The Victorian Curriculum was developed with the intention of every student learning all the required subjects set by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. This occurs during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum would include a set of common knowledge and skills that are meaningful for students including:
Government schools in Australia educate about two-thirds of Victorian students along with the other third from other independent schools.
The Maths curriculum in Victoria
The Mathematics curriculum is focused on developing students to understand and apply refined and sophisticated mathematical concepts. Students are expected to develop their maths skills to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently in both school and real-life setting.
However, many of the more advanced skills taught within the curriculum are not understood deeply enough for students to apply them contextually.
Under this curriculum, various components of mathematics, including different concepts are interrelated and dependent on each other, so each concept must be learned thoroughly before moving on to more advanced topics. A major issue with the standard textbook classroom, is that each skill is taught individually and then not explored more deeply. Many students do not understand when and how to apply this skill outside the textbook exercise they just completed.
Teachers are responsible for explaining these difficult concepts in school under strict time constraints, and this is becoming a challenge that is hard to overcome for students and teachers alike in Victoria.
Problems I have identified as a teacher in a public school
Teachers are limited by the loaded curriculum and therefore forced to rush from topic to topic, without knowing if the students have understood all the concepts at hand. Each skill is skimmed over, then it’s time to learn the next. When the test arrives, and students are required to apply a variety of skills, they really struggle to understand and answer the questions. As we rush through each topic and some students fall behind, they can lose motivation. It can be tough to get back to their desired level of mathematical understanding.
These students tend to be confused and stressed out, which leads to avoiding all activities pertaining to maths, including their homework.
I once taught in a program for students who had a desire to focus more on mathematics and science than many of their other subjects. This gave us additional time each week for our maths classes. It was so refreshing and rewarding to be able to plan and implement lessons in which students explored concepts deeply. Whether through practical investigation or research and analysis, students gained invaluable understanding.
I’m not saying that all students should be forced to spend more of their class time on maths. What I am saying is that perhaps the curriculum needs an adjustment. Remove some topics, create a two year program, combine some necessary skills. I don’t know exactly how it would work. What I do know, is that the current content and structure is not working for most students.
What you can do for your child?
If you think your child is one of the members of the class that are being left behind or aren’t getting the results they desire, then we recommend that you find a qualified tutor to help them gain their confidence back and keep up with their class. If you are looking for private tuition for maths in Melbourne, then our team can help you out.
Overall, tutors can provide targeted, direct and intensive teaching that boost their understanding of difficult concepts. An experienced tutor can also pin-point misconceptions and misunderstandings and correct them during their session.
It is also more convenient since the tutor will go to your home and it is even more effective since your child is in a familiar environment. With the right tutor and hard work, your child is likely to reach their academic potential.