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July 13, 2020, 03:02:28 pm

Author Topic: Educational equity (split topic)  (Read 240 times)  Share 

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keltingmeith

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Educational equity (split topic)
« on: June 28, 2020, 10:57:43 pm »
+14
(Split from Does having a good teacher matter?)

There's a lot of good input in this topic, a lot of interesting thoughts, but I gotta say - it's kinda romantic, isn't it? The idea that a lone person can struggle against all the odds - a bad environment, a bad teacher, no one believing in them, etc. and still come out on top with 50s in everything. There's a reason so many movies and books are based on these kind of stories, of someone struggling against all the odds to come out on top.

I'll probably get down-voted for this (is that a thing on this site? Like damn, y'all wholesome), but tbh this is exactly how I view this idea - as incredibly romantic and unlikely. The stats show that those in low SES regions will - on average - do much worse than those who aren't. There are more stats, too - Teach For Australia is an organisation that try to take intelligent people, make them the best teachers, and then send them out to low SES schools. And, the stats they have show, that the schools do much better when TFA sends teachers to these regions. Not to say those teachers are bad - my understanding is that a big part of this is that the TFA associates are filling roles that had unqualified previous positions (like, English teachers teaching history, because that's the best the school had for history teaching). However, it's undeniable proof of how important having a teacher who is dedicated and knows what they're doing can be.

In fact, let's think of the difference between Joe Blow in Melbourne High and yourself - guess what? Maybe you and Joe have the exact same "intelligence level" (if that's even a thing, but that's a debate another time), maybe you and he have the exact same resources available, and maybe you even spend the exact same amount of time on things. You know what he has and you don't? A Melbourne High teacher. With Melbourne High students. All of who are contributing to what's going on. That teacher is teaching ahead of the curve to your own, less-good (but not necessarily bad) teacher. All of the students around him are asking questions in class that the teacher can answer brilliantly, and are the types of questions your friends in class would never dare to answer. All of a sudden, it doesn't matter how hard you've worked - Joe Blow is going to pull ahead, and it's all because they have the better circumstances.

Now, I'm not going to say that a good teacher is -required- to do well. Everything I'm doing is informed by statistics - by averages. You know what's unique to averages? Outliers. But here's the problem - everybody's talking about just doing your best, how hard effort gets the hard yards, how only you control your destiny, etc. All of this talk is incredibly romantic, but as someone who's lived the low SES life - it's just not going to hold up to someone who's only going to work as hard as they can. That's not enough - you need to do more than work as hard as you can. You need to be an outlier, and so you need to ask yourself - can you be an outlier? Are you that special?

Maybe I've psyched you out, and for that I apologise - but I'm not going to sugar-coat anything. I lived the life of, "it'll be fine, I just need to work as hard as I can!", and I reached a high point - but everybody I knew who worked as hard as I did (and in some cases, not even as hard), but lived in better areas and went to better schools, did way better than I did. That's just the truth of it - it doesn't mean you should give up, and you should still try as hard as you can. If you do as hard as you can, and don't get what you want because you're born into worse circumstances, that's not your fault - it's another part of a shit society. But, if you don't try as hard as you can, and miss out on the score you want? That's not society's fault, that's your fault.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 02:10:02 pm by PhoenixxFire »
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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 07:56:53 am »
0
There's a lot of good input in this topic, a lot of interesting thoughts, but I gotta say - it's kinda romantic, isn't it? The idea that a lone person can struggle against all the odds - a bad environment, a bad teacher, no one believing in them, etc. and still come out on top with 50s in everything. There's a reason so many movies and books are based on these kind of stories, of someone struggling against all the odds to come out on top.

I'll probably get down-voted for this (is that a thing on this site? Like damn, y'all wholesome), but tbh this is exactly how I view this idea - as incredibly romantic and unlikely. The stats show that those in low SES regions will - on average - do much worse than those who aren't. There are more stats, too - Teach For Australia is an organisation that try to take intelligent people, make them the best teachers, and then send them out to low SES schools. And, the stats they have show, that the schools do much better when TFA sends teachers to these regions. Not to say those teachers are bad - my understanding is that a big part of this is that the TFA associates are filling roles that had unqualified previous positions (like, English teachers teaching history, because that's the best the school had for history teaching). However, it's undeniable proof of how important having a teacher who is dedicated and knows what they're doing can be.

In fact, let's think of the difference between Joe Blow in Melbourne High and yourself - guess what? Maybe you and Joe have the exact same "intelligence level" (if that's even a thing, but that's a debate another time), maybe you and he have the exact same resources available, and maybe you even spend the exact same amount of time on things. You know what he has and you don't? A Melbourne High teacher. With Melbourne High students. All of who are contributing to what's going on. That teacher is teaching ahead of the curve to your own, less-good (but not necessarily bad) teacher. All of the students around him are asking questions in class that the teacher can answer brilliantly, and are the types of questions your friends in class would never dare to answer. All of a sudden, it doesn't matter how hard you've worked - Joe Blow is going to pull ahead, and it's all because they have the better circumstances.

