Mathematics Losing to Idealism in an Australian Classroom: Think Tank


According to experts, continued ideological prejudice against explicit teaching in the math classroom is the number one reason Australia’s performance on this subject continues to decline.

Analytical paper,’I won’t tell the teacher. “Published by the Center for Independent Studies, it was discovered that Australian universities have failed to teach future math teachers effective teaching methods.

It was found that the bachelor’s degree in primary education at 27 of the 31 universities focused on student-led “constructivist” teaching methods rather than teacher-led “leader” approaches. The remaining four were ambiguous or offered different teaching methods.

Glenn Fahey, an education policy expert and co-author of the dissertation, told The Epoch Times that teachers would not be effective in the workplace if what they learned in the training course was not effective.

“The obvious thing is that putting teacher education in the hands of pedagogues doesn’t seem to effectively prepare new teachers for the workforce,” Fahey said. “In other words, the fact that the pedagogue does not touch the classroom means that he does not touch the evidence of what teaching method is most effective.”

According to Fahei, Australia’s current education degree prepares teachers to become scholars rather than becoming effective classroom teachers.

“”[What] In countries that really prioritize the instructor’s approach, we focus on a lot of practices and on procedural knowledge, “says Fahey. “In that regard, we are talking about a country that is doing quite a lot of drilling … and asking a lot of practice questions.”

High-performance education systems in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc. frequently provide teacher-led education.

Epoch Times Photo
Students will participate in the annual Scholastic Aptitude Test at Poonmun High School in Seoul, South Korea on November 13, 2014. (EdJones / AFP via Getty Images)

However, this teaching method is no longer a popular idea among Australian educators and policy makers. Australian educators and policy makers prefer to allow students to “investigate and investigate” the subject rather than having teachers guide them.

“”[From their view,] Teachers need to make math fun, make math attractive, and intend to use a lot of word-based problems … if students have to learn math, do a lot of math, and do a lot of things. , Because students are afraid to do math. “Practice,” Fahey said.

Tim Marchant, director of the Australian Institute for Mathematics and Sciences (AMSI), previously told the Epoch Times that students and parents also place less value on this subject.

“In the eighth year, more children don’t like math than in other countries, about 50 percent,” says Merchant.

Students experience increased involvement from current teaching methods, but they are short-term and lose long-term involvement due to their inability to understand mathematical procedures.

“This is a really good example of why Australian students are really struggling with algebraic elements, especially in high school,” Fahey said. “It’s because we are very engaged in what is” applied to the real world. ” [examples] This is a low-abstraction example. “

Epoch Times Photo
Kindergarten students are working on May 25, 2020 at the Annandale Public School in Sydney, Australia. (AAP Image / Joel Carrett)

Raising Australian sliding math standards

Fahey believes that changing the initial teacher education course to focus on explicit teaching methods is the most important step in stopping the downward spiral of Australian mathematical standards.

“This is the most formative time for teachers to practice in the classroom,” he said.

In Australia, there has been a shortage of qualified math teachers for decades, and secondary school principals report that filling math teacher vacancies is the most difficult.

As a result, teachers who do not have formal training to teach math lead math classrooms.

Fahey, meanwhile, said the current education course only adds to the problem, as schools believe that teachers need to be retrained from ineffective teaching methods.

“For years, new teachers have finished training without the knowledge and skills to be effective in the classroom, despite stricter standards and paper certifications,” he said. “It is now clear that quality assurance needs to be strengthened and made more direct.”

Education Minister Alan Tudge said the report indicated the need for reforms in teacher education.

“A faculty of teacher education that does not properly prepare student teachers to become effective classroom teachers using evidence-based practices should not be in the teacher education business.” He said..

“If necessary, the government insists that it will make the most of the $ 760 million it provides to the Faculty of Education to teach evidence-based practices.”

Rebecca Chu

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