Inspiring Clarkson Community High boys the focus for visiting academic


Stephen Houghton, Ali McCammon and Russell Pitcher. Picture: Martin Kennealey d457689
Stephen Houghton, Ali McCammon and Russell Pitcher. Picture: Martin Kennealey d457689

A BELFAST academic visited Clarkson Community High School last month as part of her Churchill Fellowship tour to Australia and Canada.

The UK-based Ali McCammon will publish a report later this year on schools that inspire boys to learn, including the Clarkson school.

“Clarkson Community High School is recognised as an invitational education school,” principal John Young said.

“A school in which climate and culture attempt to improve students’ positive self-concept, which in turn, influences students’ choices of behaviour.”

Professor Stephen Houghton, from UWA, and Russell Pitcher, from the Department of Education, who is an expert on the complex behaviour and wellbeing of students, accompanied Ms McCammon during her visit.

“Prof Houghton is an expert in examining from an empirical basis the motivation and values that make some young people choose antisocial over positive behaviour,” Mr Young said.

“He has worked alongside a number of university academics including Laureate Professor John Hattie from the University of Melbourne on 15 years’ research with Australian youth on reputation enhancement theories and goal-setting.”

“Dr Pitcher is an expert with regard to students’ behaviour in schools and maximizing student engagement by improving teachers’ pedagogy.”

Mr Young said Ms McCammon seemed impressed with the implementation of invitational theory at Clarkson through both the range of programs provided to students and in the evidence-based improvements in behavioural and academic data.