Teachers struggle with basics and world’s worst bullies
A THIRD of Australian high school teachers feel unprepared to teach as they cop some of the world's worst classroom bullying, a shocking new report reveals.
Australian teens are more likely than kids in other countries to bully classmates or intimidate teachers, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) study shows.
Fewer than half the nation's high school teachers are confident managing student behaviour, with one in five unable to calm a disruptive student.
In 37 per cent of Australian schools, principals deal with student bullying at least once a week, compared to 14 per cent across the industrialised world.
Cyber-bullying occurs in 16 per cent of Australian high schools at least once a week, compared to 3 per cent on average across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Physical injuries from violent students occur weekly in 7 per cent of Australian high schools, compared to 2 per cent internationally.
Vandalism and theft happen weekly in 5 per cent of Australian schools - more than double the OECD average of 2 per cent.
Despite a four-year university degree, one third of Australia's teachers feel unprepared to teach "some or all subjects'', compared to 20 per cent in the OECD.
"Australian teachers were less confident in their teaching in the core areas of subject content, pedagogy and classroom management compared to the OECD average,'' the report says.
Australian students are four times more likely than kids in other countries to intimidate or abuse their teachers, the study shows.
Twelve per cent of Australian principals report that teachers are intimidated or verbally abused at least weekly, compared to an OECD average of 3 per cent.
"Incidents related to school safety are a particular concern to Australian principals compared to the OECD average,'' the report says.
"Bullying is particularly a concern given its enduring impact on the wellbeing, confidence and achievement of those who are its victims."
The ACER survey of 3573 Australian high school teachers from Years 7 to 10 shows they work longer than the OECD average of 39 hours a week.
Aussie high school teachers work an average of 45 hours a week - including 20 hours a week in class and the rest marking homework and assignments, preparing for lessons and paperwork.
But in the classroom, only 78 per cent of Australian teachers' time is spent on teaching and learning, with nearly a quarter of the time taken up disciplining students and administrative tasks.