Posts Tagged ‘OECD’

New Graph Revealing How Much Time is Spent on Homework Around the World

December 18, 2014


Those who are against homework are probably shaking their heads right now.


Click on the link to read What is Your Position on the Homework Debate?

Click on the link to read The Adult Version of the Dog that Ate my Homework

Click on the link to read Fourth Graders Quizzed about Infidelity in Homework Assignment

Click on the link to read Young Child Shows Dissatisfaction with his Homework (Photo)

Click on the link to read Why I Changed My Mind About Homework


Repeating a Year Doesn’t Work: Report

October 12, 2011

New reasearch suggests that children who repeat a year suffer both academically and socially:

OECD figures released this year found about 8 per cent of Australian students were repeating grades at school, often with the intention of helping them catch up and get better educational outcomes.

But a University of Sydney study of more than 3,000 students in eight different New South Wales schools has found repeating a child could have the opposite effect.

Professor Andrew Martin says the research found the students who repeated did not only suffer academically, but they also struggled in other ways.

“We found that students who repeated a grade tended to be less likely to do their homework, they had more days absent from school, they tended to be a bit lower on the academic engagement and motivation scale, they were lower in academic confidence and they were lower in their general self-esteem,” he told ABC News Online.

“In many cases, it seems what educators and parents were hoping for does not quite happen.

“It seems that simply pressing the pause button does not get at the issues that might have led to the decision to repeat a child.”

Whilst I respect the findings of this study, the trend of promoting students for no other reason than to protect their self-esteem is quite challenging for teachers.  It means that the child is often far behind, is often missing basic skills and therefore cannot understand advanced concepts and sometimes disrupts the other students.  It means that there will be students that can’t read or write properly entering into high school.

How is that beneficial to the child?  How does being set vastly different work to ones classmates make that child feel any less of a failure?

Teachers will generally do anything they can to accelerate the divide between struggling students and the rest of the class.  The last thing they would ever want is for any of their students to suffer emotionally.

At the same time, the current closed mindedness of education experts when it comes to repeating year levels is a concern.  Surely, at some point, the child has a better chance repeating a year than they do being promoted on the back of under developed skills?

I am in no way an advocate for making children repeat year levels.  But I am also mindful that gaps can grow, and the result of a skills divide in the classroom can have a lasting effect on both class and struggling student.

I suppose it just goes to show the importance of good teaching in the early years, alertness in spotting any learning problems or difficulties and a well run and resourced Special Education/Remedial Education department.

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