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Catalyst Project

Transforming lives through learning

A special moment in time when system leaders are bold enough to take on a system-wide, evidence-based school improvement initiative that collectively impacts over 2,500 teachers — alignment of teacher practice toward the Science of Learning has never been seen at this scale in Australia.
Shaping Minds is proud to be a part of this initiative. C’mon teachers, let’s do this!
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A Shaping Minds & Catholic Education Canberra and Goulburn Collaboration

One of the largest educational initiatives in Australian history with over 2,500 teachers involved!

The Catalyst Program, Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn’s major learning and teaching initiative supports 56 schools to improve the efficacy of their teaching. It is one of the largest educational initiatives in Australian history with over 2,500 teachers involved, and affecting an incredible 20,000 students. The program focusses on two ‘bold goals’:

1. For every student to be a competent reader

2. For high-impact teaching practices to be visible in every classroom

This incredible system-wide improvement initiative focuses on three key areas of schooling – curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. To achieve these goals, Director Ross Fox and his CECG team, along with Elena DouglasKnowledge Society set out to procure an all-star squad of high-impact educators to guide this once in a lifetime initiative. They combed Australia looking for experts who held a deep knowledge in these areas, but most importantly — the program needed educators who had lived-experience implementing evidence-based teaching in their classrooms and raising outcomes for their students. It is one thing to know the research, but it is infinitely more powerful to stand up in front of a class of students you don’t know and demonstrate high-impact teaching. This kind of authenticity is what teachers want from professional learning and they deserve no less.

Every student deserves high-impact teaching

Fortunately, there are some educators who meet these criteria. Enthusiastically referred to by the Catalyst team as ‘The Awesome Foursome’ – Associate Professor Lorraine Hammond CF AM, reunites with Brooke Wardana, Jordan O’Sullivan and Jared Bussell to connect educators with the highest-impact teaching strategies from the evidence-base. Sharing their expertise and knowledge through a combination of immersive professional learning experiences, demonstrations of teaching in real classrooms, immersive ‘Twilight’ PL sessions, and ongoing support via video and email. The team love supporting teachers to build on their already amazing practice and to see just how far they can take student learning.


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Associate Professor Lorraine Hammond AM

Research over anecdote

A champion for evidence-based teaching like no other – Dr Hammond breaks the mould of academics by not only sharing her valuable insight into Educational research, but then backs it up with demonstrations of the strategies she talks about. Lorraine travels the country dispensing wisdom and walking the walk with educators and students of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of understanding.

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Brooke Wardana Teacher Extraordinaire

Early Childhood Master

Brooke is a gifted educator who has been a shining light in the educational landscape in Western Australia for many years. She is known for her dynamic and highly engaging teaching style that elicits incredible results for her students. Brooke has been sharing her expertise with schools and systems all over the country, and loves nothing more than students and teachers realising their true potential.

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Jordan O’Sullivan & Jared Bussell

Science of learning & Art of teaching

The Boys from Shaping Minds are passionate educators who have used pedagogical innovations to fuel powerful change initiatives in their schools. Proving their mantra that all students are capable of success. They have shared their insights and resources with schools all over Australia, and love helping teachers maximise outcomes with their students through evidence-based teaching.


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Changing Lives with Catalyst


Featured in Microsoft’s Edu-Blog.