Best of the Web

More discipline in the classroom, nature schools, boys as bad readers and the impact of the Trump victory in schools – our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

Strict classroom discipline improves student outcomes and work ethic, studies find

(Kelsey Munro, The Sydney Morning Herald)

The debate over styles of education has been reignited by two new studies that show strict discipline in the classroom produces better academic outcomes. The study looked at OECD data on classroom discipline and results. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the lead author of both studies, Associate Professor Chris Baumann from Macquarie University, says the studies suggest Australian classrooms should return to a more strict approach to discipline.

Nature schools where children learn by roaming in the wild growing in popularity

(Imogen Brennan, Lateline, ABC)

At The Nature School in Port Macquarie, there is no schedule, and children between three and six roam the bush, play music, make bush crafts and put up tents.  In the United Kingdom and Europe, a growing number of parents are sending their children to ‘nature schools’, but as Lateline’s Brennan reports, the movement is still in its infancy in Australia.

The truth about boys and books: they read less – and skip pages

(Daniel Boffey, The Guardian)

More than one million students were involved in two studies in the United Kingdom on the reading habits of children. The results are bad news for boys – they read less, take less time to process words, and skip parts with abandon. The key, says the academic behind the studies, is to find out what interests boys, to keep them focussed on the page.

What Do We Tell The Children and ‘They are scared’: teachers grapple with fear and bullying after Trump Victory

(Ali Michael, The Huffington Post and Amber Jamieson, The Guardian)

The victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election has riven society. For those who opposed Trump, the result has prompted fears that campaign rhetoric will become reality. So much for the adults – what about the children? These two articles examine what this seismic shift means for school children. The first, pre-poll day piece argues for reassurance based on the democratic processes in place, and talks about why core values matter, such as the need to fight bigotry. The second article looks at the very real fear and abuse of some students, with the name Trump being used by bullies.