What are universities looking for in secondary graduates? Turns out it isn’t just an ATAR score according to the Conversation.
Only a quarter of undergraduate university admissions for domestic students are made on the basis of an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), according to a new discussion paper from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute.
The paper highlights a growing disconnect between the role the ATAR plays in schools and universities. In 2016, only 26% of domestic undergraduate university admissions were made on the basis of secondary education with an ATAR – down from 31% in 2014.
This would surprise many young people, as it seems at odds with the message reinforced by many schools, families and the media – that the ATAR is everything.
A long time debate in education is around the value of suspension or expulsion. The Conversation article suggests it’s not the best strategy.
The number of students being suspended or expelled from Australian schools is “skyrocketing”, according to news reports. These note a 10% increase in suspensions over two years at NSW primary schools and that students in south-western Sydney are being suspended more than four times as often as students in other parts of the city.
Suspension and expulsion is widely used in Australia, the UK and the US to respond to problematic behaviour. But evidence shows these tactics aren’t effective in changing a student’s conduct, and carry major long-term risks for their welfare. Students most affected tend to be those with higher and more complex needs, such as those with disabilities and mental health issues.
One area for discussion within education that is always relevant is that of what makes teaching effective, what things work. Internationally renowned educationalist John Hattie, offers us his thoughts in this Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching article, and it is very worthwhile reading them.
John Hattie synthesized over 500,000+ studies related to student achievement in his book Visible Learning. In this book he showed that teachers can make a difference despite other circumstances that may impede learning.
In fact, Hattie found that most teachers have some degree of impact on their students’ learning. However, some teachers have far more impact than others.
One of the things that is a growing area of focus in early education is how we might promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. This Conversation article looks at 5 things parents can do in this space.
Educators and researchers agree early literacy experiences are important for children’s cognitive and language development. For the past 30 years there has been a strong movement to foster children’s literacy skills. This has resulted in an abundance of information on how parents can do this by reading books, singing songs and nursery rhymes, playing word games and noticing print.
This is a good thing and should continue, given the importance of early literacy skills in learning to read, and how this leads to later success in school and life.
But in addition to early literacy skills, we should also be promoting early STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. Early childhood is the natural starting point for STEM learning, as young children are curious and want to explore their environments.
Children are very capable STEM learners, and their knowledge and skills are often greatly underestimated by educators and parents.
A point of discussion within educational circles is around how classes are formed and divided. In the latest National Catholic Education Commission newsletter, ACER adds to the debate by calling for students to be taught by ability.
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is calling for an overhaul of the way students are currently taught, assessed and graded in its submission to the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools led by David Gonski.
The proposal would see students taught according to their ability rather than age with performance tools such as A to E grades and traditional school reports also being replaced by new reporting measures.
As we are back full swing at school, it’s timely to remind ourselves of success habits. The Conversation presents some useful tips:
Right now, thousands of Australian school children and university students are taking a well-earned break from the classroom. Long breaks like this help us clear our minds, but they can also provide an opportunity to prepare for the learning year ahead.
If you’re a student, this might mean thinking about your study habits. Here are some suggestions to help you learn as efficiently as possible.
As we look to the future of Education, one of the constants is how to develop creativity in our children to help them better cope with the demands and creative solutions the future will bring. This article from ideas.ted.com puts forward three ways we might foster creativity.
The world’s problems demand bold, new solutions, so today’s children need to develop open, agile minds. Composer Anthony Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman tell you how to nurture them.
Our children spend many of their waking hours in the classroom. It’s where their aspirations are nurtured and where they get their first sense of what their society expects of them. When run correctly, it’s a place where imagination is cultivated. But that cultivation doesn’t always happen.
As children get settled into the 2018 school year, our thoughts turn to how they are coping. This article from The Conversation examines how we might address anxiety.
Starting school for the first time can be stressful. Children are suddenly thrown into a foreign environment, juggling the pressure of learning new academic skills and establishing relationships with peers. Some thrive, but others may need support through this transition.
Our study found that at the ages of six to seven, which is just after the time children start school, 14% of Australian children had noticeably high levels of emotional problems. Emotional problems generally refer to depressive and anxiety symptoms, somatic (physical) complaints such as headaches, and withdrawn behaviours.
Classroom design has come into vogue more so in the last 20-30 years. This article from The Conversation asks how important it is.
The past decade has seen a boom in the construction of trendy buildings with visually appealing interiors in schools and universities. Proponents highlight the potential of these flexible and technology-rich spaces, referred to as innovative learning environments (ILEs), to shape behaviours to enhance student learning.
In the first of an exciting new feature at CSG News, we are excited to bring you the best video clips from around the world on relevant and interesting education topics, curated for the CSG audience.
This video: Screen time for kids, it’s very topical. This fascinating Ted Talk by media expert SaraDeWitt examines screen time and childhood.
We check our phones upwards of 50 times per day — but when our kids play around with them, we get nervous. Are screens ruining childhood? Not according to children’s media expert Sara DeWitt. In a talk that may make you feel a bit less guilty about handing a tablet to a child while you make dinner, DeWitt envisions a future where we’re excited to see kids interacting with screens and shows us exciting ways new technologies can actually help them grow, connect and learn.
Inclusion is one of the big issues in society and more specifically, in education. This article from Education HQ takes a look at a good news story around inclusion from a Queensland school.
Principal Michael Hornby has something big to show Australia.
With around 68 different cultures happily mingling under his school roof each day, the leader of Mabel Park State High School would love the powerful to know what harmonious inclusion looks like on the ground.
“I’d love to bring in a politician, the Prime Minister, and say ‘this is how we get along’,” he says.
A fixed mindset says that things are the way they are and can’t be changed. The opposite is a ‘Growth Mindset’, as pioneered by Carol Dweck, that says things can change and improve. Catholic education essentially has a growth mindset. Read more about how to promote it from this article from InformEd.
What if your true learning potential was unknown, even unknowable, at best? What if it were impossible to foresee what you could accomplish with a few years of passion, toil, and training? According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, this isn’t some hypothetical situation, dependent on any manner of factors from genes to environment. It’s a mindset. And it’s one you can cultivate at any point in life.
An excellent article by Biffy James in yesterday’s Age reminds us that the ATAR score is not the beginning and end of our life story post-school.
I completed year 12 when the ATAR was still called an ENTER. If you ended up with a score much below the high 80s at my supposedly progressive private girls’ school, it usually meant your peers felt very, very sorry for you, and reminded you brightly that “TAFE is really good! I’d do TAFE if I wasn’t doing arts/law/medicine at Melbourne Uni!”
As we branch out further investigating the different ways in which education is delivered technologically, we may also consider more closely how we deliver it physically. This article from InformEd asks whether we need to start studying standing up.
When envisioning the classroom of the future, virtual reality and robotic teachers might come to mind. But while technology is certainly transforming the way we learn and the spaces where learning takes place, a much more subtle trend is slowly taking hold of classrooms around the world.
With the growing number of kids spending more time facing a smartphone screen than a person, it comes as no surprise that parents want schools to teach social skills as this article form Education HQ highlights.
A survey of more than 1800 parents, grandparents and guardians found more than two thirds believe schools should do more to teach children social skills, with half saying teachers should be giving lessons on how to behave in public.