Growing Young Minds Conference – 2021


About this Event

Elevo Institute (Not-for-profit Educational Design Research ) is the sponsor of the annual Growing Young Minds (GYM) Conference. This year is a Virtual Conference. The theme is “How to Grow Your Mind” and we encourage teachers, parents, grandparents and carers to join Australian and international keynote speakers and experts, to find out how to help young people prepare for the changing world of the 21st Century and beyond. The topics range from leadership to nueroscience, from self-regulation to resilence. Please obtain tickets for each keynote you wish to attend. The full program for the conference is below.

Conference Program

9.30am – 9.50am

Opening and Welcome with David Loader OAM

Associate Professor David Loader is a Principal Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Melbourne University (since 2002). In 2000, he was awarded the Centenary Medal ‘for outstanding services to education’ and in 2010 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for distinguished services to education, as a principal, mentor and author.

David is a Director of Elevo Institute Board and Chairperson of Elevo Institute Research Committee.

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10am – 11 am

Fostering Childhood Resilience in the Face of Scary World News with Dr. Dawn Huebner

• The year-long avalanche of bad news coupled with a sharp increase in time spent online makes it nearly impossible to shield children from the tragedies unfolding around them. The pandemic. Environmental disasters. Racial and political unrest. Despite our best efforts, our children are exposed to bits and pieces of it all. So, the question is, how can we help children make sense of and cope with what they are hearing? Parent Coach and best-selling author Dr. Dawn Huebner will provide guidance for parents and teachers looking for practical steps they can take to preserve feelings of safety and optimism while teaching children strength and resilience in the face of scary national and international news.

Dr. Dawn Huebner is a Parent Coach and the author of 9 books for children including the perennial bestseller, What to Do When You Worry Too Much, and more recent, Outsmarting Worry. Her newest book, Something Bad Happened provides support for children learning about problems around the world. Dr. Huebner’s forthcoming book, The Sibling Survival Guide (Spring 2021) speaks with warmth and humor to children struggling to get along.Dr. Huebner’s books have been translated into 23 languages, selling well over a million copies around the world. She has been featured on the TODAY Show, CNN, WebMD and other news and information outlets, and is frequently interviewed by popular parenting magazines. Dr. Huebner’s TEDx talk on Rethinking Anxiety has been viewed over 800,000 times. She is a popular speaker for both live and virtual events.

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12 – 12.30pm

Growing Young Minds and Self-regulation with Celia Franzè

A number of Australian studies have noted a positive correlation between metacognitive skills and academic outcomes…Australasian-based research on the topic suggests that students can benefit from exercising self-regulated learning skills. In order for students to learn to effectively and autonomously apply these skills, Australian studies suggest that constant guidance, prompting and feedback from teachers is important. (Source: E4L)

However, children learn alone or with family too. Especially during this world pandemic. So, whether you teach, parent or grand-parent, coach or care for young children, there is a tool for self-regulation that can support you at home or in the classroom in guiding, prompting and feeding back. Explore tools such as the ‘How to Grow Your Mind Journal ‘ and how it encourages emotional resilience for children’s personal and social development. By applying critical and creative exploration of STEM concepts such as neuroplasticity, maths mindsets and design thinking; together with growth mindsets and emotions; children grow their own metacognitive strategies toolkit for self-regulated learning, to overcome 21st Century challenges, and move forward with confidence.

Celia Franzè (MEd, MACE) is the Schools’ Research Lead for ThinkPlus and Elevo Institute. She has over 25 years of experience as a parent, teacher, principal and regional/district schools advisor.

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1pm – 2pm

Constructing Emotions with Dr. Sarah McKay

• If you teach, parent or grand-parent, coach or care for young children, Dr Sarah McKay will help you to grow your young child’s mind; by unpacking the latest research in neuroscience; and exploring the importance of developing capacity for emotional granularity in children. Emotional granularity describes a person’s ability to create instances of emotion or Constructing Emotions, that are diverse and context-specific. Considerable evidence suggests that higher emotional granularity is a protective factor for mental and physical well-being in children and adults.

Sarah is an Oxford University-educated neuroscientist, educator, presenter, media commentator, director of The Neuroscience Academy and author of The Women’s Brain Book: the neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness. She teaches coaches, therapists, teachers and other helping professionals how to thoughtfully apply insights and tools from neuroscience to their work.

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2.30 – 3pm

ThinkPlus Collective

ThinkPlus Educator, Navigators and Researchers Network Meeting.

By invitation only.


Elevo Institute is a not-for-profit research organisation that seeks to improve teaching and learning through the development of well-researched and tested methodologies and to incubate new ideas – taking them from thought leadership to the school and classroom.

We also conduct Educational Design Research to develop new approaches that will make a marked difference in the lives of young Australians.

Kingswood College is proud to have implemented Elevo Institute’s metacurriculum ThinkPlus and is home to the dedicated ThinkPlus Centre.

The Growing Young Minds Conference is subsidised by the Elevo Institute.