Australia’s female students are feeling the most pressure when it comes to schoolwork, a new report has found.
The Australian Child Wellbeing Project (ACWP) report released today found that out of 25 countries surveyed, Australian girls were the most likely to feel “a lot” of pressure around school. Australian boys were lower down the list, in sixth place.
The report’s lead author, associate professor Gerry Redmond from Flinders University, told The Daily Telegraph Australian students, particularly those in marginalised groups, were lacking satisfaction and engagement at schools.
“This report finds that if you are in one of these marginalised groups, such as being a young person with a disability, then the transitional years can be even more difficult,” he said.
“If we look at countries that are known to do better academically than us, like Finland, you see their students are much less stressed.”
While Australia might have a thing or two to learn from education systems like the one in Finland, what could be causing Australia’s female students such high levels of stress?
According to Kristy Kendall, principal of Toorak College in Melbourne, boys have a “water off a duck’s back” attitude compared to their female peers, who she says are “naturally more sensitive”.
“Boys generally worry a lot less than girls and often have a lot more self-confidence,” she told The Educator.
“One issue is that girls don’t use one another to network as much as boys. Women need to start seeing one another as opportunities to propel themselves forward – not compare themselves to one another.”
Redmond suggested a closer look at other countries’ education systems to see why young Australians were feeling high pressure, and “what could be learnt about academic results without adding stress to these students”.