Tag Archives | teaching

Kids need to like what they’re reading to progress

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Kids need to be interested in the book they’re reading, so it’s better if they choose it themselves. Flickr/Mike Mantin, CC BY-SA

Ryan Spencer, University of Canberra

When we think of reading for our children, we are often misled into thinking that we need to focus on one type of book, such as picture books or novels in order to practise specific, reading-related skills. However, this narrowly-focused approach to reading instruction can often have undesirable benefits, such as turning kids off reading altogether.

As parents, we often feel that when we select children’s books for them we are supporting them to achieve at their level – though this frequently has the opposite effect.

When we restrict choice, particularly to contrived, boring texts, children frequently see this as an indicator of their reading capability and therefore meet that low expectation. Once we take the restrictions away from what children read, their self-efficacy towards reading increases, therefore leading to an increase in their reading ability.… Read the rest

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Teachers’ gender bias in maths affects girls later

Todd Petrie (CC BY 2.0)

Todd Petrie (CC BY 2.0)

By Sue Wilson, Australian Catholic University

New research has found some teachers mark boys’ primary (elementary) school maths tests more favourably than girls, impacting girls’ uptake of advanced mathematics and science subjects in high school. Entrance rates into maths and science degrees at university level can also be traced back to the impacts of teachers’ gender bias in primary school.

Higher levels of mathematics and science education have been linked to greater employment opportunities and higher earnings, meaning a primary teacher’s attitude towards maths can have a serious impact on a child’s future success.

Teachers assume boys are better at maths

The researchers followed nearly 3000 students from 6th grade to the end of high school. As a measure of teacher bias, they compared school 6th grade test marks given by teachers who knew the students’ sex, with external test marks for the same students, but with no identifying characteristics provided.… Read the rest

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