Is our education system effective?

Posted in Teaching on February 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The last round of PISA results suggested that we should be pretty proud of our education system here in Ireland. But a couple of recent studies suggest that maybe we’re not as ‘effective’ as we might think …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 20 February]

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TEF 1, TEF 2 and a complex game of snakes and ladders

Posted in Teaching on February 20th, 2017 by steve

“Why does it look like more than 30 eligible English institutions are not entering TEF 2? And why did six eligible institutions actively opt out of TEF 1 – a competition that required them merely to continue existing? …” (more)

[Mark Leach, Wonkhe, 20 February]

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New Report Profiling Assessment Practices in Irish Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on February 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The National Forum is delighted to share a new report profiling assessment practices across Irish higher education. The report, available here, aims to inform the current enhancement theme of the National Forum by profiling documented assessment practices across a sample of 30 undergraduate degree programmes …” (more)

[Teaching & Learning, 30 January]

ASTI schools to lose out on hundreds of extra teaching posts

Posted in Teaching on February 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Hundreds of voluntary secondary schools where teachers are members of the ASTI are set to lose out on additional teaching posts from next autumn due to a dispute over education reforms. Up to 550 additional full-time teaching posts are to be allocated to secondary schools from next September …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 February]

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Sexual consent classes at UCD cancelled due to lack of interest

Posted in Teaching on February 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The UCD Students’ Union has cancelled classes on sexual consent because of a lack of interest. Approximately 20 students out of a student population of 30,000 have participated in the classes which were first announced in February last year as part of the university’s #NotAskingForIt campaign …” (more)

[Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 16 February]

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Consent classes dropped by UCD and the Students’ Union

Posted in Teaching on February 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Consent classes have been dropped by the UCD Students’ Union and the university. Plans were announced in February 2016 for the union to run classes in co-operation with the university. The UCDSU President at the time, Marcus O’Halloran, explained that the union would run the consent classes with the expectation that the university would take part in running them …” (more)

[Niamh O’Regan, University Observer, 15 February]

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Impact of Grade Inflation Must Not Be Overstated

Posted in Teaching on February 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The news this week that the number of first-class degrees awarded by Trinity has increased by 33% between 2013 and 2015 will likely evoke concern that this is the latest symptom of a general trend of grade inflation in Irish third-level sector. Indeed, with some courses seeing as many as 61% of graduates awarded a first, one could probably be forgiven for thinking …” (more)

[University Times, 12 February]

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The problem with Stem

Posted in Teaching on February 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Anyone who reads this blog regularly probably knows that I have a bit of a problem with the term ‘Stem’. ‘Stem’ covers everything from botany to theoretical physics to mechanical engineering. ‘Stem’ is more than a harmless acronym; it represents an attempt at a unification of the various science and technology disciplines to create a sort of super-discipline …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 February]

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Learning spaces of the third kind

Posted in Teaching on February 13th, 2017 by steve

“The first kind of space was highly organised. In these ‘class’ rooms, our students gathered, seated in rows, facing toward a single part of the space – the front. At the front of the classroom were all of the important things, such as the teacher, and of course, the teacher’s tools …” (more)

[Learning with ‘e’s, 12 February]

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ASTI to continue industrial action

Posted in Teaching on February 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“ASTI leaders have confirmed that various forms of industrial action will continue in about 500 schools following their members’ rejection of the latest proposals on pay and junior cycle …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 February]

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33% Increase in First-Class Degrees Awarded Between 2012 and 2015

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of students achieving a first in their undergraduate degree has increased dramatically in recent years, with a 33% increase in the number of first-class honours awarded between 2012/13 and 2014/15. In 2012/13, 397 students were awarded firsts, according to the most recent Senior Lecturer’s Report …” (more)

[Philip McGuinness, University Times, 7 February]

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Progressive teaching of maths: the cause of all our troubles?

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Whenever I chat to colleagues from physics or maths we tend to end up sharing our experiences and frustrations about teaching quantitative subjects to college students. Everyone, in all third level institutions, is exasperated …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 7 February]

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Hey student! Turn those lecture notes into cash!

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

“I wrote here recently about the companies exploiting students and profiteering from helping them cheat. In similar vein there seems to have been a significant growth in websites which enable students to sell lecture notes to their fellow students …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Registrarism, 7 February]

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Living with semesters

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

“Most universities in the English-speaking world (though as we shall note, not all) organise their academic sessions into semesters. A ‘semester’, just in case this needs to be explained, is according to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘a period or term of six months’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 7 February]

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Calls for ‘Reasoned Debate’, as Fellows Vote on Trinity’s Transition to Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Fellows will have the potential to veto plans for a Christmas exam week and a two-week earlier start to the teaching term when they vote this week on the newly proposed academic year structure …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 2 February]

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To get more women in STEM little girls need better role models

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

“I recently went to my great-niece Sophie’s fourth birthday party, where her friends – both boys and girls – ran around without a hint of prejudice or discrimination. They were equals. It occurred to me how this idyll of equality disappears as boys and girls grow into adulthood …” (more)

[Hilary Lappin-Scott, The Conversation, 3 February]

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Exams body says Junior Cert students can avoid 10% penalty

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of junior cycle students will have a chance to avoid a 10% penalty in this summer’s English exam if teachers allow them a last chance to complete a classroom-based assessment task, the State Examinations Commission has said …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 February]

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Uncertainty looms large for schools, students, and parents

Posted in Teaching on February 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Pressure to resolve the ASTI dispute has accelerated talks with unions on a replacement of Lansdowne Road, writes Education Correspondent Niall Murray. Aside from the implications of yesterday’s ballot result for current Junior Certificate students, the decision of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland to reject proposals on pay and conditions causes major uncertainty for schools, students, and parents …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 3 February]

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‘No more offers’ warns Minister as teachers’ strike looms

Posted in Teaching on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has warned that no further offers will be made to ASTI teachers after they rejected the latest round of proposals. In a ballot of the union’s 18,300 members, ASTI members voted to reject the ‘Outcome of Talks’ proposals aimed at averting strike action by 52.5% to 47.5%, with a turnout of 75% …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 2 February]

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ASTI vote ‘no’ to package on pay restoration and junior cert reform, re-igniting threat of strikes

Posted in Teaching on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“ASTI members have rejected the latest package on pay and junior cert reform, re-igniting the threat of disruption in two in three second-level schools. Members of the secondary teachers’ union have voted 52.5 to 47.5 against a document that emerged in discussions before Christmas …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 2 February]

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