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Keeping young students interested in maths and science.



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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister

12 August, 2008

Media Release

Keeping young students interested in maths and science

Quality teaching is the key to maintaining students’ interest in maths and science, according to a new report released today by the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard.

The Opening up pathways report examines the reasons young people’s interest in maths and science subjects drops noticeably as they make the transition from primary to secondary school.

The report shows that young people often make key decisions about their life aspirations by the age of 14, and the quality of teaching and teachers are central to their ability to have rich and rewarding experiences in science and maths.

Opening up pathways was prepared by a high-profile team of international researchers, led by Professor Russell Tytler of Deakin University.

The report highlights the need for primary school teaching to motivate students to study maths and science, and for teachers to have a positive attitude to these subjects.

The Rudd Government wants to see more maths and science teachers teaching maths and science in our schools.

That’s why the Government has reduced student contribution amounts to the lowest ‘national priority’ rate for higher education students studying maths and science.

Graduates who take up employment in occupations related to maths and science, including teaching these subjects in secondary schools, will also receive reductions in HECS-HELP repayments and debts.

In addition, the Rudd Government has directed $400 000 into research to identify the best ways to reward quality teaching.

It is vital more students go on to study science and maths after school, so Australia can meet the demand for these skills, which are critical to Australia’s future.

The full report is available at: www.deewr.gov.au/opening_up_pathways_report

Media Contact:

media@deewr.gov.au