Why September will be a watershed moment in Irish education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“There are few tasks in our education and skills system more important than sowing the seed, as early as possible, that higher education is the expectation, not the exception. It is the role of Government to enable all the nation’s children to achieve their potential, by providing a universal, standardised, professional and comprehensive guidance counselling service …” (more)

[Betty McLaughlin, Independent, 2 March]

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Union threatens action if ‘surplus’ teachers are fired

Posted in Teaching on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A dispute that could close secondary schools will ‘come to a head quite quickly’ if the Government sacks teachers who are surplus to requirement, a union has warned. But the Department of Education refused to confirm whether it plans to use emergency legislation to make members of the ASTI redundant for refusing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement …” (more)

[Anne-Marie Walsh, Independent, 28 February]

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ASTI warns against plans to make surplus teachers redundant

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The country’s biggest secondary teachers’ union has warned against any move to make its members redundant on foot of its dispute with the Government. The Irish Times reported on Monday that 60 secondary schools have received letters notifying them of their surplus staff …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 February]

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No Trigger Warnings Policy in Place in UCD Schools

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Increasingly at the start of a new semester in UCD, students will find themselves being given ‘trigger warnings’. Be it verbally in class, on the module outline or via an announcement on Blackboard, trigger warnings are becoming more prevalent in UCD …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 27 February]

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In Defense of the Lecture

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

“Few have savaged lecturers as brutally as the Enlightenment-era printmaker William Hogarth. In Scholars at a Lecture, the presenter reads from his prepared text, his eyes down, indifferent to his audience. The budding academics are no more impressive; those in thrall to the lecturer’s nonsense have slack faces with lolling eyes and open mouths. The others don’t offer any critique but yawn, doze, or chat idly among themselves …” (more)

[Miya Tokumitsu, Jacobin, 26 February]


Teachers face first forced redundancies in years

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Are we about to see the first forced redundancies in the public sector in years? It certainly looks that way – and a small number of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) may well be in the firing line …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 February]

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Number of engineering degrees may be reduced

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A possible reduction in the number of engineering degrees offered in Irish colleges is to be considered in a review for the Higher Education Authority. The effectiveness of current engineering education is to be examined, with recommendations about new apprenticeship models, professional development for working engineers, and teaching methods …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 27 February]

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Downgrading plans for GMIT Castlebar revealed

Posted in Teaching on February 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Plans to scrap four courses currently on offer at GMIT Castlebar were announced yesterday (Monday). Staff at the campus were informed yesterday afternoon while local councillors and Oireachtas members met with GMIT management at Breaffy House Hotel yesterday evening …” (more)

[Edwin McGreal, Mayo News, 21 February]


Modern Language Teaching

Posted in Teaching on February 24th, 2017 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an estimated cost of the re-establishment of the modern languages in primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 February]

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Why changing the Leaving Cert is probably impossible

Posted in Teaching on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Hardly a week goes by without their being yet another article in some newspaper or other bemoaning the ‘rote-learning culture’ of the Leaving Cert and its inability to prepare students for the 21st century. There are the usual pleas for a greater emphasis on creativity and original thinking, but rarely, if ever, are there any suggestions as to how one might achieve these things …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 22 February]


Trinity College breaks with 400-year exams tradition

Posted in Teaching on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is to break with almost 400 years of tradition by introducing Christmas exams and an earlier start to the academic year for its students. The changes, approved this week by a majority of the university 200 fellows or senior academics, will bring Trinity into line with most European and US universities …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 February]

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62% of Fellows Vote in Favour of New Academic Year Structure, Including Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In a vote that could have vetoed the introduction of a proposed new academic year structure, 62% of Trinity’s Fellows have voted in favour of the introduction of a Christmas exam week and a two-week earlier start to teaching …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 22 February]

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Girls outperform boys when computer science is on curriculum

Posted in Teaching on February 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“International evidence confirms girls get better grades than boys when computer science is on the school curriculum. Ireland needs to learn from other developed countries when it comes to introducing computer science as a subject and encouraging girls to participate in courses …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 21 February]

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University students could be fined or handed criminal records for plagiarised essays, new proposals suggest

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on February 21st, 2017 by steve

“University students who buy essays online face fines and a criminal record under plans to punish plagiarism being considered by the government. For the first time, students caught cheating could be criminalised amid fears that a burgeoning ‘essay mills’ industry is threatening the quality of a British university degree …” (more)

[Harry Yorke, Telegraph, 21 February]

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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]


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]


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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