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Chaos in Australian Education

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by dutchie, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. dutchie

    dutchie Well-Known Member

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    Australian school children are well behind a host of other countries when it comes to reading, mathematics and science, according to a new report.

    The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study has revealed that a quarter of Australia's year 4 students failed to meet the minimum standard in reading for their age.

    Australia ranked 27th out of 48 countries in reading, with its mean score similar to that recorded by New Zealand, Poland and Lithuania.

    Another analysis, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), revealed results have not improved for Australian students since 1995.

    "The Government's so-called education revolution has been exposed as an abject failure."
     
  2. DocK

    DocK Well-Known Member

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    My frustration with the current debate about education is that it seems totally focussed on money, rather than quality. I'm not an expert in the field, but my impression was that those countries with the highest literacy and numeracy standards were also those that had higher standards required of their teachers. To my mind you need to go back to the source if you want to change the outcome - teachers (esp early childhood) have sooo much influence on a child's desire to learn and on those formative years that the rest of their education develops from. I think society should both demand a higher standard and accountability from their children's teachers, but should also value them much more as a result. Lift the tertiary requirements to study teaching and raise the salary in turn. After all, when you pay peanuts you get monkeys and is this what we want tfor our country's kids? Laptops, school pools and halls, even class sizes are all secondary to the crucial matters of expertise and discipline. If a teacher is in the profession because they want to be, rather than it's what they settled for with a mediocre OP/ATR, and has the ability and desire to inspire kids in their early years then I reckon we'd see our standards lift. A child who still can't read and can barely count after the first two years of school is going to be up against it no matter what curriculum changes, class sizes, technological availability or myschool websites are put in place.

    In some areas the battle is purely on getting the kids to school in the first place - if schools in these areas are allowed to use the best methods for their particular demographic, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, they'd maybe have better outcomes.
     
  3. tinhat

    tinhat Pocket Calculator Operator

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    Right on DocK. in 2009 when the NAPLAN results confirmed that QLD continued to lag the other states for primary school literacy and numeracy, then premier Bligh commissioned an inquiry. The findings of the inquiry can be summarized as "Your kids are illiterate and innumerate (relative to other states) because your teachers are illiterate and innumerate". When surveyed, even Qld teachers felt they were less prepared to teach maths and science than teachers from other states.

    http://education.qld.gov.au/mastersreview/pdfs/final-report-masters.pdf

    I don't have any kids but I have some involvement with the local primary school. The school is over capitalised in terms of buildings in my opinion. The building the education revolution stimulus spending probably worked in terms of short-term fiscal stimulus but it pissed a lot of money up against the wall.
     
  4. white_goodman

    white_goodman BOC

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    look at the top performing countries... its not just a case of throwing money at things = results... smaller class sizes does not equal results (Japan for eg), its an interesting debate, atleast we've got some good models to benchmark against if our feudal overlords in Canberra wish to undertake some study.
     
  5. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Agree that the standard of teachers is a large part of the problem. I've been part of a mentoring program in both primary and secondary state schools for about ten years and I'm just blown away by the inadequacy of the teachers. Another issue is the behaviour of the children: often it's so obnoxious the teacher spends much of the lesson time trying to manage disruptive little sods.

    I gather teaching is not a very popular career choice these days, understandably enough. So the entrance scores have been dropped, as Dock suggests, to admit people who are just not up to the job.

    I wonder, too, about all the 'social stuff' the curriculum is supposed to cover. Seems to me that esoteric discussions about climate change etc and other government dictated propaganda are given more weight than the more fundamental and necessary skills of literacy and numeracy.
     
  6. Calliope

    Calliope Well-Known Member

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    Union interference and poor teacher training will never improve under Labor and this means Gillard's rhetoric about raising educations standards is just hot air.:rolleyes:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nat...nland-and-sweden/story-e6frgd0x-1226553872618
     
  7. Tink

    Tink Well-Known Member

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    Kids not improving in literacy, numeracy

    The reading, writing and maths skills of Australian schools students have basically stagnated since national testing started seven years ago.

    NAPLAN results released on Wednesday show that nationally, student achievement has stalled since 2008 leading Australia's chief scientist Ian Chubb to warn it should be a wake-up call.

    The head of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority Robert Randall says while stability is good, the community will expect more improvement over time.
    That will only happen when student learning improves.

    "Literacy and numeracy are the foundations of learning at and beyond school," Mr Randall said in a statement.
    "If student knowledge, skills and understanding are not improving in these areas, it is a cause for reflection."

    Education Minister Christopher Pyne says for results to lift the focus needs to turn to the coalition's four pillars of education: curriculum, teacher quality, parental engagement and school autonomy.
    "It's not about money, it's actually about the basics of school education," he told ABC radio.

    Although results overall remained stable, there were some national improvements in specific areas, notably in Year 3 reading and Year 5 numeracy.
    However, writing results for Year 7 and 9 students have dropped since 2011.