Now, I'm not going to say that a good teacher is -required- to do well. Everything I'm doing is informed by statistics - by averages. You know what's unique to averages? Outliers. But here's the problem - everybody's talking about just doing your best, how hard effort gets the hard yards, how only you control your destiny, etc. All of this talk is incredibly romantic, but as someone who's lived the low SES life - it's just not going to hold up to someone who's only going to work as hard as they can. That's not enough - you need to do more than work as hard as you can. You need to be an outlier, and so you need to ask yourself - can you be an outlier? Are you that special?

Maybe I've psyched you out, and for that I apologise - but I'm not going to sugar-coat anything. I lived the life of, "it'll be fine, I just need to work as hard as I can!", and I reached a high point - but everybody I knew who worked as hard as I did (and in some cases, not even as hard), but lived in better areas and went to better schools, did way better than I did. That's just the truth of it - it doesn't mean you should give up, and you should still try as hard as you can. If you do as hard as you can, and don't get what you want because you're born into worse circumstances, that's not your fault - it's another part of a shit society. But, if you don't try as hard as you can, and miss out on the score you want? That's not society's fault, that's your fault.
Thank you for your reply I read through all of it. I upvoted this one too. Now let's get into the details, low social economics area schools and teachers will face many disadvantages on top of that. Students who are outliers are rare, every couple of years there is this one student that does it imagine doing that where everyone around you is doing shit. If you live in a low social economics area I assume that the person isn't that wealthy either, therefore tutoring and extra resources are out of reach disadvantaging them even more. It is no ones fault that one is born into a cruel and evil world where so much inequality exist, there are many organisations that try to counter this, but in the end having a good family, good school, teachers, tutoring, resources can make a major difference more then any organisation out there. Life is so unfair isn't it, I really feel for those who are out there doing it hard. Those extra hours that they must devote, those extra effort that it takes in the end if you get a study score of let say 50 in a crap school then that is something you gotta be proud of. Now let's talk about cohorts, oh how you get pulled down because you are not ranked in the top couple of students and the massive gaps between rank 1 and rank 5.



Rank 1 at Mhs= 99.95 and rank 1 at a low social economic area school=90 you see the difference? The secret to doing well is to surround yourself with smart people and the only way to do that if you go to a low social economic area school is to go tutoring. It is a must or else the false sense of reality occurs. Hard work although is the best option, it alone can't make up everything in the end your family has to do some heavy lifting for you. Sometimes I sit down and wonder how fortunate I am to have such a great group of people around me. Unqualified teachers is another massive issue I would love to counter. Teacher who can't teach well and teachers who did not specialise in that area and having a bad cohort on top of that makes it hell.


Students can work extra hours if they like, tutoring does not have to be expensive. Some tutors charge like what $40-$50 an hour? Like a days worth of work? Many students a find a clever walk around, being born into a disadvantaged background does not mean bad=atar.
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keltingmeith

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 09:06:14 am »
+11
Your point on tutoring reeks of privilege, man.

Assumption 1: being able to have a job. Plenty of people can't commit to getting a job - either their health doesn't allow it, or their family's health doesn't allow it, or there are no jobs, or who knows what. It's very easy to not be able to get a job, particularly if you're not in the metropolitan region.

Assumption 2: some people cannot afford to use the money they get for work on themselves. And yes, I'm including getting a tutor as on themselves. As one example, my girlfriend at the time used her work money to pay for all of her school supplies, her school fees, and the rest went to paying bills and general supplies like clothes and such.

Assumption 3: access to good tutors. Turns out if your school isn't spitting out top scoring students in your areas, it's hard to find tutors that get top scoring students

Like, I don't know what point you're trying to make, but if it's that tutoring fixes disadvantage, you couldn't be further from the truth. Tutoring barely even helps disadvantage, let alone fix it
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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 10:04:11 am »
0
Your point on tutoring reeks of privilege, man.

Assumption 1: being able to have a job. Plenty of people can't commit to getting a job - either their health doesn't allow it, or their family's health doesn't allow it, or there are no jobs, or who knows what. It's very easy to not be able to get a job, particularly if you're not in the metropolitan region.

Assumption 2: some people cannot afford to use the money they get for work on themselves. And yes, I'm including getting a tutor as on themselves. As one example, my girlfriend at the time used her work money to pay for all of her school supplies, her school fees, and the rest went to paying bills and general supplies like clothes and such.

Assumption 3: access to good tutors. Turns out if your school isn't spitting out top scoring students in your areas, it's hard to find tutors that get top scoring students

Like, I don't know what point you're trying to make, but if it's that tutoring fixes disadvantage, you couldn't be further from the truth. Tutoring barely even helps disadvantage, let alone fix it
Tutoring aids the process of doing well and I am pretty average lol (trust me I ain't that privileged). Tutoring cannot fix everything it is there to help you if need be, also students can travel to good areas if they cannot find a tutor. There are plenty of tutors out there, I had friends that travelled for like one hour to get to tutor and they were fine with it. Number 3 does not matter too much, as there are many centres/ high scoring students out there who can tutor well (it does not have to be in your school). I do agree with 1 and 2 tho, do you mind telling me your story how did you do so well in high school despite being advantaged?
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keltingmeith

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 10:32:46 am »
+10
Tutoring aids the process of doing well and I am pretty average lol (trust me I ain't that privileged).

