Breaking Shackles: Liberating the Mind for Learning

Michael Griffin
Specialist in fostering intrinsic motivation environments and expert achievement.
Metacognition, the hallmark of the free mind, is one of the “untarnishable joys of life”. A Growth Mindset provides the autonomous courage to begin the journey.
Target Audience
Assistant Principal, Casual Relief Teacher, Early Childhood Teacher, Head Teacher, Middle School Teacher, Primary Deputy Principal, Primary Principal, Primary Teacher, Secondary Deputy Principal, Secondary Principal, Secondary Teacher

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

This course synthesises the pedagogical factors that most impact learning, distilling the work of Hattie, Dweck, Deci & Ryan, Ericsson, Csikszentmihalyi, Harvard Project Zero, and other notable educational psychologists. We explore a synthesis of mindset, motivation & metacognition that challenges capped-potential self-conceptions. Teachers must understand the impact their beliefs, words and actions have on cultivating the learning disposition of students. Teacher mindsets result in expectations impacting student achievement. Metacognitive teaching has the greatest effect on learning, granting freedom of the mind. But how is it taught?


Assistant Principal, Casual Relief Teacher, Early Childhood Teacher, Head Teacher, Middle School Teacher, Primary Deputy Principal, Primary Principal, Primary Teacher, Secondary Deputy Principal, Secondary Principal, Secondary Teacher

Available Delivery Formats

This course contributes to 5.0 professional development hours.


  Start Date Location Availability Price    
Enrol Now 03/08/2018 Sydney CBD Places available $397 + GST Enrol Now


Achievement, A model for fostering Intrinsic motivation

1 hour

• Why do some students achieve so much more than others? • Introducing Self-Determination Theory
Freedom begins with a growth mindset

2 hours

• How mindsets drive learning
• How mindsets are cultivated
• How teacher mindsets determine student achievement

Teaching for metacognition

2 hours

• Thinking precedes learning
• Great teachers enable students to think for themselves
• The power of words, questions, sentence stems and prompts
• Flow – the ultimate in autotelic metacognitive learning

What To Bring

Pen and paper (or do we provide this?)

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About the team

Michael Griffin


Michael Griffin is an educator, speaker, author, conductor and pianist.
Michael Griffin has enjoyed a range of educational roles and experiences in Australia, and throughout the world. Griffin’s talks are inspired by theory of motivation and the premise that the greatest predictor of progress – music and otherwise – is the quality and the quantity of practice time. Indeed, his latest book Learning Strategies for Musical Success investigates these concepts in some detail providing pragmatic solutions for music teachers and students. Griffin also presents to full staffs and student bodies on essential learning dispositions that lead to expert learning. He has spoken to groups of staff, students, parents and community audiences in more than 270 schools and conferences in 25 countries. This includes schools of the calibre of Eton, Ardingly, Headington and Cranleigh (UK), United World College South East Asia, Nanyang Girls HS (Singapore), ISL (Luxembourg) and Geelong Grammar School (Australia).
Griffin has been the Keynote or Consultant Speaker at several global education events including the European Council for International Schools (Hamburg and Nice), Association of International Schools Africa Educators' Conference (South Africa), English Schools’ Foundation (Hong Kong), International Educators Conference (Brunei), APEP Member Schools Conference (Thailand), British Schools of the Middle East Arts Conference (Oman and Dubai), Qatar Foundation, Spring Cantus Salisburgensis Festival (Austria), Hampshire Music Service (UK), Association Genevoise des Ecoles Privées (Switzerland), ASME WA and numerous MTA, ANCA and local conferences throughout Australia. He has been an invited guest at the New Horizons adult education program in Rochester NY, and has consulted for Cambridge University Press designing music education curriculum for Kazakhstan.
As a conductor, Griffin’s choral ensembles have received more than 40 prizes and awards (half of these first prizes) in Australian competitions including one of Australia’s major choral prizes, the Australasian Open Choral Championship in 2004. Griffin has adjudicated at several eisteddfods and been guest conductor for major events including the 2014 Pemulwuy National Male Voice Festival, and several events in Switzerland, Asia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Earlier leadership experiences in SA included stints as Musical Director for Pirates of Penzance (G&S Society, Adelaide), Catholic Schools Music Festival, Adelaide Boys Choir, and the Brighton School Choirs – at that time considered among the best school choirs in Australia. In 2006 Griffin was awarded the South Australian Education and Arts Ministers’ Prize, and is listed in the inaugural Who’s Who South Australia for 2007 and also in 2008 for services to music education.
As well as the widely acclaimed Learning Strategies for Musical Success, Griffin is the author of four other music education books. As a pianist, Griffin has held guest residencies at Dubai’s Burj al Arab and repeat invitations to Australia’s world-class resort, Hayman Island. Classical piano recordings include the compilations Consolation (2013) and Shimmer (2014). As a teacher in schools, Griffin has held a range of posts up to Deputy Head level.