Catholic Parents Australia [CSPA] are currently engaged in a research project to determine the level of family support for students in Australian schools. This is being undertaken with the assistance of CaSPA and other education peak bodies. In view of this research it is interesting to note the following recent findings from the OECD.
Australian parents spend far less time helping their children academically outside school than those in other OECD countries, despite national calls for parents to do more to stem the country's declining results in national and international assessments.
On average, Australian parents spend 4.4 hours a week helping their children academically, compared to the global average of 6.7 hours and 7.9 hours in Singapore, the top-performing country in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), according to a new global survey of more than 27,000 parents across 29 countries, commissioned by the Varkey Foundation.
This is far less than India, the top-ranked country for this measure, where parents spend an average of 12 hours a week helping their children, but more than the UK, where parents spend 3.6 hours a week, and Finland, with an average of 3.1 hours.
About 27 per cent of the 1000 Australian parents surveyed said they spend no time helping their children academically, while 23 per cent said they spend between two and four hours a week, 18 per cent said they spend between four and seven hours, and 13 per cent said they spend more than seven hours a week.
The survey findings follow a call from federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham for parents to do more to address Australia's declining or stagnating performance in national and international maths, literacy and science assessments.
"Solutions are unlikely to lie in schools alone and require parents to think what more they can do at home to help," Mr Birmingham said.
However, there does not appear to be a clear link between student performance in PISA tests and the amount of academic help provided by parents, with parents in top-performing countries such as Japan spending an average of 2.6 hours a week helping their children, the least of any country.
In comparison, parents in Turkey and Colombia, where students scored well below the OECD average in PISA tests, spend 8.7 hours a week helping their children academically, the third-highest amount of time.
Professor of education and equity at the University of Sydney Debra Hayes said the survey findings "reflect well on Australian parents and reflect well on teachers that they're setting the kind of homework that doesn't require the whole family to be involved".
"A lot of Australian parents value sport and giving kids the opportunity to play, so the fact that parents may not be helping [their children] with homework doesn't mean they're not supporting their growth and wellbeing," Professor Hayes said.
Across all countries,
Of Australian parents
From: Brisbane Times, 12 March 2018 by Pallavi Singhal
|Tags: Catholic Parents Australia|