I mean, you're likely more privileged than you realise, but that's beside the point. There's something you also don't realise - tutoring helps those doing poorly do better, yes. But it also helps those who are doing better do EVEN BETTER. It's a case of diminishing returns - the more you know, the less tutoring helps - but that still stops it from being effective for the bottom half

Tutoring cannot fix everything it is there to help you if need be, also students can travel to good areas if they cannot find a tutor.

Can they? What if they can't drive? Don't have access to a car? Parents can't take them somewhere? Can't afford public transport? What if they don't -have- public transport? What if even by public transport, it would take them hours to get to this spot? Is a 1 hour session worth it with the 4 you lose in transit?

There are plenty of tutors out there, I had friends that travelled for like one hour to get to tutor and they were fine with it.

See above. Just because your situation, or your friend's situation, allowed for it, that doesn't mean it's possible for others.

Number 3 does not matter too much, as there are many centres/ high scoring students out there who can tutor well (it does not have to be in your school).

The same centres typically only existing in metropolitan regions, and getting more sparse as you leave the city centre. My home suburb didn't have one, for example, and neither did the one I went to school in

And no, I don't need to get one from my school. But, and ignoring regional areas where there are only 1 or 2 schools in the area anyway, how do I find these people? And if they're coming from the same low SES area as I am, why would they do any better at their low SES school? Sure, I could look in another area altogether, but then see above - what about traveling to get there? Is that going to be possible? It's not like it's a binary, where all I have to do is cross the border and bam I'm in a rich area. We're talking travelling up to 90 minutes on a train (forgetting time to get to the train, and then to the tutor after the train) to get from your scummy area to a nice one - and that's if you're not on a regional service

I do agree with 1 and 2 tho, do you mind telling me your story how did you do so well in high school despite being advantaged?

Me? I was lucky. I was selected to go on a science program in year 12, and while I couldn't afford it, I found a group willing to sponsor me so that I could go. I was lucky, because I could take 2 weeks off to go on this amazing opportunity - and it surrounded me with people. Smart people, who went to good schools, could afford tutors, and who were honestly so smart and brilliant that they could be outliers.

I then used them as examples of what I had to do, and they showed me what goals I had to reach to do well.

I played to my strengths - I enjoyed maths and science to the point that I could immerse myself in it. I was lucky - the subjects I was able to score my best in, were the same subjects that would scale in my favour.

I was lucky - I managed to find a way of learning that meant I didn't have to constantly do exams. So I could still devote my free time to doing things like helping my mum and relaxing. In the end, I didn't get the ATAR I needed - but, I qualified for a SEAS category that pushed me into the course I wanted.

I'm not a story of someone who survived against the odds - I'm a story of someone born into a low SES area who got lucky, again and again and again.
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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2020, 01:10:01 pm »
+7
-snip-
Thoroughly agree with a lot of this. Whenever the discussion of how SES status impacts one's education and potential to achieve good results you will always get people talking about that one person they know who got a 99+ ATAR from a low ranked school or how they themselves did well despite their circumstances. Whilst all of this is great and somewhat necessary since the person who made the thread is generally posting to get some motivation and hope it generally fails to address the actual problems within the education system. AN users will generally use these outliers of "success" benevolently to help the OP but it is a classic technique used by many others to maintain the status quo.

The parts which I would disagree would be that I don't think that MHS teachers are that much better/worse. The environment though is obviously a lot more conducive for studying. No personal experience on this but anecdotally everyone I know from Melbourne high says that the teachers are similar to their previous schools and they get tutoring so they aren't impacted too much.

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 03:12:35 pm »
+9
Thoroughly agree with a lot of this. Whenever the discussion of how SES status impacts one's education and potential to achieve good results you will always get people talking about that one person they know who got a 99+ ATAR from a low ranked school or how they themselves did well despite their circumstances. Whilst all of this is great and somewhat necessary since the person who made the thread is generally posting to get some motivation and hope it generally fails to address the actual problems within the education system. AN users will generally use these outliers of "success" benevolently to help the OP but it is a classic technique used by many others to maintain the status quo.

This resonates with me.

Clearly communicating that there are genuine barriers and no amount of "believe in yourself" will remove them versus not wanting this to be compounded by lack of self-belief contributed to by not seeing "success stories" is something I definitely struggle with. After year 12 I was contacted by someone interested in me working for them as a motivational speaker for VCE students, this might be an obvious statement but (for example) they were much more interested in that my parents were divorced than in the fact that they both went to uni.

I haven't intentionally misled people about what I or others have achieved but if someone is shouting out that they're losing hope in achieving their goals I'm much more likely to pick stories that emphasise overcoming barriers than external factors which aided that. I imagine that most other people have acted in the same way (consciously or unconsciously) in this scenario.

It's easy to get caught up in anecdotes forgetting that we aren't seeing the full picture or that select cases don't represent the whole. Outliers shouldn't be used to ignore the impact of barriers they or others face - having done well with barriers doesn't stop them from existing.



