SHOW: A Current Affair
STORY TITLE: Taking the mystery out of maths
Now to the system that's taking the fear out of maths for both students and parents.
Recent research shows 40% of boys and 33% of girls in the public school system fail basic maths in Year 12...but a new home tutoring program is turning those results right around by providing all High School Students with this Giant head start!
Six months ago, you'd never have caught 15-year-old Jason Peterson revising his fractions after school, but thanks to this new program ・which offers one-on-one tutoring ・there's a lot about Jason to be surprised about.
"This was my half-yearly maths exam. I got 52 percent, and this was a maths test I did not long after I started the program ・82 percent ... big difference," says a thrilled Jason, who adds that he found he was even beating students who previously had beaten him in tests.
Lisa Donoghoe is another maths convert. A Year 11 student, she was struggling with even the most basic concepts until mother Linda heard about Back to the Future education.
"She used to be scared of maths, it used to put her off because she didn't know what to do, but now she does know what to do it doesn't put her off anymore, and she's quite challenged by it. It's lifted her confidence as well," says Linda.
And, last year, Sandra Mannah was ranked 14th in a class of 28 Year Seven students. This year, there are 129 in the class and she's the number-one performer, thanks, she and her family believe, to this computer software package.
Under the Back to the Future software program, students are encouraged to watch each lesson three times before completing the accompanying worksheets. They can't progress to the next lesson until they score 90 percent or more in the test.
If they get stuck on a question, they call a support line that's available to them between 4 and 7.30pm every Monday to Thursday night.
Steve Dunn is one of many ex-high school maths teachers manning the phone lines. He was in the public education system for 20 years before devising this maths program.
"As a teacher, I felt there was almost like a silent majority of students in my own classrooms who you couldn't get to all the time, but they wouldn't ask any questions and they'd go home and just plod along day-by-day, and they needed to be able to come up and talk to somebody, and sometimes they got the courage and did so, but a lot of times they didn't," he says.
Steve says the students hear what a teacher would normally be telling them but not with the background of a classroom and with the ability to pause and rewind according to individual needs. "It's singular headphones on, and it's focused directly at them and they get the chance to do that a few times or as many times as they like."
There are 600 lessons in the Back to the Future maths curriculum ・100 per high school year.
Anthony Tannous was scouring the market for home tutoring maths programs to promote through his Back to the Future academies before choosing to buy the rights to this particular one. And he guarantees the results.
"Most children don't like doing homework, so therefore the system had to be structured in a way that was very little time taken of the child ・in fact, 20-25 minutes at the most, two to three times a week helps a child really excel," he says. "Results are definitely guaranteed, providing the child has used the system as per our directions."
The program costs around $200 per year and the parents seeing the results in their children say it offers great value for money.
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