Sheepish look at brains

Perth College Year 8 student Georgia Hughes with part of a dissected sheep's brain. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d395945
Perth College Year 8 student Georgia Hughes with part of a dissected sheep's brain. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d395945

Learning enrichment coordinator Pippa Depiazzi said 148 Year 8s were introduced to the specific parts of the brain, how to care for them and critical and creative thinking techniques.

‘They combine theory with hands-on activities, including the dissection of a sheep’s brain, to increase their understanding of the complex process of learning,’ Ms Depiazzi said.

‘The students love the hands-on learning as it puts the messages that education consultant John Joseph promotes into a real context for them.

‘Of course, there are lots of squeals when they first spot the real, wobbly-like brain but they soon become involved in working out where each important part of the brain is located.’

She said the sheep brains arrived frozen and were thawed out in time for the students’ use.

‘Brain Day enables the girls to discover more about how the brain works, identify their personal learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to improve their memory,’ she said.

‘The day provides the girls with an understanding that their brain is unique and they have the capacity to define their identity in a healthy and constructive manner.’

She said the college’s Term 1 thinking skills program was based around the research of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck.

‘Throughout the term, the girls are provided with opportunities to explore the differences between a ‘fixed mindset’ and a ‘growth mindset’ and to develop their growth mindset to empower their own learning and improve both their motivation and resilience,’ she said.