To explicitly tie back to the thread's topic:

I think your teacher can have a major influence on your learning as can other factors, some of which you can control. Having a teacher who isn't very compatible with you doesn't doom you to poor performance and to not learn but it doesn't help either. Thinking that performance is solely due to teachers would be inaccurate and also wouldn't help. Most of the discussion seems to have been focused on either of these points and I'm glad that both have been brought up even though early on only the second was getting attention. It's been too long since I've looked at research on factors influencing academic performance for me to confidently state how much impact teachers generally have relative to other factors but imo you don't need to know that in order to do what you can as a student while also recognising the impact of teachers.

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 03:01:04 am »
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I mean, you're likely more privileged than you realise, but that's beside the point. There's something you also don't realise - tutoring helps those doing poorly do better, yes. But it also helps those who are doing better do EVEN BETTER. It's a case of diminishing returns - the more you know, the less tutoring helps - but that still stops it from being effective for the bottom half

Can they? What if they can't drive? Don't have access to a car? Parents can't take them somewhere? Can't afford public transport? What if they don't -have- public transport? What if even by public transport, it would take them hours to get to this spot? Is a 1 hour session worth it with the 4 you lose in transit?

See above. Just because your situation, or your friend's situation, allowed for it, that doesn't mean it's possible for others.

The same centres typically only existing in metropolitan regions, and getting more sparse as you leave the city centre. My home suburb didn't have one, for example, and neither did the one I went to school in

And no, I don't need to get one from my school. But, and ignoring regional areas where there are only 1 or 2 schools in the area anyway, how do I find these people? And if they're coming from the same low SES area as I am, why would they do any better at their low SES school? Sure, I could look in another area altogether, but then see above - what about traveling to get there? Is that going to be possible? It's not like it's a binary, where all I have to do is cross the border and bam I'm in a rich area. We're talking travelling up to 90 minutes on a train (forgetting time to get to the train, and then to the tutor after the train) to get from your scummy area to a nice one - and that's if you're not on a regional service

Me? I was lucky. I was selected to go on a science program in year 12, and while I couldn't afford it, I found a group willing to sponsor me so that I could go. I was lucky, because I could take 2 weeks off to go on this amazing opportunity - and it surrounded me with people. Smart people, who went to good schools, could afford tutors, and who were honestly so smart and brilliant that they could be outliers.

I then used them as examples of what I had to do, and they showed me what goals I had to reach to do well.

I played to my strengths - I enjoyed maths and science to the point that I could immerse myself in it. I was lucky - the subjects I was able to score my best in, were the same subjects that would scale in my favour.

I was lucky - I managed to find a way of learning that meant I didn't have to constantly do exams. So I could still devote my free time to doing things like helping my mum and relaxing. In the end, I didn't get the ATAR I needed - but, I qualified for a SEAS category that pushed me into the course I wanted.

I'm not a story of someone who survived against the odds - I'm a story of someone born into a low SES area who got lucky, again and again and again.
Well a lot of people can look at it this way, I am more privileged than most people which is not that privilege. My social economic area is average therefore I would fit into the average category. SEAS is pretty helpful man, but I found out that it does not do much if you don't do well. As many has pointed out before it does not take into consideration other factors (appalling family, bad cohort, unqualified teachers, bad facilities and so much more). Now going back to regional areas and tutoring, I don't think you need a car to go tutoring and public transport is cheap? A couple of bucks? I am pretty sure that is affordable for everyone. Obviously since tutoring is like $50 per week and it adds up for multiple subjects it would cost a lot in the long run. I think in their case it would be to spend money on the subject that matters most/ or they will do the best in. Like I said there are clever walk arounds and no one is doomed.


Thoroughly agree with a lot of this. Whenever the discussion of how SES status impacts one's education and potential to achieve good results you will always get people talking about that one person they know who got a 99+ ATAR from a low ranked school or how they themselves did well despite their circumstances. Whilst all of this is great and somewhat necessary since the person who made the thread is generally posting to get some motivation and hope it generally fails to address the actual problems within the education system. AN users will generally use these outliers of "success" benevolently to help the OP but it is a classic technique used by many others to maintain the status quo.

The parts which I would disagree would be that I don't think that MHS teachers are that much better/worse. The environment though is obviously a lot more conducive for studying. No personal experience on this but anecdotally everyone I know from Melbourne high says that the teachers are similar to their previous schools and they get tutoring so they aren't impacted too much.
Well normally it can be said that schools in richer areas tend of have better teachers and schools in poorer areas will have worse teachers. Normally those who are into teaching will look for good schools because they don't want to teach bad students (especially if it's almost the whole year level doing poorly). Very rarely there are outliers at those bad schools, every couple of years or maybe longer there is like 1 person. So students better pray that the 1 person is in their year level. 

mod edit: merged posts
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 08:03:24 am by insanipi »
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keltingmeith

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 06:31:22 am »
+8
The parts which I would disagree would be that I don't think that MHS teachers are that much better/worse. The environment though is obviously a lot more conducive for studying. No personal experience on this but anecdotally everyone I know from Melbourne high says that the teachers are similar to their previous schools and they get tutoring so they aren't impacted too much.

Will just clarify I used this as an example of a school which is likely hiring better teachers - at the very least, qualified. And I mean in the sense that they're likely teaching subjects they want to teach. I, for example, had an IT teacher who knew little about computers, but had the job because he knew the most about it when the school started to introduce IT into the curriculum. Definitely wasn't using it as an example of exemplary teaching, because I know nothing about Melbourne High beyond it's a high-scoring school in a rich area

Well a lot of people can look at it this way, I am more privileged than most people which is not that privilege.

