In the recent survey of parents conducted by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ), “What Parents Want,” key findings seem relevant to discussing how we can best support a child’s talents. In my experience there are certain fundamental truisms when helping children learn. These include: every child has skills; there will always be someone, somewhere who is more skilled at any one instant; and it is virtually impossible to look into the future to predict which are going to be the most valuable skills, and knowledge. The ISQ Parent Survey found priorities for parents: ‘Preparation for the student to fulfil their potential in later life’; ‘Encouragement of a responsible attitude to schoolwork’; ‘good discipline’; ‘high quality of Teachers’; and teaching methods and philosophy.’ I can’t disagree with any of these when I think how schools can best support children’s learning because a supportive, encouraging and skilled Teacher who nurtures and encourages a positive learning environment that supports both the strengths and weaknesses of each individual child in their class, will surely foster a child’s learning. A child will not know what they want to learn – the world is their oyster ready for them to suck the juice and taste the ocean of knowledge that lies within. 

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