Partners in Learnership Videos

Each week we will be distributing a video relating to Learnership from James Anderson on the Taradale Intermediate Facebook page and on Hero. We will also add all the videos to this page, so you can find them all in one place.

These 'nudges' from James will strengthen our partnership in developing Learner Agency, and grow our understanding in the intricacies of Learnership. 

We would encourage you to watch them as they come through, as well as reflect on James' nudges.

Your child does not need a better teacher

Parents often tell me that they want their child to have a better teacher. But if we want our child to achieve more in school, and set themselves up for life, it's not a better teacher they need. What they need is to become a better learner. To develop the skill of learnership. 

What is Learnership?

When you went to school learning was probably something you just did. But the science of learning has progressed. Today we understand that learning is a skill, and arguably it's the single most important skill we can develop. That's what Learnership is. The skill of learning. It's about getting better at getting better. Here's how to start talking to your child about learning as a skill. After all, they don't go to school just to learn. They go to school to learn how to learn well.

I wish I hadn't said that


We love our children, and we want the best for them. But sometimes, unintentionally, we say things that can get in the way of them becoming effective learners. In this video I tell the story of how, in an effort to encourage my daughter, I might have been teaching her not to try too hard. I wish I hadn't said this... 

Please stop telling your child they are smart

I get it. We want to encourage and praise our children. But please, stop telling them how smart they are! Telling children they ARE smart (or clever, or musical, or artistic etc etc) can actually undermine their ability to learn and stop them challenging themselves with their learning. But there is a better alternative. Try this... 

The Mindset Continuum


Carol Dwecks work on Mindset has captured the attention of world - as it should. But as useful as the idea of Fixed and Growth Mindset is for understanding the importance of Mindset, the power in changing mindset comes from recognising it as a continuum. As parents, our job is not to instil, or install or even ask our children to adopt a Growth Mindset. Our job is to nurture and nourish an increasingly growth-oriented mindset in our children, and for that we need to recognise that our mindset falls along a continuum. You can download a copy of the Mindset Continuum from   

Specialisation, not Categorisation

It's easy to categorise adults by their talents and abilities. Some people are artists. Others are leaders. Some people have mathematical abilities. Others are carers. The list goes on. But while we can categorise adults, we can't, and mustn't categorise our children. What the difference between the categories of adults (that are real and purposeful) and children? The answer is: time. The time to develop those abilities. Behind any current categorisation is a a life time of specialisation. A lifetime spent developing those abilities. As we nurture that understanding in our children, we help them recognise they choice they have to develop those talents and abilities in themselves. 

How to identify a genius

We can easily recognise adults with talent. They standout. They achieve the exceptional. But knowing who these people are as adults, should we have been able to recognise the greatness that was to come when they were children? That was the question Professor Anders Ericsson asked, and the answer just might surprise you. Does your child have what it takes to be a genius? 

From "Not Yet" to "What Next"

Ever since Carol Dweck published her book on Mindset, it seems every parenting expert has adopted the slogan "not yet". When your child says, "I can't’, the response we've been told to give is "not yet". The problem with “not yet” is that it doesn't give your child any actions to take. It's a message to simply sit and wait. In this video I ask you to drop the "not yet" for the more positive and action oriented "what's next".

Let's talk about potential

Potential is one of those loaded terms that can send very fixed messages about your child's ability. The media is full of "reaching", "achieving" and using "100% of our potential". The truth is we have no potential locked inside us waiting to be discovered. What we have is the capacity to create that potential! We don't learn to discover our potential, we learn to create it. We are in charge of our own potential! 

Zones of Learnership

Sometimes learning is easy. Other times learning is hard. Understand that the difference is because you are working in different zones of learning is a critical part of helping our children become more skilful learners. 

The Learning Zone: Becoming a creature of discomfort

We all understand what a creature of comfort is. Author Adam Grant helps us understand why we need to help our children become creatures of discomfort. Creatures of discomfort love being in their learning zone. It's not the necessary evil to put up with, it's the feeling of stretch that we learn to love! 

Knowing when t​​​​​​​o do our best, and when to do better

Doing our best can get in the way of us doing better. Skilful learners understand that to improve we must split our time between doing our best, and doing better. Doing our best requires a different set of behaviours and attitudes to when we are trying to do better.

Mistakes aren't what they used to be

Most of our children have a dysfunctional relationship with mistakes. On the one hand, they are being told that mistakes help them learn, that they are even things to be celebrated. On the other hand, they are bad, and represent failure. The truth is that mistakes aren't good or bad. In fact, to talk about mistakes as just one thing doesn't even make much sense. In this video I explain why we need a new view of mistakes, as useful or not, and to talk about 6 different types of mistakes. 

Performance Mistakes- The mistakes we don't want to make

Some mistakes are bad. They have negative consequences and should be avoided. The problem many of our children have is that they fail to distinguish between these Performance Mistakes, and the more helpful stretch mistakes. 

Stretch Mistakes- Mistakes that help us learn

Not all mistakes are equal. The type of mistake we want to encourage, the one that will help our children learn, is a stretch mistake. We make it deliberately when we go into our Learning Zone, knowing that we aren't expecting to get things right, and expecting to interrogate the mistakes we make to help fill the gap between where we are, and where we want to be. 

What to do when you don't know what to do

What do you do when you don't know what to do? This is the question that Art Costa and Bena Kallick answered when they identified the 16 Habits of Mind common to successful problem solvers.

Problem-Solving Super Powers

Wouldn't it be great to have super powers? What super powers would you choose? In this video I describe the Habits of Mind as your child's Problem Solving Super Powers. These are the dispositions that we help them cultivate so they can solve any problems they encounter.