Term 3 2000
- Feature article
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MindMatters -A Mental Health Promotion Program for Secondary Schools
Publisher: Mind Matters Consortium
ISBN: 0 642415 285
SCIS order number: 1008856
The MindMatters program uses a whole-school approach to mental health promotion and suicide prevention. It aims to develop school environments in which young people feel safe, valued, engaged and purposeful. Social and emotional well-being has been linked to young people's schooling outcomes, their social development, their capacity to contribute to the workforce and the community and reductions in the youth suicide rate. MindMatters helps schools and their communities, including teachers, parents and students, to take positive action to create a climate of mental as well as physical health within secondary schools.
A consortium of universities developed the MindMatters resources: the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney and Deakin University, basing their work on the very successful Health Promoting Schools model. The Hunter Institute of Mental Health, Newcastle, NSW, and the Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne, have prepared evaluation reports and the MindMatters pilot phase, which can be accessed at the websites: <http://www.himh.org.au/mmep> and <http ://yarn .edfac.un i melb.edu.au/MMReport/ MMReportFace.htm>.
All Australian government and non-government secondary schools are entitled to receive one free copy of the MindMatters kit on request. They also have the option of participating in a two-day professional development program, which will be available during 2000-2001. A brochure facilitating this process will be distributed to all secondary schools in June 2000.
The MindMatters program is supported by a website which will be continually updated throughout the two years of the program. This website will provide pdf files of the Mind Matters resources, links to State and Territory curriculum frameworks, an annotated bibliography of resources and professional development materials.
MindMatters -a mental health promotion resource for secondary schools kit was launched at the MindMatters National Forum in March 2000. The kit comprises:
- SchoolMatters: Mapping and managing mental health in secondary schools: provides schools with a framework and planning tools to assist them with possible structures, strategies, partnerships and curriculum programs to promote and protect the mental health of all members of the school community.
- Educating for life: A guide for school-based responses to preventing self-harm and suicide: outlines the policies, processes and practices that contribute to a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.
- Curriculum materials: designed for use in a range of learning areas and subjects including SOSE, Health and Physical Education, English and Drama classes. They are also suitable for use for home group or pastoral care activities.
- Enhancing Resilience 1: Communication, changes and challenges: creating connections; games collection; friendship and belonging; people, identity and culture.
- Enhancing Resilience 2: Stress and coping: coping; stressbusters.
- A Whole School Approach to Dealing with Bullying and Harassment: facing facts; giving voice; defining moments.
- Understanding Mental Illnesses: includes a video.
- Loss and Grief.
For further information regarding the MindMatters resources, program and professional development please access the website <www.curriculum.edu.au/mindmatters> or contact Curriculum Corporation Tel: (03) 9207 9600 or the Australian Principals' Association Professional Development Council Tel: (08) 8463 5862
Science Australia 3 and Science Australia 4
ISBNs: 1 86366 429 7 and 1 86366 430 0
Publisher: Curriculum Corporation
RRP: $31.95 each volume
SCIS order numbers: 972293 and 973925
The clear virtue of both these student texts is the classroom research that has gone into their development. Both books are most suitable for years 9 and 10 students, and each opens with a statement to the student which is reassuring in its tone: science is seen as being something that occurs around us every day. The unambiguous message is that science is not something which happens only in a laboratory.
The particular difference of these books, compared to many others which are available, is the emphasis on Australian science and scientists. Fundamentally, the two books use constructivist ideas of teaching and learning in a context that encourages student skill and knowledge development. Linked to the materials are outcomes for each State and Territory, found on Curriculum Corporation's website at <www.curriculum.edu.au/sciausl>. Viewing this site is essential if the books are to be used well alongside existing school assessment strategies and courses of work.
Each unit has diverse Activities and Inquiries, which range from group discussions and individual research to more advanced practical investigations. Experimentation is viewed as mandatory. It can range from the simple recognition of sounds to a study of hearing damage due to sound exposure.
Underpinning the experimentation in both books is thorough textual information supported by excellent photographs and other visual sources. The central idea is to represent information and quantify it in ways that can be readily oriented by students.
An excellent index is provided in each book and the questions embedded throughout the text inficate developing sound scientific understaanding is a priority together with maintaining student interest.