What is the purpose of K-12 schooling?

The answer to this question may be very different for students, parents, teachers, schools, and governments. Is it to learn life skills, to make social connections, or to prepare children for college / university? Everyone has their own opinion on the relevance of learning – which is why it’s so hard for educators to meet everyone’s expectations and needs.

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The article below from Connected Principals sheds some interesting thoughts and resources on this topic …

Making Learning Relevant | Connected Principals.

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Fees and higher education: does social class make a difference?

An interesting article from The Conversation, written by Andrew Norton, Program Director – Higher Education, at Grattan Institute. The article looks at statistics to show that it is most often the lower ranking ATAR students (which doesn’t necessarily have a skew to lower socio-economic background) that attend university, which have the highest non-completion rate, and may have been better served by being informed about other options such as vocational training or entering the workforce. It goes on to argue that fee deregulation may not have such a big impact on lower socio-ecomonic students. Take a read below – do you agree?

Students

In contemporary Australia, post-school education is necessary for most well-paid jobs. And so who gets access to education is important. University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis echoed many people’s concerns when he asked whether university fee deregulation will deter potential students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. However, if we look at the evidence, we see this isn’t necessarily the case.

Is university for everyone?

Important as this issue is, another question needs answering first: is higher education everyone’s best option? While on average people with higher education qualifications are better off than others, some students never complete the courses they start, and not all graduates get good jobs. Even free university courses can cost too much, if students could have used their time more effectively.

Once students are enrolled, low socioeconomic status does not in itself add significantly to non-completion risks or poor financial returns after graduation. But low socioeconomic background students are over-represented among school leavers applying with lower ATARs, and lower-ATAR university students are in turn over-represented among those who don’t complete their courses.

For students entering a bachelor degree with an ATAR under 60, six-year completion chances are around 50%, compared to nearly 90% for students in the 95-plus ATAR group. All the published completions data includes people who are still enrolled, but for lower-ATAR students the final non-completion rate is estimated to be around 40%. It isn’t social progress to leave someone with a student debt but no degree, if with better advice they would have made a different educational decision.

In contemporary Australia, post-school education is necessary for most well-paid jobs. And so who gets access to education is important. University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis echoed many people’s concerns when he asked whether university fee deregulation will deter potential students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. However, if we look at the evidence, we see this isn’t necessarily the case.Is university for everyone? Important as this issue is, another question needs answering first: is higher education everyone’s best option? While on average people with higher education qualifications are better off than others, some students never complete the courses they start, and not all graduates get good jobs. Even free university courses can cost too much, if students could have used their time more effectively.Once students are enrolled, low socioeconomic status does not in itself add significantly to non-completion risks or poor financial returns after graduation. But low socioeconomic background students are over-represented among school leavers applying with lower ATARs, and lower-ATAR university students are in turn over-represented among those who don’t complete their courses.For students entering a bachelor degree with an ATAR under 60, six-year completion chances are around 50%, compared to nearly 90% for students in the 95-plus ATAR group. All the published completions data includes people who are still enrolled, but for lower-ATAR students the final non-completion rate is estimated to be around 40%. It isn’t social progress to leave someone with a student debt but no degree, if with better advice they would have made a different educational decision.

Continue reading the full article here: Fees and higher education: does social class make a difference?.

Curiosity Driven Learning: Aya Sakaguchi at TEDxBeaconStreet

“What are students curious about? Students are naturally curious about their everyday surroundings and yet their classrooms are often limited by four walls. We now have the potential to integrate interactive real-world components to all forms of learning – the trick is to leverage students’ use of mobile technology and turn the world into their classroom. We can build learning environments that lets students explore and be curious about the world around them.”

 

How is your school or classroom integrating mobile technology to engage kids?

What Have You Achieved #BecauseOfSchool?

Below is a recent excerpt from The Huffington Post, written by former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. The global #becauseOfSchool campaign is a wonderful initiative that I encourage you all to share and get involved in.

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Image: The Huffington Post

#BecauseOfSchool is a chance for us all to look back on what a good education has given us and the opportunities it opened up in life. Education makes us who we are, and going to school gave us all something invaluable which nobody can take away. Whether it was the start of a lifelong passion, a career or even a best friend, we all benefited from the most basic opportunities that education provides.

Here’s how #BecauseOfSchool works:

Between now and June 26, when the world’s leaders meet in Brussels to commit funds to education at the Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment Conference, we’re inviting you and others to tell the world what you’ve achieved #BecauseOfSchool, what your education gave you or how it helped you become who you are today.Share your #BecauseOfSchool story on social media.

Here are some creative ideas:

  • Take a picture of something special in your life which was only possible #BecauseOfSchoolFind
  • an old photo of yourself for “Throwback Thursday” on May 29, June 5, 12, 19 or 26 and tag #BecauseOfSchool
  • Take a selfie with your best friend whom you met #BecauseOfSchool
  • Write your #BecauseOfSchool message on blackboard or notepad and take a picture”

To see what Julia Gillard has achieved #becauseOfSchool, read the full article here: What Have You Achieved #BecauseOfSchool? | Julia Gillard.

Here is a link to the official site for campaign details to find out more: Global Partnership for Education

Google Glass adaptation opens the universe to deaf students

Here’s a great example of technology playing its role in enhancing people’s lives:

Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

A group of deaf university students and their professor developed a system to display video narrating planetarium shows onto glasses worn by deaf students.”

Read the full article from Science Daily here:

Google Glass adaptation opens the universe to deaf students — ScienceDaily.