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Parents want more life skills to be taught in school

Parents want their children to have access to a ‘holistic education’, however cultural influences, location and income all play a role in parental expectations of their child’s academic success, a new study from ASG and Monash University has revealed. The ASG Parents Report Card is the only report of its kind to investigate the state of education in Australia from parents’ perspective.

Undertaken by Assoc Prof Sivanes Phillipson and Assoc  Prof Shane N Phillipson at the Faculty of Education at Monash University, the report reveals that parents want teachers to do more when it comes to teaching their child about social and life skills inside the classroom.
 
According to the study, 69 per cent of parents believe schools should do more to teach their child about social skills. When ethnicity is factored in, the proportion increases substantially to 94 per cent among Indian and other Asian parents. And 49 per cent of parents agree they would like their child’s school to do more about teaching them how to behave in public, which increases to 74 per cent among Indian and other Asian parents.

The analysis revealed that parents have strong views on how the school environment keeps pace with topical issues, such as sexuality and cyber safety, with just 34 per cent of all parents agreeing schools are the best place for their child to learn about sexuality.

When cultural influences are factored in, only 25 per cent of Australian parents believe that sexual education is best learned at school versus 62 per cent of Indian and other Asian parents. 74 per cent of Australian parents agree they can openly talk about sex at home but this falls to 60 per cent for Indian and other Asian parents. 

“While the topic of sex education may be culturally dependant, parents, teachers and schools must have ongoing discussions about the role of sexuality and sex education to best determine how much of it is part of the curriculum, and what needs to be done at home," Assoc  Prof Shane said.

"This is important to make sure no child misses out on this essential developmental opportunity.

The study found that parents of younger children would like schools to be more involved in teaching their child about cyber safety. Fifty four per cent of all parents would like teachers to do more to protect their child from cyber predators, and this percentage increases for parents with children in early learning and primary school.

Seventy five per cent of parents who live in metropolitan cities set high standards for their child’s academic achievement, compared to 63 per cent of parents who live in regional areas; 80 per cent of parents who live in metropolitan areas believe a degree will help their child achieve their ambitions and 75 per cent of rural parents agree.

“For those living in regional areas, aspirations could be linked to their rural environment, with a degree perhaps not considered essential to success. The greater emphasis on academic success for metropolitan based parents could be attributed to the perceived access to educational resources,” continues Assoc Prof Phillipson said.

 


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