The Biology Of Attainment

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Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk delivered this keynote address in April 2017, at the Leading Edge Conference hosted by the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland. Her aim was to help teachers think more deeply about the ways in which biology underpins learning. Her thesis was intentionally controversial. She argued that the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge will fail unless the policy implementation takes greater account of biological factors in its thinking about educational improvements. Scotland has set itself the goal of being the Best Place in the World To Grow Up. That is not possible, Dr Zeedyk argues, unless we begin to give much greater attention to children’s emotional needs. Until we help our children feel safe, we cannot help them learn.

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