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Gen X and Gen Y share many of the same traits and, in many ways, aren’t as different as we may think.

How teenagers feel about school directly impacts how successful they are likely to be later in life, a new study has revealed. 

Indigenous mothers removed from their natural families during childhood are significantly more likely than other Indigenous mothers to be victims of violence according to a new report led by Dr Kyllie Cripps from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health.

Indigenous mothers removed from their natural families during childhood are significantly more likely than other Indigenous mothers to be victims of violence according to a new report led by Dr Kyllie Cripps from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health.

Dr Cripps analysis of data from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Social Survey found mothers of the Stolen Generation living in remote areas were three times as likely to experience violence as other Indigenous mothers.

“These findings are troubling and add to accumulating evidence of the lasting impacts of removing young children from their families,” she says.

Dr Cripps says it’s also important to recognise that violence against women in Indigenous community is a national problem, and not restricted to remote communities.

“Our study suggests that women with young children who live in cities and towns are actually more likely to experience violence than those in remote communities.  This is not a problem confined to particular parts of Australia or a handful of communities.”

Dr Cripps says her report, published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia, is the first study to analyse population-level data about violence against women in Indigenous communities.

“It is an enormous problem and there are no easy solutions,” says Dr Cripps.

“But there are some violence prevention measures that we know work.  An important first step is to ensure that these services are both accessible to Indigenous women and organised in ways that are culturally appropriate.”

The Australian academic profession is headed for crisis due to a lack of academic staff, unless major change takes place.

A new program in rural areas is helping at risk teenagers fight depression.

A new national centre aims to boost the number of students studying Chinese language and culture. 

Pupils taking part in a University of Melbourne and Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) project have improved their reading ability by at least three times the state average.

Ambitious new project to raise literacy and numeracy levels in Victoria’s schools

Pupils taking part in a University of Melbourne and Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) project have improved their reading ability by at least three times the state average.

The project, being conducted by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in partnership with the CEOM was piloted in 19 Melbourne Catholic primary schools, and the stunning results were achieved after just one year.  Pupils in one school achieved five times the state average gain in reading ability in one year.

Now, the Melbourne Graduate School of Education has secured funding to build on these findings by working with up to 600 schools across Victoria, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and the Catholic Education Office Melbourne.

Seven out of the nine Victorian government school regions are involved or considering becoming involved in the program; ultimately the University is looking for the program to be made available to all government schools in the state.

As part of the $2million project, which includes $860,000 from the Australian Research Council, University staff work with teams of teachers to show them how to use existing data to improve students’ literacy and numeracy levels.

By working with data from assessments such as NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) in the state systems and commercial tests in the Catholic system, teachers learn how to use data to construct tailored ‘learning interventions’ for students, according to their ability.

Professor Patrick Griffin, who is leading the project on behalf of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, says for literacy levels to improve teachers need to target their teaching to support students of every ability, from the highest achievers in the class to the least able.

"By interpreting kids’ test results to show every student’s level of competence, teachers can develop tailored teaching approaches to meet the needs of each individual in their class. The test score then becomes a starting point for teachers rather than an end point of assessment.  It's a simple process and teachers easily and enthusiastically pick up the idea," he says.

"The really exciting outcome is that the literacy levels of all students improve as a result of this model. We’ve heard a lot of negative comments on national testing in the media lately, but this is an example of where test results can be used for positive gains, as long as they are shared with teachers who know how to use them effectively."

More information:  www.education.unimelb.edu.au

Notes to Editors

* The pilot project conducted by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in partnership with the Catholic Education Office Melbourne was called the Literacy Assessment Project. This project ran between 2005 and 2008.


* The $2m project, which is just starting, is called The influence of evidence-based decisions by collaborative teacher teams on student achievement. This project will address three questions. The first looks at the relationship between the teaching intervention and the student gains, the second investigates the means of scaling the program up, perhaps to statewide level, and the third investigates the means of sustainability over time and locations. This project will be conduced in both Melbourne Catholic Schools and Victorian state schools.


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