From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

Creativity and Collective Intelligence

We have a number of amazing and creative staff at Brighton Grammar. One of them is Jamie Watson, who works primarily in the Urwin Centre.

Many of you would have seen iDesign, an incredible project during which the boys really engage with a mentor, problem solve and then build or prototype a new solution. With many boys having completed billycarts, pinball machines and catapults with Bill Gibney in the Junior school, iDesign is the next step along. The size and scale of iDesign is unparalleled in other schools I have seen, and represents best practice in school programs (equaling what the BGS study tour saw at Stanford University in 2017).

Recently, Jamie sent me a reading from the Smith Journal looking at collective intelligence. In it, author James Shackell tells the story of the English polymath Francis Galton, who attends a county fair. There was a competition to ‘guess the weight of an ox’ and while no individual was able to answer precisely, Galton looked at the average of all of the guesses and realised it was near perfect! The idea is that while one ‘guess’ might be wrong, the overall average of many is actually very close.

This idea of ‘group intelligence’ is a fascinating one. Just as bees are able to make group decisions, it might also be the case that large groups of people can produce accurate results. The Swarm Project, run by Melbourne University, looks at just this.

What I find striking about this exploratory research is the idea of collaboration – might it be the case that the larger the group of people collaborating, the better the decision we’re able to make? Imagine what the possibilities might be given our increasing technological interconnectedness!


The Morrisby Report, VCE and Subject Selection

This week, our Careers Counsellor, Dr Sophie Keele, met with the Year 10 boys to talk about the Morrisby Report (a career-assessment tool designed to assist life-long learning and career planning), VCE and subject selection. If you have a son in Year 10 or are otherwise interested, the slides from Sophie’s presentation are available here (PDF)


Crowther Parent Workshop Program

The Effective Learner at Home: Building Better Routines

By popular demand, we’re running this workshop again. 

Date: Monday 18 March 2019

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: Crowther Wellbeing Centre

Please register to attend The Effective Learner at Home: Building Better Routines.


Topics for upcoming workshops include: Technology, The Effective Learner, Study Habits and Difficult Conversations. More information will be available closer to the date via the Crowther Centre eNews.