Jez – the old chestnut – ability grouping or streaming – is still being touted as a solution to falling standards!

Sorry Natasha, education editor for the Australian Newspaper, wrote a recent article on the state of education in Australia using the results of the recent PISA tests to say that our students are bored out of their brains at school, your wrong.

Yes, there is some correlation between student use of smartphones etc… and falling standards and schools have responded by banning them from the classroom – that only leaves another 10 hrs in the day assuming teenagers sleep 8 hrs a day? Hmmmmm – perhaps another past on that point alone.

“If you’re teaching kids when they’re not ready to learn – or maybe what they already know – you’re going to have students bored or misbehaving,” he says. “Some of the things we think of as problems are actually symptoms of the problem.”

Teaching that is better tailored to the needs of each child is credited for the raging academic success of Asian schools. Singapore “streams” students into groups based on ability.

“They recognise that kids are at different points in their learning and meet them where they are – rather than doing what we do, which is to expect every kid to be at the same point in their learning at the same time,” Masters says.

I will not labour the point about streaming only being effective for the “top” group – read Catia Malaquias post for a good summary of that argument. The one point I will agree is setting high standards for all students and then mapping out how each one might reach those points.

I would add that a key partnership in achieving this is with parents – after all our job as teachers is to help parents educate their children. I don’t have all the data to support my theory here but I’d suggest that those parents reading to their children on a constant basis until at least the age of 10 are well ahead of those who do not.

As a grandparent one of the birthday or Christmas gifts is always a book/s to my grandson, James. Surrounding young children with rich texts is a critical element in improving reading performance.

It’s perhaps easy to say “read to your children” and be seen reading in harder economic times when parents are working two jobs or more to pay the mortgage and living expenses but the risks in not doing so are great.

For those teachers seeking an understanding of knowing where each child is at and then measuring their progress I again refer to my work with the Data Wise Project as one possible solution. We start our 2024 program in 14 days.

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Interested in your thoughts