Illiterate teenagers who copy and paste Wikipedia for assignments and maths teachers who can’t teach children to count show the need for a “back to basics” approach in classrooms, according to new government research. Source: The Australian.
The taxpayer-funded Australian Educational Research Organisation is warning that one in five students is struggling at a Year 4 level of English and maths when they start high school.
Its research shows that too many high school teachers lack the training, time or teaching skill to help students with the basics of English and maths that are meant to be mastered in primary school.
AERO chief executive Jenny Donovan said one in five students starting high school at the age of 12 or 13 has the maths and English ability of children three years younger.
“You’ve got students who just can’t read and write, so they can’t engage in lessons at school and it translates into behavioural problems or leaving school early,’’ Dr Donovan said.
“It is a problem that high schools don’t necessarily see it as their task to teach literacy and numeracy, even though the ability to read is necessary for students to access the rest of the curriculum.
Dr Donovan said the need for all high schools to provide remedial instruction was an “obvious reform’’ to be negotiated this year by federal, state and territory governments in the five-year National School Reform Agreement.
She said the AERO study, to be released today, showed that nearly half of high schools “don’t do anything to actively address the problem’’.
The AERO study is based on a survey and interviews involving 382 teachers, principals and educational consultants by the Australian Council for Educational Research.
High schools told to go back to basics (By Natasha Bita, The Australian)