As I said before - your personal circumstances are beside the point. It doesn't matter how priviledged you are or aren't - it's about trying to understand what other people have to/don't have to go through

SEAS is pretty helpful man, but I found out that it does not do much if you don't do well.


Quite the opposite, actually - SEAS has a larger impact the lower your score is. Here's the Monash SEAS calculator, which can help you get an estimate of how your ATAR might change. Pick any category, and set it to give the largest possible change. Now, slowly increase the ATAR - you'll notice the difference between your incremented ATAR and nominal ATAR gets smaller as your nominal ATAR goes up. For example, with a high financial disadvantage, your ATAR will increase from 40 to 48.40, but from 90 to only 94

As many has pointed out before it does not take into consideration other factors (appalling family, bad cohort, unqualified teachers, bad facilities and so much more).

Yeah, no - I'm not saying the system is perfect, and it could always do with more work - no system IS perfect. However, I think it's not bad for a crack at trying to equalise the situation. This is also why there are other groups - such as Teach For Australia, who I've mentioned before - that are doing their best to apply external pressures that help make things better for those who are disadvantaged

On top of that, it does try to make a difference on ALL of those problems. The first one, depends what you mean by appalling - if you mean a dangerous situation (which may require trigger warnings to be mentioned), then no, it can be difficult to prove, but that's a WHOLE other kettle of fish, and IMO not up to VCAA or VTAC to try to and fix. However, if you simply mean situations in which your parents may not be able to help you, you can get SEAS points for parents that didn't finish high school or don't have a university degree (or at least, you could when I finished year 12).

As for the point about schools, measuring those circumstances for every school is incredibly difficult and too time consuming to be reasonable. So instead, they look at how many students from that school manage to get into university, and try to extrapolate from their how the condition of the school might affect the score. This is what we call an "under-represented school", and is calculated differently for each university. Yes, it doesn't do the job perfectly, but it's a start

Now going back to regional areas and tutoring, I don't think you need a car to go tutoring and public transport is cheap? A couple of bucks? I am pretty sure that is affordable for everyone.

This right here says that you don't get it. Currently, I cannot afford public transport. When I was a student, I sometimes had to opt for smaller lunches so that I could afford to catch the train into school that week. I was in a lower SES area - but I was still in a reasonably well-off area in that I was connected to the metropolitan train line. Public transport is basically /useless/ in regional areas - every person I know who grew up in a regional area all said the same thing, "you learned to drive, or you never left the house". It doesn't matter about affordability at this point, it's also about accessibility.

Obviously since tutoring is like $50 per week and it adds up for multiple subjects it would cost a lot in the long run. I think in their case it would be to spend money on the subject that matters most/ or they will do the best in. Like I said there are clever walk arounds and no one is doomed.

And this point also assumes having the extra $50. These aren't clever work-arounds, these are having accessibility and the wealth to afford these circumstances. You can say you're "only average" all you want, but if you look at the gap between you and the richest, you gotta realise that gap also exists in reverse. If you're truly average, you may be in the bottom 50% - but you're also in the top 50%, and it's far too easy to be blinded by those around you and forget what circumstances are like for everyone else


Like, I'm not sitting here trying to make you feel bad for having privilege - that's not my point. I'm here to answer the question, "does having a good teacher matter", and my answer is simple - the existence of "good teachers" often correlates with better circumstances. So, yes, it matters - you can't view things in isolation, because isolation itself doesn't exist.
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Something in VCE, shit was too long ago to remember

Bri MT

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 01:32:25 pm »
+7
 I agree with keltingmeith's post, thought I'd chip in with an anecdote in case an example makes this more real for anyone:

Now going back to regional areas and tutoring, I don't think you need a car to go tutoring and public transport is cheap? A couple of bucks? I am pretty sure that is affordable for everyone.

I just planned this all out in ptv journey planner based on where I lived and went to school in year 12 as an example:

if I wanted to get tutoring in highschool after the school day finished and headed into the city for this I would need to walk to the shopping centre since that's the nearest place to the school where I could get a bus to take me to the station, then I'd need to catch that bus to the station, get on a train and go to the city. If I left school grounds at 3:30 pm the earliest I would've been able to get to the state library (a common tutoring location) is after 5:30 pm. Then lets say I had an hour of tutoring and went home after that. If there was no delay and I instantly started back on my journey I'd get home after 8pm. This trip would cost me just under $5 but more importantly it would cost me hours. Under your estimation of tutoring cost if I was working minimum wage I'd need hours of work to pay for this too in addition to the hours spent just travelling. When would I be meant to be fitting in homework and study, let alone the extra work to "make up" for being disadvantaged? When am I meant to be fitting in extra curriculars given that for me these directly impacted my chances of getting into my course? When do I cook dinner? Or do anything else around the house? How would I even get the job with such limited availability?

In reality, I often stayed back at school until 5pm studying or on extracurriculars. If I left school then I would get to the state library after 7pm. Assuming tutoring started at 7:30 and went for an hour (not sure how easy it is to get tutoring at that time....) the earliest route journey planner shows is for arrival at 7:00 AM the next day.

