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"Rote" is a Dirty Word in Education

Students from overseas are saving Australia's tertiary education system. This is particularly true for postgraduate degrees. Most Australians attend a social science postgraduate course. This is despite the fact that these pieces of paper are virtually worthless in getting a job in today's world.

Modern economies need IT, management, commerce, science, engineering, architecture and agriculture postgraduates. Doing maths and science at high school is the key but Australian students avoid these. This is due to the poor organization of subjects. Some states have no less than five grades of maths choices. There should be compulsory broad based maths despite failures along the way. Avoiding the difficult is not the way to go.

We have teachers who are only qualified in social sciences teaching maths and science because there are too few fully-educated technical teachers. This is despite the fact that there is an oversupply of teachers generally.

Foreign students are propping up the employment related postgraduate sector by paying the full cost of running the courses with some money skimmed-off by universities to fund social science degrees. Australia needs targetted
education. The curriculum is never left alone. Every government changes the prevailing system. France kept to rote teaching and they have the best scientists in the world. Many Scientists employed in Britain are French.

Why do academics now have this morbid fear of rote teaching? It was because the United States went down the road of free subject choice and the rest of the Western world followed. Just saying the word "rote' was anathema and still is. When I was at school we all said the twelve times tables aloud as a group every morning and I can still remember them now.

No, education today is carried out in the wrong way. For example, making surfing a high school subject was a stupid thing to do. The number of people who have had a successful career in surfing can be counted on your fingers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with rote teaching of the essential things in life. Teachers now expect the answers to problems to just appear in the minds of students. Mentoring is about "telling" not asking.
Education by Ty Buchanan
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