Gabbie Stroud’s star is continuing to rise, with an appearance on an episode of ABC’s hit panel show Q&A.
The author and teacher from Merimbula joined the other panelists for the episode on Monday, October 8 where the focus was on teaching.
On the show, an audience member and current Year 12 student described the feeling among those completing their HSC.
She said they were tired, stressed, bored writing the same texts again and again with some students she knew on anti-depressants, so asked if there was a better way for teaching.
In response Ms Stroud said we were seeing a time in Australia where education was “getting close to rock bottom”.
“I think there are teachers that are suffering, there are students that are suffering,” she said.
She then took aim at the effects of standardised testing, a standardised curriculum and professional teaching standards.
“It’s this blanket, one size fits all, let’s just churn it out and sprinkle out the education on all these kids and presumably they’ll all come out the other end and things will all be fine,” she said.
“We’ll collect a whole bunch of data on it and the graphs will go up.
“And I’m here to tell you they’re not, the graphs are going down, students are disengaged, the teachers are struggling and something needs to change.”
Ms Stroud also had “very serious concerns about NAPLAN”, due to the standardisation of education, as it was making students disengaged and disheartened.
It was “offensive” to her to hear people say before NAPLAN there was no data on students’ learning.
“We have teachers,” she said.
“As a teacher I do incredibly important work.
READ MORE: Gabbie’s journey continues
“I engage with these students and I follow them, step by step through this learning and I can tell you at the end of the day, albeit that I’ll be exhausted, but I can tell you what that child can read now and what new games they made with their writing and where they’re up to with their maths.”
When responding to a question from the audience on whether mathematics should be made mandatory for Years 11 and 12, Ms Stroud said what sort of future teachers were preparing their students did need to be taken into account.
Would funding be “targeted efficiently” if schools had the autonomy to break away from targets that are not the most appropriate end goal for a community eg “Most students achieve in the top bands of NAPLAN” -perhaps their critical authentic priorities are elsewhere ? #QandA— Carla Beattie (@carlaleeB) October 8, 2018
But she said often students were unsure about what they wanted to do when they were finishing school and making the subject mandatory may not be the best option if it was not the teenagers’ passion or they struggled with it.
“I just think that Year 11 and 12, they’re formative years but they’re not the decisive years, they’re not determining everything that’s going to happen for the rest of your life,” she said.
“Just because that we graduate school doesn’t mean that we’ve finished learning.”
Following the airing episode there was an outpouring of support on social media for Ms Stroud, teachers and a call for a change to the education system. But not everyone supported some of the panelists’ views.
Andrew Laming, the Liberals’ Member for Bowman, uploaded a post on Twitter saying “Just like the anti-vaccers, we now have the anti-NAPLANers. You always get a stage on #QandA”.
In addition to my parents, one of the biggest influences in my life was my Year 12 History and International Studies teacher. His passion for these two subjects gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams & goals. We need to do more to support our teachers. #auspol#qanda— Jieh-Yung Lo 羅介雍 (@jiehyunglo) October 8, 2018
Watching #qanda on catch up to see @buckingham_j excellent performance. It is deeply frustrating to see feelpinions supported by cliches treated as superior to evidence based positions supported by data. It says so much about why our education system is struggling— Simon Cowan (@SimonJCowan) October 8, 2018
@QandA I bet we all had a teacher or teachers in our life who made a real impact on us. I challenge people to contact your old teacher or school today and say thank you. I just emailed my old primary school. It took me less than 5 minutes. #aussieEd#qanda— Alexis Wagner (@mrs_readaloud) October 8, 2018