I was on vline but I didn't even live in a regional area - I was ineligible for regional SEAS & rightly so. Imagine what this could be like for regional students with increased travel times and less frequent public transport.

Edit: initially I forgot to account for tutoring taking an hour when plugging in times
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 07:52:45 pm by Bri MT »

Orb

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2020, 06:01:40 pm »
+10
This has been a very informative (and enjoyable) read and thought it would be nice to add in my two cents

@most points above me
Absolutely agree - no matter how you spin it it is *absolutely* more difficult (and magnitudes more, not just a few percentage points) to realise your potential coming from a low SES background, or being indigenous/having learning disabilities - the odds are simply stacked against you and often there is little you can do about it

Adding one more pretty important point to this - there can also be magnitudes of difference between two similar students coming from the same low SES background, the same racial background or having the same learning disabilities. In fact, you can see two completely different kinds of outcomes between two people with pretty much an identical level of handicap and this happens all the time in this world. I've spent a good 4-5 years tutoring and have taught over 50 students directly for a year (or more), in addition to another 200-300 students i've taught through volunteering (e.g. SWOT, VCESS, etc). There is a whole world of difference in long-term outcomes between two almost identical students that I have taught, and even students who (on paper) are several degrees more disadvantaged than others (happy to talk more on this point but it would make for a very long comment).

I'm particularly interested in what makes some students, despite all the disadvantages heaped upon them in this sometimes very cruel system, able to craft a journey that propels them into places that people could never fathom them reaching a mere year or two before. I'm also very interested in the idea of "outliers" as MeltingKeith so very eloquently put it - it is, indeed, so incredibly unlikely because that is the very definition of being an 'outlier', but how can we, as students, help change the trajectory of our lives towards being an outlier as opposed to being the norm or the expected?

The first factor, as some of us have alluded to, is belief. If you don't believe that you can overcome the obstacles and crushing challenges ahead of you - or let that consume you, then by extension you have already pretty much limited yourself to not being able to do so. I am not saying it is easy to believe that you can do it - it isn't, but this is a critical first factor.

The second factor, is making the best decisions to help you become the type of person that you want to become. I like to think of this (and there are many very amazing books on the idea of decision-making) as every time you make a decision to do something, it is a vote for the type of person that you wish to become. Every time you do a Maths exercise, one vote for you being a good maths student. Every time you analyse your mistakes to help prevent it from occurring again, one vote for you being a good maths student. Every time you seek to understand the theory behind the Maths as opposed to just learning how to do that one kind of question, one vote for you being a good maths student. Again, this is not easy, but some of the most successful students that i've experienced (students who are able to go from Ds to 40+ raw scores in one year, or 7th in their class to a 50) are the ones who commonly 'vote' for the type of person that they want to be. Honestly, this principle can be applied for every student, regardless of background or disability (unless, of course, your disability impairs you from thinking or something else to that overwhelming magnitude).

There are also many other factors which help drive students towards being more of an 'outlier' from a handicapped background and personally, I know that there is so much more to learn and discover on this point. I'm a firm believer in human potential and that your future should not be determined by your genetics or whether you won the cosmic lottery or not. The truth is, it has a huge impact on where you're likely to end up in life - if you're reading this and you come from a background which is disadvantaged, I strongly encourage you to think about what sort of actions you can take towards driving a better outcome for you and your future and helping you become the person that you want to be and believe yourself because you can do it :)




Stormbreaker-X

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 12:38:23 am »
-3
Will just clarify I used this as an example of a school which is likely hiring better teachers - at the very least, qualified. And I mean in the sense that they're likely teaching subjects they want to teach. I, for example, had an IT teacher who knew little about computers, but had the job because he knew the most about it when the school started to introduce IT into the curriculum. Definitely wasn't using it as an example of exemplary teaching, because I know nothing about Melbourne High beyond it's a high-scoring school in a rich area

As I said before - your personal circumstances are beside the point. It doesn't matter how priviledged you are or aren't - it's about trying to understand what other people have to/don't have to go through
 

Quite the opposite, actually - SEAS has a larger impact the lower your score is. Here's the Monash SEAS calculator, which can help you get an estimate of how your ATAR might change. Pick any category, and set it to give the largest possible change. Now, slowly increase the ATAR - you'll notice the difference between your incremented ATAR and nominal ATAR gets smaller as your nominal ATAR goes up. For example, with a high financial disadvantage, your ATAR will increase from 40 to 48.40, but from 90 to only 94

Yeah, no - I'm not saying the system is perfect, and it could always do with more work - no system IS perfect. However, I think it's not bad for a crack at trying to equalise the situation. This is also why there are other groups - such as Teach For Australia, who I've mentioned before - that are doing their best to apply external pressures that help make things better for those who are disadvantaged

On top of that, it does try to make a difference on ALL of those problems. The first one, depends what you mean by appalling - if you mean a dangerous situation (which may require trigger warnings to be mentioned), then no, it can be difficult to prove, but that's a WHOLE other kettle of fish, and IMO not up to VCAA or VTAC to try to and fix. However, if you simply mean situations in which your parents may not be able to help you, you can get SEAS points for parents that didn't finish high school or don't have a university degree (or at least, you could when I finished year 12).

