Denise Pope

“There is a real disconnect between what the girls are hearing and what their parents think about success. We are trying to get people all on the same page.”
November 2019—Dr. Denise Pope helped our community examine preconceptions about success and stress during a two-day visit with faculty and staff, parents and students. A Senior Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-founder of Challenge Success, she was the inaugural visiting scholar of our Chandaria Research Centre (CRC). 

Pope is an expert on students’ experiences of workload, stress and well-being. She shared insights on how to help students adapt to and cope with stress, including the importance of sleep and allowing for unstructured time in their busy schedules. 

She also spoke at the annual Branksome Hall Parents’ Association Luncheon, co-sponsored by the CRC.

“When we talk to students, the definition of success is very narrow,” she said. “You have got to get the grades to get into university, to get the high-paying job, to get to happiness,” Dr. Pope noted. “However, when [you ask] parents to define success for their kids, they say happiness, health, balance and well-being.”

Pope emphasized the importance of what she calls PDF (playtime, downtime and family time). Incorporating these into weekly routine are vital to creating healthier, happier students—and adults! 

View an interview with Dr. Pope following the luncheon.
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Branksome Hall

10 Elm Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada
M4W 1N4
Canada. South Korea

Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years, IB World School.
Study abroad in grade 9.