School “refusers” thrive in a distance learning environment
“The normal kind of teen stuff doesn’t work very well for her.”
Distance learning, on the other hand, worked very well for Poppy, who took on the extension work after completing the standard work much faster than she would have done in school.
“I think it was fantastic for her, she really blossomed being able to work at her own pace, without having to be distracted by other children,” her mother said.
Victorian school principals say many students who dislike the school environment flourished this term, an unexpected benefit of the forced decision to send them home.
Scoresby Secondary College executive director Gail Major said some students who have low attendance rates due to issues such as family trauma or violence, which “make it very difficult to come to school.” , have become more linked to school while learning at a distance.
She hopes the revelation will lead to a lasting change in the way these students are taught.
“We cannot go back completely to ignore the comments we have had on this matter,” Ms. Major said.
Emily Berger, a lecturer in educational psychology at Monash University, says there have always been “school refusers” who withdraw from school due to anxiety or difficulty in learning. learning.
While most students will accept the return to class in the coming weeks, others will struggle with the return, which will need to be handled sensitively, Dr Berger said.
“Students who have anxiety or who are refused school will be more reluctant than they usually are to go back to school afterwards,” she said. “So the response from schools and parents to try to get them back is going to be really important.”
Parents should have confidence that school is the right place to go, and teachers should also have confidence in the child’s ability to attend school, says Dr Berger.
At Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Braybrook, west Melbourne, around 50 students have been taught remotely on campus, sometimes because they are in danger at home.
Principal Marco DiCesare says he was fascinated by improving the way some of these students applied to their classes.
“Our vulnerable children, those who are there, we find that they are doing a lot more work than they would if they were in a normal classroom,” said Mr. DiCesare.
He attributes a lot of this to the lack of distraction and lack of peer pressure.
Teachers at the school are looking at how they can showcase the best aspects of distance learning, Mr. DiCesare said.
“My hope is that we don’t go back to the current situation, that we actually use it as a way to go into the future with a new approach.”
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