Education News Is Negative And Demoralising

Education News Is Negative And Demoralising

Teachers find that news coverage about education is often negative. This is especially evident in the reporting of results from standardised tests like NAPLAN or the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, (PISA), where teachers feel that they are most responsible for the perceived problems.

For years, Australian students are report to have fallen behind other countries in numeracy and literacy in the PISA exams. Although the results can be nuanced, the reporting is often not. PISA 2015 showed that Australia scored 510 in science, which is significantly higher than the OECD average score of 493. However, the reports tend not to highlight areas where Australia has done well but are more focused on what we have lost than others.

Our education system is in constant decline and requires urgent improvement. Most Australian schoolteachers who I interviewed agreed that standardised testing was necessary. They were oppose to NAPLAN testing results being publish due to inevitable comparisons between student progress and schools covered in related news coverage.

Research from Australia and abroad suggests that teachers have a valid perception of education news. Education news is focus on teacher quality, student discipline, and comparisons of test results and standards. These subjects are often view negatively. Although individual successes of teachers, students and schools are often celebrate, they are generally portray as an exception.

Education Teachers’ Thoughts

In 2017, I conducted a survey with 25 teachers across Australia to find out their opinions on news reporting about education. 88% of the participants thought it was predominantly negative. A Queensland teacher admitted that there were occasionally positive news stories about schools, but stated that most of the coverage was negative. Look at the horror and shock of all these terrible things happening in schools.

According to teachers, the majority of negative portrayals in major metropolitan news outlets were inaccurate and unfair. The positive aspects tend to be ignore. One used the reporting results of tests as an example. Our federal minister publish a lot of information about how we were falling down the league tables when the NAPLAN data were publish. But, when our 15-year-olds were rated fifth in all categories [in the PISA test] it barely got a squeak.

Participants referred to the widespread portrayal of teachers as low achievers in news coverage. Low entry scores for teaching positions are a constant theme. It is common to hear about teacher underperformance. Interviewees believed that teachers were treat differently than other journalists and subject to more scrutiny and pressure. One teacher state, What I do every day is question on every level.

One of the biggest frustrations was news coverage that failed to capture contemporary teaching. Principals argued that the media failed to recognize the complexity of teacher work. She stated. Teachers don’t go to school; they work, and it is highly complex and technological. Another Australian study found that teachers cite misleading and negative reporting about education as one of the reasons they quit teaching.

Parents Feel Education The Exact Same Way

New research shows that many Australian parents agree with teachers’ views. The survey included 268 teachers and 206 parents. 85% of teachers and 74% parents viewed news coverage about the Australian education system as generally negative

Parents surveyed felt demoralized by the reports. Half of them said so. Teachers saw this increase to 81%. We also found that positive news can be very inspiring. Teachers and parents report feeling inspired by positive news stories about schools, teachers, or the education system. All this highlights the need for fair, balanced and contextualised news coverage about schools and teachers.

Although it is not the job of journalists to please teachers, evidence of the negative nature of education news should be considered. Teachers’ concerns about inaccurate and superficial coverage and the lack of depth of reporting should also be considered. It doesn’t have to be difficult to change the angle.

Negative News Can Turn Off Readers

Rethinking how education is reported can also be profitable. News editors aim to reach parents when covering education. Research suggests that parents are interested education news. However, they might be less inclined to engage with education news that is more negative. Other research has shown that news can have a negative effect on mood, which is why people often avoid it. If editors are looking to draw readers to education news, they should include more positive elements.