Education Minister signals he’s open to history being core Junior Cert subject

Posted in Teaching on January 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education minister Joe McHugh has signalled he’s open to history being made a core subject for Junior Cert students telling the Dáil that it’s ‘vital’ young people learn from the past. He said it’s important that the historic contexts of Brexit and events being marked in Centenary Commemorations are understood …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 22 January]

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Trinity students object to pressure of ‘impossible’ exam changes

Posted in Teaching on January 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Hundreds of students at Trinity College Dublin say its new system of Christmas exams and continual assessment is putting students under huge pressure and resulting to a steep decline in participation in societies. The university has broken with its 400-year tradition this year by introducing both Christmas and summer exams, along with continual assessment …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 January]

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Record number of UK university students awarded first-class degrees, figures show

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

“A record number of first-class degrees were awarded to graduates last year despite growing pressure on UK universities to tackle grade inflation. More than a quarter (28%) of graduates now leave UK universities with top marks – a rise of two percentage points, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) reveal …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 17 January]

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The Leaving Cert and the Premier League

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“One of the purported aims of the new Leaving Cert grading and points-awarding system (in the news today) was to ‘take the heat out of the CAO system’. The argument was that by having fewer grade bands, students would be under less pressure to scramble for every point to get to the next grade and earn more points …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 17 January]

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Grade reforms push ‘ill-equipped’ students to take higher-level exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Reforms which reward those who sit higher level exams are pressurising struggling students into taking on more challenging exam papers, according to new research. The ESRI study into the impact of grading reforms introduced in 2017 finds there is also evidence of growing inequality, with students in disadvantaged schools less likely to take up higher level subjects compared with students in better-off areas …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 January]

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Grading changes risk further alienating less academic pupils

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new grading system introduced two years ago was supposed to ease pressure on Leaving Cert students and take some of the heat out of the points race. However, a new study by the ESRI finds that, for some students, it has had the opposite effect …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 January]

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Research shows some increase in number of students taking higher level subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD announced today that the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published research on the early impacts of the revised grading scheme for Leaving Certificate examinations which was introduced in June 2017 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 January]

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After Anger Over TEP, TCDSU to Run Open Forum

Posted in Teaching on January 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is hosting an open forum this month to allow students to air their concerns about the Trinity Education Project to College officials. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 30th …” (more)

[Eleanor O’Mahony and Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 16 January]

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The rise of the ‘smart university’?

Posted in Teaching on January 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A few years ago for this blog, I interviewed the then Irish Minister for Education and Science, Ruairi Quinn. He was one of those relatively rare examples of an education minister with a real understanding of and sympathy for higher education, and indeed a set of civilised and cultured values …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 January]

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Reflections on the Examination Period

Posted in Teaching on January 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Tomorrow (11th January) is the start of our mid-year examination period here at Maynooth University. It’s therefore a good opportunity to send a hearty ‘good luck’ message to all students about to take examinations …” (more)

[In the Dark, 10 January]

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Grudge matches

Posted in Research, Teaching on January 10th, 2019 by steve

“One of the things that students find most puzzling about university exams is that markers (or graders for US friends) can give high marks to well argued, well referenced answers with which they strongly disagree. This is perhaps helped by the fact that in Cambridge, in my faculty at least, exams are not regularly marked by those who taught the course …” (more)

[Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement, 9 January]

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Continuous Assessment, Grade Inflation and the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on January 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The figure below shows the exam and CA marks for two of my third year modules in DCU for the last three years. The blue data is for a rather mathematical module for which the CA is worth 20% of the module marks. Two of us teach into the module and both of our CAs involve in-class tests …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 9 January]

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What issues will dominate Irish education in 2019?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on January 8th, 2019 by steve

IrelandLeaving Cert reform: decision time: Classrooms in the run-up to the Leaving can resemble military training grounds where students are drilled to produce perfect answers to potential questions based on marking schemes. Students are stressed, teachers have little choice, creativity suffers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 January]

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TEP is In a Muddle. It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

Posted in Teaching on January 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“By now, it’s abundantly clear that students are more than a little disgruntled by the implementation of the Trinity Education Project this year. A letter compiled by a small group of students and signed by over 100 more confirmed – in very dramatic terms – the anger palpable in the College over how a much-anticipated year has panned out …” (more)

[University Times, 7 January]

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When it Comes to Grade Inflation, TEP Could Offer Solutions

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“For many, the news last week that Trinity students are the most likely in Ireland to get a first-class degree will hardly have come as any great surprise. Trinity courses are, after all, among those with the highest points in the country. For others, however, that a fifth of Trinity graduates get firsts is a sign that grade inflation – an issue that has vexed education systems for decades – in College is spiralling dangerously …” (more)

[University Times, 7 January]

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Big demand for Leaving Cert reform from pupils

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Huge demand for reform of the Leaving Cert has emerged in new research commissioned by the organisation representing principals in post-primary schools. Students and parents are to the fore in seeking radical changes, with three in four recent school-leavers backing a system of continuous assessment rather than reliance on a final exam and the pressure that involves …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 January]

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Leaving Cert deemed by just 4% of pupils as fair test of knowledge

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Just one in 25 Leaving Cert students believe the exam is a fair and accurate assessment of their knowledge and skills, according to a new survey. The study also found a vast majority of students (76%) support a move towards continuous assessment to help ease the pressure and stress linked to summer exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 January]

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Trinity Students circulate open letter to Provost condemning TEP

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A number of Trinity students have this week circulated an open letter, calling for signatures from students condemning the ‘catastrophic’ implementation of the Trinity Education Project (TEP). The letter has been signed by over 100 students and will be sent to the Irish Times next week …” (more)

[Peter Kelly, Trinity News, 6 January]

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Survey: Majority agree on need for Leaving Cert change

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students, parents, and teachers are in agreement on the need to radically reform the Leaving Certificate but quite divided on the ways of doing it, new research suggests. In surveys conducted for the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), all three groups agreed with the need for change …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 7 January]

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A Christmas break in academia

Posted in Research, Teaching on January 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There was a time when you wouldn’t catch sight of this academic in Ireland over Christmas – I used to head straight for the ski slopes as soon as term ended. But family commitments and research workloads have put paid to that, at least for a while, and I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing …” (more)

[Antimatter, 4 January]

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