Thursday, November 13, 2008

Useless teacher education

Research suggests comprehensive teacher inductions have little effect in 1st year

The report, Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Results from the First Year of a Randomized Controlled Study, presents implementation and impact findings for beginning elementary school teachers after one year of induction services. The study tests whether comprehensive teacher induction affects teacher retention rates, classroom practices, and student achievement, compared to the induction programs that districts normally provide.

Beginning teachers in schools randomly assigned to receive comprehensive induction services were offered weekly mentoring from a full-time mentor (who provided services such as observing the beginning teacher in his/her classroom and providing feedback), opportunities to observe other teachers in their classrooms, and professional development workshops on topics such as classroom management and lesson planning.

Two comprehensive induction providers were included in the study - the Educational Testing Service and the New Teacher Center at the University of California-Santa Cruz.


Alarming teen suicide rate in lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in Australian schools

Not a lifestyle to be encouraged

Lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are attempting suicide and harming themselves at an alarming rate because of bullying in Queensland schools, a new report shows. The Open Doors Action Research Report 2008 shows that over the past 12 months 37 per cent of affected young people had attempted suicide and 82 per cent had considered suicide. It also showed that of the 164 participants who completed the anonymous online survey, 59 per cent had harmed themselves.

"Given that LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) young people reported extensive maltreatment and lack of support, it is unsurprising that they also reported high rates of self-harm, suicide ideation and suicide attempts," the report by the support organisation Open Doors says.

The report highlights schools as a significant source of distress for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people. Four out of five respondents reported they had been bullied for their sexuality at school, but only 12 per cent said the school took action to stop the bullying. "Bullying not only came from students. Adults such as teachers, school administrators and parents also bullied LGB students," the report says. "Many young people felt so afraid at school that they had missed over two school weeks worth of classes to ensure their safety. "Clearly current school anti-bullying measures do not adequately protect LGB students - this is providing a discriminatory educational environment for LGB students which is illegal. "Schools need to take further actions to ensure LGB students are safe at school."

Sexual health education at schools was also found to be inadequate, as out of the two-thirds of LGB young people who reported that they had engaged in sex, only two per cent reported being adequately educated in practising safe sex. "It is essential that LGB young people are provided equal opportunity to their heterosexual peers to learn about safer sex," the report said.

The average participant in the survey was 17, attending school and sexually active. The report stated 98 per cent of participants were certain of their sexual orientation. Open Doors Youth Service has operated since 2001, tackling youth homelessness in the greater Brisbane area.


No comments: