Schoolchildren in Australia could benefit from taking omega-3 fish oil to boost their brain development
Australian students lag behind Asian counterparts
Compiled by the Grattan Institute, the report referred to data from the OECD showing that the highest performing systems in the world are Hong Kong, Korea, Shanghai and Singapore.
In Shanghai, the average 15-year-old studying maths is performing at a level around two or three years higher than someone in Australia, the US or Europe.
Dr Ben Jensen from the institute noted that more effective methods of learning are being implemented in Asian schools, such as teacher mentoring programs and collaborative teaching.
“The main difference is (teachers overseas) are trained as researchers and they are continually trying new things with children learning and if it has been successful they keep it,” he commented.
Dr Jensen suggested that teachers overseas are always in search of ways in which they can improve the learning experience for kids – although this is not the case in Australia.
Instead, the debate is more focused on the need for smaller classrooms, better pay for teachers and giving schools the power to hire and fire teachers.
Dr Jensen emphasised: “We are spending a lot of money … but we are spending in the wrong places. We should be spending it on how to better improve our students’ learning.”
The success of children in the classroom is less to do with rote learning and more concerned with a practical focus on education, collaboration, feedback and mentoring.
Teachers also find they are subject to sustained professional development to further advance their skills and are held in high stead among their peers.
They are considered to be good at what they do because they acknowledge each student’s learning style and are able to shape their teaching style to ensure they continue to study in the best way possible.
People do not think of teachers are being under masses of stress in these parts of the world, added the report.
A recent UK study found that breakfast is an essential part of a morning routine for any child, as it can help improve their performance in the classroom.
Carried out by three institutions, the research found there is a strong link between a low glycaemic index, high-carbohydrate breakfasts and better academic performance.
Supplements such as Kids Smart DHA 300mg contains omega-3 fish oil which can help with brain development and are great for kids who do not eat enough fish.
Other health benefits include improvements in learning, behaviour, eye health and the nervous system.