According to a recent global survey, Australian students were ranked amongst ‘worst in the world’ for classroom discipline. Discipline levels in Australian schools are in fact below the OECD average, based on responses from students who took part in international tests.
The OECD’s 2018 Program for International Student Assessment revealed that Australian students ranked 70th out of 77 participating nations. Students complained about classroom noise and disruption, and classroom unruliness in general: a total of 42.9 per cent of them reported disorder in their classes, compared with an OECD average of 31.5 per cent.
Interestingly, whilst most countries registered an improvement in classroom behaviour, Australia was one of a minority of countries where it actually has deteriorated. The survey also revealed that girls tend to be better behaved than boys, with all-girls classes and mixed classes with more than 60 per cent girls reporting better discipline than all-boys classes or mixed classes with more than 60 per cent boys.
The classroom management issue needs addressing, as students learn more effectively when the learning space is not disrupted. The survey also revealed that academic performance in maths, science, and reading is also slipping, although it is not clear whether there is a direct link with the disciplinary climate.