Friday, January 28, 2011

Effective study: ethnicity vs good habits

There is, wandering about in the education world, an assumption by some that the success of some ethnic groups is related to their ethnicity.  A recent SMH article, reporting on a  DET NSW forum, debunks this.  Chinese students top the tests out of habit, not ethnicity, study shows, by Anna Patty was published on 29 December 2010.  (nb: sometimes the SMH only leaves articles up free for a couple of weeks, and then you have to pay - try the link, but apologies if it doesn't work).

Key points:
  • The place where children do their homework - whether at a desk or in front of the television - may play a big role in how well they do at school
  • ''Successful students see homework as a daily routine,'' Mr Coutts-Trotter said. ''They have a desk of their own and a school and family that help them develop scholarly routines.
  • "Visiting libraries regularly is another thing successful students do.''
  • Children do better sitting at a desk than on a bed; implies a different attitude
  • From primary school, some groups establish better habits - study each day, and for longer.  In the year 3 group studied, the children of Chinese background spent about an hour every night of the week, compared with children of Pacific Islander background - 10 minutes for two to three nights a week - and Anglo Australian children - about 20 minutes on only some nights during the week.
  • Socio-economic background wasn't necessarily a factor in success/failure - good habits helped at any level
I'm interested in this because I'm working on a study skills program for Year 11 which will be running in term 1 this year.  This sort of information demonstrates that students can choose how successful they are; one theme running through the program will be the small choices that add up to greater achievement.  Time.  A desk.  Habits.

I've been bookmarking some resources for this program over in my Delicious Diigo; I'll likely highlight some here, but if you want to toddle over there for a squizz, you're very welcome (there is a preview of the most recent ones over on the right).  If you have ideas/bookmarks you'd like to share in return, please do leave a comment.



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