As for the point about schools, measuring those circumstances for every school is incredibly difficult and too time consuming to be reasonable. So instead, they look at how many students from that school manage to get into university, and try to extrapolate from their how the condition of the school might affect the score. This is what we call an "under-represented school", and is calculated differently for each university. Yes, it doesn't do the job perfectly, but it's a start

This right here says that you don't get it. Currently, I cannot afford public transport. When I was a student, I sometimes had to opt for smaller lunches so that I could afford to catch the train into school that week. I was in a lower SES area - but I was still in a reasonably well-off area in that I was connected to the metropolitan train line. Public transport is basically /useless/ in regional areas - every person I know who grew up in a regional area all said the same thing, "you learned to drive, or you never left the house". It doesn't matter about affordability at this point, it's also about accessibility.

And this point also assumes having the extra $50. These aren't clever work-arounds, these are having accessibility and the wealth to afford these circumstances. You can say you're "only average" all you want, but if you look at the gap between you and the richest, you gotta realise that gap also exists in reverse. If you're truly average, you may be in the bottom 50% - but you're also in the top 50%, and it's far too easy to be blinded by those around you and forget what circumstances are like for everyone else


Like, I'm not sitting here trying to make you feel bad for having privilege - that's not my point. I'm here to answer the question, "does having a good teacher matter", and my answer is simple - the existence of "good teachers" often correlates with better circumstances. So, yes, it matters - you can't view things in isolation, because isolation itself doesn't exist.
Nice post!! Having a good teacher for certain subjects matter (English/history), but most subjects you can get away with self studying if the worst comes to the worst. Replying to tutoring, there are some really really really cheap tutors out there, maybe under $30 an hour? Or the student can save up money and buy resources that can aid the process (practice exams). I think most of the time its the parents who aren't willing to spend not because it cannot be done, most parents work full time even tho they might not earn a lot they should still be able to afford basic necessity. My own circumstances are better then many and one day I intend to do good with the knowledge I have now. I personally believe if a parent/student wants to do well they can quite easily, it is the fact that they don't give it a crack that makes it more difficult. In modern days we have online tutoring if transport is not available, there are many things that can help. I know some students out there that are doing it hard and with terrible teachers it makes it worse.


Measuring personal circumstance are difficult, VCAA cannot measure how much someone is abused or how hard someone is doing it financially. Most of the problems that arise are partly VCAA'S fault tho, there are some really funky stuff that VCAA does with exam and sacs that students do not know. This system prioritises rich people (I ain't rich just saying), parents can afford 30k a year schools. Parents who can afford tutoring for majority of the subjects and parents WHO CARE. To my fellow VCE students money cannot limit what you can do, parents can work an extra hour or two and most importantly students can work on weekends then save up money. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE , private schools also offer scholarships to poorer students (this is a big plus for them).
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keltingmeith

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 04:20:24 am »
+4
Are you actually reading what I'm saying? Because I'm not convinced you are. Let's break this down:

Nice post!! Having a good teacher for certain subjects matter (English/history), but most subjects you can get away with self studying if the worst comes to the worst.

Incorrect - a good teacher who can break things down will never replace a text book. This is literally what the data from Teach for Australia demonstrates.

Replying to tutoring, there are some really really really cheap tutors out there, maybe under $30 an hour?

Few and far between, but sure, if you look hard enough you can find them. Again, look at the travel cost that Bri mentioned and what she would have to go through - and this is from someone who can get to the city centre in as little as 2 hours (because guess what, that's pretty not bad, particularly for people living in Wangaratta, Euroa, Wodonga, etc.)

Or the student can save up money and buy resources that can aid the process (practice exams).

Again, these will never substitute a good teacher, and watching people on these very forums ask the same question over and over again by trying to do /exactly this/ will prove that very fact to you.

I think most of the time its the parents who aren't willing to spend not because it cannot be done, most parents work full time even tho they might not earn a lot they should still be able to afford basic necessity.

Yes, basic necessity - like food, rent, clothing, etc. Not tutoring, and practice exams - that's what they pay the school for. You seriously do not understand how little some people earn.

In modern days we have online tutoring if transport is not available, there are many things that can help. I know some students out there that are doing it hard and with terrible teachers it makes it worse.

Okay, now we assume access to the internet. But sure, I'll play ball - I went on LearnMate and looked for a year 12 methods teacher that did online classes - I could only 5, for /methods/, one of the more commonly tutored subjects. And the median price? $50.

Measuring personal circumstance are difficult, VCAA cannot measure how much someone is abused or how hard someone is doing it financially.

Yes - because neither of these things are for VTAC to measure, as I said earlier. Again, whole different topic, I'm not going into it on the first point - let's not discuss it without heavy trigger warnings, please. As for the second - that's what Centrelink is for. Again, the system isn't perfect, but it's a nice start.

Most of the problems that arise are partly VCAA'S fault tho, there are some really funky stuff that VCAA does with exam and sacs that students do not know. This system prioritises rich people (I ain't rich just saying), parents can afford 30k a year schools.

