Currently, there are some huge problems facing the Australian education system. A system that for too many years appears to have been failing our young people in the most critical way imaginable by not preparing them for a successful future in the 21st century workplace. For years now, Australian youth have been falling behind their peers worldwide. It was not long ago that Australia’s education system was considered superior to that of the United States or England; however, in recent rankings it has been shown that Australia’s education system has fallen behind these two countries that we used to surpass. Falling behind countries that are themselves falling behind shows that the rate of decline for Australian young people is out of the ordinary.
Recently, the Program for International Student Assessment survey test and knowledge test discovered the educational standing of young people in more than 70 countries worldwide. The real kicker for Australia’s youth is that the actual overall test scores have fallen. This means that from 2000 to 2012 Australia’s school-age youth actually answered fewer questions correctly than their peers did 12 years ago. To put this in more explicit terms, an article in The Conversation states that both in science and math a 15 year old student from Australia’s educational and problem-solving teachings is only the equivalent of a 12 year old in Korea. This puts Australia’s young people at a three-year disadvantage from their Korean neighbours.
While Korea continues to accelerate and produce exceptional students, Australia’s young people keep falling further and further behind. This trend towards mediocrity, at best, is being further compounded by the fact that fewer Australian youth are getting engaged in math and science, and the fact that they are achieving lower scores in reading comprehension. Math, science, and reading skills are the foundational skills for the 21st century workforce, particularly science and reading comprehension. As crowdsourcing and robotics take over unskilled labour pools, the greatest chance for success that young people have is to distinguish themselves in math and science while utilising a high vocabulary and reading comprehension within those fields. These fields continue to attract the best and most brilliant around the world into high paying career fields. It stands then to reason that the better your child is at understanding language arts, the better off they will be on the pathway to a successful career. Individuals with high math and science scores are far more likely to have successful careers in whatever field they attempt than individuals with low median scores in these areas.
This, however, is not the most disappointing failure of the Australian education system but rather how it treats its gifted students is the most abhorrent affront to education in a modern civilized country. Many gifted children become bored and distracted during classes which do not challenge their mental aptitude. Because of this, many gifted individuals in Australia’s class system, the most brilliant and intellectually developed youth, are often classified as having autism or attention deficit disorder. Instead of raising up our most gifted young people and challenging them to greater heights, we instead quell them and compel them to the level of mediocrity. Although there are many programs for young people who are developmentally challenged, getting funding or getting into a program for gifted youth is a much harder road to trod.
With this in mind, the question becomes what can be done to boost innovation, enhance critical thinking, and teach creative outside the box problem solving for our Australian school kids? And, now that we know the problem, what is the solution? Many in government are saying they should simply throw more money at the problem. “Surely if we just throw extra taxpayer dollars at it, the problem will be solved.” However, tax dollars do not solve the underlying problem which is a culture in Australia’s young people that does not value education in the same way that others around the world do. Culture is what needs to be taught, including respect for the educator, respect for education, and respect for one’s self and a personal responsibility to pursue deeper intellectual thought.
One might think that is asking too much; however, at Tutors SA, that is exactly what we do. By bringing in professional tutors to work with your young people or child, you do not have to wait upon unfulfilled political promises that they will at some point fix our failing schools, but rather you can begin to do something to assist Australia’s young people right now. Tutors SA only hires the most qualified and gifted teachers in their respective fields. Bringing in experts in those fields to teach young people is an exceptional way of helping bring a new respect for the profession of teaching and help to raise comprehension of more difficult topics.
One of the foundations for this is the strong emphasis of our tutors to help improve the literacy and reading comprehension skills in all the youth we work with. A strong foundation in reading forms the backbone for a strong foundation of nearly all further education and life endeavours. With Tutors SA, our entire methodology is structured to be a student centric teaching approach designed to measure where your student is currently and then to enhance their reading comprehension and understanding in all the areas we teach.
By helping to grow your student’s understanding and reading comprehension across various fields, it can help bring a new sense of self-confidence in education that may be lacking.
Self-confidence in a child’s own ability to reason and think out problems critically is a vital ingredient to learning how to think creatively. Individuals who second-guess or question themselves or think that their answers are no good are individuals who will not explore new topics, or not extrapolate upon creative ideas they may have. Creativity is innate in most individuals and our tutoring program seeks to nurture that innate creativity in your child.
“One of the great benefits of bringing in a tutor is because a tutor is not just a teacher, tutoring, especially in the high-level academics that many of our tutors come from, is truly about mentoring young people to have an entirely different perspective on what education can be like. By tailoring our approach to the unique learning styles of your youth, Tutors SA can help them learn topics that the cookie-cutter style of education in our modern school system does not afford. Not only this, but also by working with a tutor, your child will not be the only one who gets an individualized education designed to enhance and grow his or her mind, for as tutors we also work with and regularly provide feedback to parents that allows them to see the progress that their child is making.”
This feedback is another critical ingredient to a successful student as parental involvement has been shown across-the-board to enhance a young person’s ability to learn. If the parents or guardians have a high respect for the institution of education and have a strong involvement in their child’s educational development, those kids almost always will score higher and think of more outside the box solutions than individuals who do not have regular parental input. It is critical that parents are proactive in ensuring their children are reaching their academic potential. Early intervention is imperative to maximise results. We see parents as our partners on the road to your child’s success.
At Tutors SA, we help ensure through our holistic approach to teaching that the young people we work with have the best chance at overcoming the national lagging of our education system. Whether it comes to selecting only the most gifted or qualified tutors to teach students on a given topic, to helping involve parents in the process of enhancing their own child’s education, to tailor-making educational pursuits and learning objectives to fit the unique learning styles of your child, Tutors SA is preparing students across Australia to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce. Even more than that, we are preparing them for the highest levels of exceptionalism. Providing self confidence in one’s abilities is a skill that transcends the classroom in education; it is one of the key ingredients of greatness.