School­ing at home tak­ing off

Ef­fec­tive teach­ers are men­tors who me­di­ate learn­ing process

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - with greg whitby

TO­DAY it seems more and more par­ents are ask­ing the ques­tion: “To school or not to school?”

Ac­cord­ing to the Board of Stud­ies Teach­ing and Ed­u­ca­tional Stan­dards NSW, the num­ber of reg­is­tered home­schooled stu­dents is on the rise from 8 per cent in 2012 to 27 per cent in 2015.

The largest per­cent­age of reg­is­tered chil­dren be­ing home schooled is in Syd­ney’s western sub­urbs fol­lowed by the Hunter re­gion.

It is a trend be­ing re­flected in other parts of Aus­tralia and coun­tries such as the US where home­school­ing is be­com­ing part of main­stream ed­u­ca­tion.

Many par­ents who take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of home school­ing be­lieve they can pro­vide a more per­son­alised cur­ricu­lum and en­gag­ing learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows their child to ex­plore their own in­ter­ests and learn at their own pace.

For other par­ents, the de­ci­sion to home school is due to their child not get­ting enough sup­port or as­sis­tance at school or con­cerns over bul­ly­ing.

The rise of home school­ing begs the ques­tion – will teach­ers still be rel­e­vant es­pe­cially given that par­ents and learn­ers have greater ac­cess to on­line re­sources and learn­ing plat­forms?

That de­pends on how we de­fine the role of school teach­ers.

If the pre­vail­ing view of the teacher as sim­ply a de­liv­erer of a pre-pack­aged cur­ricu­lum still per­sists, then it might be ar­gued teach­ers are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ir­rel­e­vant.

Yet learn­ing and teach­ing is much deeper and broader than de­liv­er­ing a cur­ricu­lum or con­tent.

In to­day’s con­nected world, the role of teach­ers is shift­ing from be­ing knowl­edge-ex­perts and con­tent

The largest per­cent­age of reg­is­tered chil­dren be­ing home­schooled is in Syd­ney’s western sub­urbs

de­liv­er­ers to de­sign­ers of learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments that en­able stu­dents to gain 21st cen­tury skills.

Ef­fec­tive teach­ers act as guides and men­tors who me­di­ate learn­ing for stu­dents rather than con­trol it.

Per­son­alised and en­gag­ing learn­ing is not just the realm of home school­ers, it needs to be present in ev­ery learn­ing space in ev­ery school.

While par­ents are al­ways the first ed­u­ca­tors of their child, teach­ers still have a crit­i­cal role to play in learn­ing and teach­ing.

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