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Socioeconomic status does not put Australian students in rural regions at a disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts.


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Major international and national examinations show that, on average, rural students do not perform as well in school as their peers in the city.

This includes Lower scores at NAPLAN and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

For example, In 2018 PISA test, Australian out-of-town students performed at low levels in literacy, mathematics and science literacy. Their performance averaged between two-thirds of the year and nearly two years behind the D.C. Students.

Most studies looking at rural students have focused on elementary school students. And the most integrated Cruelty with a low socioeconomic status.

in our area New searchIn , we looked at NSW Year 12 GCSE results in Standard and Advanced English and Mathematics. We controlled for students’ social background characteristics to test whether socioeconomic status (SES) or rural location affected students’ outcomes.

SES measures the level of parental education and thus, indicates a student’s knowledge of finishing school, going to university, or other forms of educational attainment.

our study

We studied more than 73,000 students and 772 secondary schools in New South Wales in 2017. The study included all secondary, state (selective and non-selective), Catholic and other independent schools, using data from the New South Wales Education Standards Authority.

Year 12 students living in outer, remote, and ultra-remote areas who completed (Standard) General Math 2, (Advanced) Math, Standard English, or Advanced English were matched with students with the same characteristics who completed the same subject in the home city or districts internal regional.

These subjects have been chosen because English is compulsory at NSW HSC, each has an Advanced and Standard offering and both English and Maths are strong to select for post-school options. For example, Advanced English and Maths can add more to a student’s ATAR (final rank) than Standard English and General Maths 2.

Matching meant that they were of the same sex, the same level of parental SES status and that they attended a school with the same SES school level and school sector.

Our results

We found that when controlled for SES, rural students still scored lower than non-rural students in HSC for English and Mathematics.

In other words, students attending schools in rural areas, regardless of their parents’ SES levels, the average SES of their peers at school, and their past achievement in NAPLAN and the school sector, achieve at lower levels than their non-rural counterparts.

In Mathematics, the difference in average scores was about 6% and about 3% in Advanced and Standard English. There was no significant difference in General Mathematics 2.

Why is this happening?

Although not directly tested in this study, it is likely to be different and Unequal opportunities to learn They play a role here.

This includes lack of access to some subjects in rural areas and teachers teaching outside their areas of expertise and training.

in previous study We found that if you live in a regional area, you will have less access to materials to help you get into college, and you are more likely to obtain vocational materials.

Country students also have different daily experiences than city kids. This is it It is often overlooked in the school curriculumespecially in HSC, where all students do the same content and exams.

In the past, we’ve had the Country Areas Program help schools make their curriculum more useful to students in rural areas. But lately we have focused on greater standardization in search of “excellence”.

This new approach ignores how students come to school with different prior experiences, skills, and achievements. Research shows that cultural context has effect on student achievement on standardized tests such as NAPLAN. This is because familiarity with the examples used in the questions hinders students’ ability to demonstrate the skill being tested. For example, having to write about the beach at a time when you’ve never been.

Earlier this year, the Productivity Commission review It showed that no significant improvements had been made in promoting equity since the abolition of programs such as the Country Districts Program in favor of more standardization.

What now?

We still use the same approach to statewide testing as we did 50 years ago. It is assumed that if everyone does the same thing, it is “fair”.

The relationship between a student’s background, position, and achievement at the end of school hasn’t improved much in that time, no matter how more students finish high school.

This “one size fits all” approach ignores the fact that students in rural areas have different experiences than urban children, and oftentimes with their teachers.

Currently, the Federal Government is developing the National School Reform Agreement, which will start in January 2025. This agreement between the Federal Government and all states and territories is designed to raise student outcomes – and has a huge role to play in shaping how education works in Australia.

The following convention can make a huge difference for country students.

Firstly, it should focus on achieving equal access to upper secondary subjects for rural students. Second, it needs to develop a program to help teachers make curricula more meaningful and introduce fairer means of assessment.

We can do much better than the examination-based system that was developed half a century ago.

Introduction to the conversation

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.Conversation

the quote: Australian students in rural areas are not ‘behind’ their peers in the city due to socioeconomic status (2023, 6 June) Retrieved 6 June 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-australian-students- rural-areas-city. html

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