel there is someone we could talk to, that might promote a voice or a need for our boys and young men to hear.


Parent Workshops

Tweens, Teens and Technology 

Date: Monday 26 August 2019

Time: 6.00–7.00pm 

Venue: Wellbeing Centre

Bookings: via Trybooking

Topics for upcoming workshops include:
– High Performance for Every Boy: improving health & enjoyment outcomes at Annandale Gym (16 September 2019)
– The Effective Learner, Study Habits and Difficult Conversations

More information on these workshops will be available closer to the date via the Crowther Centre eNews.