Dude, I don't care. For fucks sake, you could be living on the dole, destitute, and writing this one word at a time on different phones you borrow from people off the street each time. Your personal situation doesn't matter, if the problem is you can't look beyond your own circumstances. You keep describing things that you would do, and how that means everyone can do them - even though we've given AMPLE evidence that this isn't the case for everyone.

Parents who can afford tutoring for majority of the subjects and parents WHO CARE. To my fellow VCE students money cannot limit what you can do, parents can work an extra hour or two and most importantly students can work on weekends then save up money. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE , private schools also offer scholarships to poorer students (this is a big plus for them).

My mum couldn't work, so she couldn't put in that extra hour or two. My dad put all of the money he could towards myself and my brother - and he worked 50 hour weeks. I couldn't afford music lessons despite studying music. I got Centrelink, my mum got Centrelink, my brother got Centrelink - we still could not afford anything. I applied for dozens of scholarships to try and get my music lessons, nobody would give them to me. Does this mean my parents didn't care? Because that's EXACTLY what you're insinuating, and tbh it's insulting, particularly knowing what my mum has had to sacrifice to let me, and more importantly my brother, get the education that we wanted.
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Something in VCE, shit was too long ago to remember

Stormbreaker-X

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Re: Educational equity (split topic)
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 04:48:03 am »
0
Are you actually reading what I'm saying? Because I'm not convinced you are. Let's break this down:

Incorrect - a good teacher who can break things down will never replace a text book. This is literally what the data from Teach for Australia demonstrates.

Few and far between, but sure, if you look hard enough you can find them. Again, look at the travel cost that Bri mentioned and what she would have to go through - and this is from someone who can get to the city centre in as little as 2 hours (because guess what, that's pretty not bad, particularly for people living in Wangaratta, Euroa, Wodonga, etc.)

Again, these will never substitute a good teacher, and watching people on these very forums ask the same question over and over again by trying to do /exactly this/ will prove that very fact to you.

Yes, basic necessity - like food, rent, clothing, etc. Not tutoring, and practice exams - that's what they pay the school for. You seriously do not understand how little some people earn.

Okay, now we assume access to the internet. But sure, I'll play ball - I went on LearnMate and looked for a year 12 methods teacher that did online classes - I could only 5, for /methods/, one of the more commonly tutored subjects. And the median price? $50.

Yes - because neither of these things are for VTAC to measure, as I said earlier. Again, whole different topic, I'm not going into it on the first point - let's not discuss it without heavy trigger warnings, please. As for the second - that's what Centrelink is for. Again, the system isn't perfect, but it's a nice start.

Dude, I don't care. For fucks sake, you could be living on the dole, destitute, and writing this one word at a time on different phones you borrow from people off the street each time. Your personal situation doesn't matter, if the problem is you can't look beyond your own circumstances. You keep describing things that you would do, and how that means everyone can do them - even though we've given AMPLE evidence that this isn't the case for everyone.

My mum couldn't work, so she couldn't put in that extra hour or two. My dad put all of the money he could towards myself and my brother - and he worked 50 hour weeks. I couldn't afford music lessons despite studying music. I got Centrelink, my mum got Centrelink, my brother got Centrelink - we still could not afford anything. I applied for dozens of scholarships to try and get my music lessons, nobody would give them to me. Does this mean my parents didn't care? Because that's EXACTLY what you're insinuating, and tbh it's insulting, particularly knowing what my mum has had to sacrifice to let me, and more importantly my brother, get the education that we wanted.
My views are a bit different to yours and that's fine *my apologies for any offensive post, as I never been in any of those situations and struggle to understand what reality is like*. I know some people earn very little and a lot of people are in a struggle. I am not sure how I would survive in such terrible circumstances expect try my best? Put in more hours into studying I guess, there are plenty of free options. Sacrifice a bit of sleep each night, take away extra activities and find free resources online. Make your own resources and practice exam, ask friends for resources maybe split the money and buy/share resources together? Study together with a group of friends and try to be rank 1 I guess.


Now moving in to scholarships, I am very sorry you did not get any (I failed some scholarship/select entry school test too, I understand you man). Some schools offer support for those who cannot afford things, has any seek out those options? There are some organisation RESN (regional support network) that has great free tutors. Your parents are very kind, if they are willing to put everything into it for you, most parents would rather save money and not pay for optional stuff. Now tutoring again, I am assure you that there is much more cheaper tutors then $50 an hour (online classes are a lot cheaper). Now have you looked anywhere else, but learnmate? I looked there too and most tutors there are quite expensive, plus you need to pay to even contact tutors (that is kinda crap, since contacting tutors should be free). I encourage cheaper sites (high school tutors), when I first applied I contacted many tutors there for free. Also bear in mind there are select entry schools and seal programs for high achieving students, so you see your options are not too dim. Those programs are free once you get in and that's a win win for you.


Now let's take about Centrelink, I know they don't pay much and there fore rumours that they pay very little. I am not going to go into too much detail because I don't wanna go off topic. My circumstances are no different to many others, I have my struggles and fights, I don't always succeed at what I do. Life was never suppose to be fair, its no ones fault the terrible society that we live in can be so cruel. Some have it good and some have it bad, I guess majority of the people land it terrible.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 06:25:38 am by Stormbreaker-X »
VCE 2021.
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Economics 45+