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Canadian expert gives master class

Wednesday, 06 June 2012


Children who can regulate their moods, emotions and behaviours in the classroom will be more successful students and will grow into more successful adults.

That was the message from internationally-renowned education expert Dr Stuart Shanker, who shared his experience with ECU’s education students and staff at his only West Australian (WA) university lecture recently.

Dr Shanker has been invited by the Commissioner for Children and Young People to be the 2012 Thinker in Residence. He is in WA for two weeks to visit a range of schools and organisations to talk about the latest trends in education.

Dr Shanker explained to the ECU audience that by practicing positive self-regulation in the classroom, children learn how to monitor and modify their emotions, focus or shift their attention, control their impulses and learn how to tolerate frustration or delay gratification.

In doing this they improve their capacity for learning and their emotional, physical and behavioural wellbeing, he said.

ECU education students were also invited to participate in a workshop with Dr Shanker at Roseworth Primary School.

Utilising the school’s unique observation classroom developed by ECU, Dr Shanker was able to give commentary and explanations of the class the group was observing. It allowed them to observe the interactions between students and teachers without disrupting the class.

ECU Associate Dean Research and Higher Degree Professor Mark Hackling said that by understanding and correctly implementing self-regulation strategies our graduate teachers can support their future students in reaching their potential.

"By hosting Dr Shanker in this workshop, our students can experience firsthand his expertise and translate this into practical examples for their future careers," Professor Hackling said.

Dr Shanker is one of Canada’s leading experts in child development, specialising in self-regulation. He is a Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at York University, Toronto, Canada and Director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI), a state-of-the-art cognitive and social neuroscience centre at York University.

For more information on the Thinker in Residence program visit


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