    Professor Chubb says the broad direction of maths results, both in national testing and on international scales, was not good for Australia.
    "Given that maths is so central to so much of what we do and so much of what we will need to do then there's a wake-up call for us," he told ABC radio.
    "And we've got to do something about it soon."

    The NAPLAN results have been released two weeks earlier than in previous years, after a government push for a faster turnaround.


    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...iteracy-numeracy/story-fn3dxiwe-1227470467451
     
  8. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

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    Seems NAPLAN is a useful tool afterall.
     
  9. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole Well-Known Member

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    And that's what it should be regarded as, a tool or guide to the merits or deficiencies of the system nation wide.

    You need to be able to measure the results of what you are doing in any field, and if you don't then you certainly can't manage what you are doing.
     
  10. sptrawler

    sptrawler Well-Known Member

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    All goes back, to teaching isn't a calling any more, it is a job with great holidays, reasonable pay and conditions.

    It also, since being incorporated as a degree, has one of the lowest entrance requirements.

    Which is understandable, as it shouldn't be a university based learned profession, it should be mainly workplace based training.

    The first requirement of a teacher should be a passion to teach, the second requirement should be the ability to engage and hold the children's attention.

    What they are teaching, has been taught for the last century, mathematics, english, science and social studies haven't changed a lot.

    We aren't talking about teaching 23 year olds, nuclear physics, we are talking about teaching young kids the basics.

    Which seems to be the furthest from what is happening, it was only a few years ago, the times table and mental arithmetic, was dropped from the curriculum. Probably because the teachers didn't know them.IMO

    It is about time nursing and teaching, were returned to workplace based training programmes.:xyxthumbs
     
  11. sptrawler

    sptrawler Well-Known Member

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  12. sydboy007

    sydboy007 Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree with what your saying if parents were more engaged with their childrens' education, but these days it's blame the teachers when it's much more the parents fault. If a child can't read who's fault is it? If a child can't add a few simple numbers up in their head, who's fault is that?

    I hated reading as a child. Was going to be held back a year if I didn't improve. My mum was not going to have any of that. For the life of me I can't imagine a time of when I didn't like reading, but in kindergarten and 1st year I just never read unless forced to, and my mum started forcing me every day after school till I started to enjoy it.

    I'd hate to be a teacher in today's class room. Children you have limited ability to control. Cell phones ready to record the slightest slip up. Parents pointing the finger for any perceived failing of their little treasures. Why would you want to be a teacher when the view is it's a decent paying job with lots of holidays (just be prepared to pay double or triple to enjoy a holiday). The lack of respect for teachers by the community is part of the problem.
     
  13. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

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    Being part of family that,by and large, has traditionally been educators and me, the father of similar, I can tell you that the biggest blocker to adequate outcomes is the politicisation of the Principals seats and their autonomy from real accountability of those outcomes. This occurred when the Federal Govt decided to joint venture some secondary schooling and the ripple effect gained traction.

    Good teachers who stand up for their students are forced into counselling that generally comprises the Principal and hand picked deputy, naive HOD and about 3 hours of interrogation, bullying and the like. Those that don't submit/capitulate are black marked and eventually removed/hounded from the school.

    In QLD, KPIs contribute to poor performing students being kicked from school after turning 17 so they can go on welfare and the school's overall performance score increases.

    In QLD non academic students are relegated into classes that don't figure in the overall performance scores.

    In QLD the previous govt decided to go back to the future and concentrate on simplistic course structures and eliminate nonsense subjects like E-commerce, computer programming and technology........readin', 'riting and 'rithmetic Dave Rudd style is where Newman's refocusing was at.

    My gene pool is not particularly bright, but somehow we manage to produce Doctors, PHDs, top trades people, teachers, national leaders, business owners, etc and primary school was/is not considered paramount to success.

    Counted among my friends are people who have written curriculum literature, who at the apex of private schools, etc and most of them have used the public system upto year 11, then swapped them into the private environment for many reasons... that are fairly transparent.
     
  14. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole Well-Known Member

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    What's a "non academic" student ?
     
  15. sptrawler

    sptrawler Well-Known Member

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    Probably a student, who is there because they have to be, not because they have the ability or interest.
     
  16. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole Well-Known Member

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    I think it's the job of the education system to spark interest in what is being taught, that is what makes good teachers. As to ability, once the interest is there students can improve their ability to absorb what they are being told.
     
  17. sptrawler

    sptrawler Well-Known Member

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    That is probably the very reason that prospective teachers, were interviewed before entering teachers training college. Same went for nurses, when training was carried out in hospitals, a major part of both professions is interpersonal skills and suitability.
     
  18. Logique

    Logique Investor

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    Need I say more!

     
  19. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

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    OK in QLD you either go down the scholastic route of OP scores and entry to tertiary or you are funneled into vocational, remedial, out the door, left on the fence, etc
     
  20. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole Well-Known Member

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    You mean bogans ?
    :D
     
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