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But Did It Help You Get To University? A Qualitative Study of Supplemental Education in Western Australia Martin Forsey Anthropology & Sociology The University of Western Australia A Word From My Chief Sponsor Australia's school curriculum caters for a wide range of student skills and interests. Drama, music, art, debating and public speaking skills, along with team and individual sports activities, are all enhanced through interschool collaboration and competition. Schools also arrange for private tuition and provide elite programs designed for talented international students. Purpose-built learning centres and sports facilities offer the ideal environment for the academic and personal development of international students. This wide variety of artistic and sporting pursuits can help students develop organisational and leadership skills, also their independence and confidence (Australian Education International 2009) Increasing Use of SE • Watson (2008) – average household expenditure on children’s education 3.98% 1998/99 4.88% in 2003/04 • Kenny & Faunce (2004) – Sydney coaching “colleges” – 60 in 1989 to 222 in 2002 • Pate (2008) [also Bond (2009)] – Community Learning Support Programs – 1,300 participants in Melbourne Increasing Use of SE • An Even Start (2008-2009) Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2010). • $AU 457.4 million over four years. • Targeting year 3, 5 or 7 students not meeting 2007 national literacy/numeracy benchmarks • $700 of tuition for eligible students (a minimum of 12 hours). • 87,057 students “assisted” • Currently suspended pending a review Public Private Divide • Federation • Education state administered • Public System – 66% of enrolments • Catholic Education – 20% of enrolments • “Independent” Schools – 14% of enrolments • Non-government schools as shadow education? Supplemental Education Yellow Pages in Western Australia ‘Outside-school – 135 Entries learning activities – ‘Academic Angels’, ‘Lighthouse paralleling features Education Centre’, ‘Progressive Home Tutors’, ‘Kinetic Education’, ‘Green of formal schooling Light Education’, ‘Head Start Tutoring’ used by students to – ‘Top Tots Early Learning Development increase their own Centre’, ‘Early Intervention Tutoring’ – Judith Crossland Academy and Tania’s educational Tutoring Service opportunities’ – Franchises – eg Kumon, Kip McGrath (Baker et al 2001:2) Education Centres, Reading for Sure Supplemental Education in Australia Centre of Main Forms of Activity Organisation Market 1. Cottage industry 2. Small business 3. Multi-national corporation School 1. After school classes 2. Structured courses Community 1. Voluntary organisations 2. Private-government partnerships Market-Based SE • Kenny & Faunce (2004) • Private girls school, Sydney • Survey and academic results • Academic coaching in English, Mathematics or Science generally ineffective, particularly for older students • Students tutored in English tended to fare worse in examinations than their un-tutored counterparts. In A Remote Corner of the Universe Perth Overwhelmingly Central Ten Interviews Nine Here One Here The Interviews • Education success stories – students who matriculated • Silivona, Bray and Zabulionis (2006) – first year university students – twin assumption • the school experience of such students was recent enough for accurate recall • that they would be more objective and outspoken. Ten Interviews Six – First Year Anthropology Students Four – Karratha Education Initiative • Semi-structured • Practice focused – structured, cultured agents • Did it help you get to uni? – Effectiveness of SE – SE and Educational Inequalities • Written portraits – – not wrenching research subjects out of their social context – summarising significant amounts of interview transcripts into readable, vibrant stories Rural-Urban Divides • Perceptions (and realities) of under- achievement relative to Urban counterparts • Socioeconomic causes • Karratha as exception • Significance of cultural rather than economic capital Karratha 1535 kms Perth The North West Shelf Venture Woodside operates the NWSV on behalf of the Participants (BHPB, BP, Chevron, MIMI, Shell and Woodside). NWSV is a high value export and royalty earner for Australia, based in a remote part of WA. 1% of Australia’s gross domestic product comes from the gas plant. Educational Challenges • Staffing • Advantages of formal education in a “boom town”? • Educational flight Karratha Education Initiative • Funded by NWS Venture • Expanding educational options for students in Karratha (high school) • Increasing retention to Year 12 • Increasing Graduation Rates • Increasing Performance in University Entrance Exams (TEE) • Increasing university enrolments The Sample • John and Julie’s Stories Closing thoughts Julie – maths didn’t count John – can’t really in the end but… measure it but… “Just keeping up, was “In reality I think I could better than the stress of have done the same not being able to keep thing if left to study on up and not doing that my own because it was well. And you never work on my part that know what is going to got me to where I have be counted in the end, come now” which is a trick of the system”. Is it Effective and Does it Increase Educational Inequality? • School statistics • Liberal fantasy or realistic assessment? • Ineffectual tutors • Unmotivated students • Effective but didn’t really help • Emotional effects • Redressing the balance – government, school and community programs • Academic coaching uneven in its effects A Conclusion “Yet again the market shows itself to be less efficient than some hope it to be and others might fear that it is”.
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