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Australian students slipping behind in maths, reading: OECD report

You had plenty to say about reports stating Australian students have slipped behind in world rankings of performance in mathematics and reading.


  1. We, as a nation, have a great deal of phobia towards mathematics. We need to revitalise TRUE mathematics as a pursuit of creativity, imagination and logic. Mathematicians - we are a lazy people, we seek the simplest and most elegant solution, but work fiercely towards this end. The methods of proof should be taught, and we must not simply drill students as we do with cookbook-style problems and then rely on memory. If we want the scientists of the next age, and the pure mathematicians, we must respect mathematics in its beauty and harmony and simplicity, and teach in that manner. Also, discuss the roots of mathematical Platonism and the history of mathematics. Inspire students. Remove regulation on curricula, and allow teacher autonomy to a larger extent. We continually destroy natural curiosity through education in this day and age.
  2. "The answer is simple and it has nothing to do with money... Too many excursions and not enough classroom teaching. 6hrs per day including a 1hr lunch break is not long enough to get them up to standards required..." - yorkie45 via comment
  3. On a serious note, buildings are wonderful and all, but what makes a difference is more NAPLAN testing and doing what we have been doing for the past 6 years - throw more money at it. Even if it doesn't change the results, it makes us feel like we are doing something about it, and we can all rest soundly at night.
  4. "To raise the levels we should look at bring in some of the top teachers of those countries that outperform us to help reform our education systems. What are the intrinsic differences? Is it all about the school system or is it also a cultural attitude towards schooling that is the problem?" - becket via comment
  5. i am from Shanghai, the #1 ranking on the list, i can tell you what failed us is the whole attitude towards education. each time bad results came out, we cried for more resource, more money. but you know these results came from kids all over the world sitting through all sorts of exams. like the saying 'practice makes it perfect'. if we carry on our anti homework, anti exam trend, we will never be on top of the list like this. not 100 gonski can change it. that said, we may not have the most exam-wise kids here, but our kids are certainly way more creative and imaginative, discipline always has it pros and cons.
  6. I actually think we need to change the way we teach, maybe check out some of the ways Sweden is doing it. Personally I really don't like the whole repetition method school uses as I don't learn that way. Sure we can score high on a test because we can repeat things but you don't actually learn anything that way.
  7. It's the students who need to do the work required if they want to pass. Many sadly spend more time disrupting classrooms than bothering to make any attempt to learn.
  8. "If both the students them selves and their parents/caregivers do not come on board and strive for a better education then the outcomes will not improve. You can lead a horse to water..." - mr barton via comment
  9. You can't "teach" anyone. You can facilitate "learning" though. Why not look closely at parents' and students' attitudes first? Meanwhile the government can help to facilitate the learning through funding what teachers have been screaming for for years...
  10. I teach lots of kids who are tutored to death. They have no lives because they are always doing tutoring homework. These kids do really well in pen and paper exams, but if I give them anything that requires them to think outside the box, they freeze up and panic because they don't know where to start as it involves them thinking for themselves. Yet I have taught many kids over the years who've been fairly average in pen and paper exams, but have incredible social intelligence and a natural ability to integrate knowledge and I know they'll be really successful and happy in life because they'll create their own opportunities rather than just jumping through hoops robotically.