State exams are a rote learning memory test and aren’t serving our children’s future needs

Posted in Teaching on March 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The current system primarily based on ‘one-off testing’ – namely Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations – reflects more as a memory test suited to rote learning rather than genuinely assessing a student’s learning, knowledge, ability or acumen for a subject …” (more)

[Geoffrey Browne,, 12 March]

Tags: , ,

Education Committee to discuss continuous assessment for State Examinations

Posted in Teaching on March 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Committee on Education and Skills will focus on continuous assessment for State Examinations at its meeting on Tuesday, 6 March 2018. Attending the meeting are: representatives from the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI); Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI); Union of Students in Ireland (USI); and the National Parents’ Council Post-Primary …” (more)

[Houses of the Oireachtas, 6 March]

Tags: , , ,

Exam body failed to budget for rise in student numbers

Posted in Teaching on December 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A failure to budget for a growing number of students sitting exams has been blamed for mounting losses at the State body which oversees the Leaving and Junior Certificate tests. The State Examinations Commission has reported that the size of its annual deficit more than tripled last year to over €2.2m …” (more)

[Seán McCárthaigh, Irish Examiner, 26 December]

Tags: , ,

Study suggests overhaul of how maths is taught at primary level

Posted in Teaching on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Children’s progress in maths at the age of nine has a major influence through to Junior Certificate preparations and suggests a need to overhaul how it is taught at primary level, a leading education researcher says …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 October]

Tags: , ,

Girls continue to outperform boys in Junior Cert

Posted in Life on September 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Girls continue to outperform boys at Junior Cert level, with more female than male students scoring A grades in 18 out of 21 higher-level subjects this year, according to the 2017 results. Girls also scored higher than boys in most subjects at ordinary level …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 15 September]

Tags: , ,

ASTI clears way for junior cycle pupils to sit vital English exam

Posted in Teaching on March 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (Asti) has cleared the way for about 35,000 third-year students to sit a crucial assessment in English next month. The 80-minute assessment is worth 10% of the marks in the written exam for the revamped Junior Cert English course …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 March]

Tags: ,

Exam bosses turn screw on ASTI over English exam row

Posted in Teaching on March 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Pressure is mounting on the ASTI to ensure that about 35,000 third-year pupils complete a crucial assessment in English next month, after exam chiefs made it more difficult for the union not to co-operate with it …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 March]

Tags: ,

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]

Tags: , , ,

‘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)

[, 2 February]

Tags: , , ,

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]

Tags: , ,

Junior Cert students to lose marks over ASTI row, Minister says

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Junior Cert students in the 375 secondary schools where teachers are refusing to engage in curriculum reforms face losing 10% of their marks in one of this year’s exams, the Dáil has heard …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 16 November]

Tags: , ,

Girls earn better results than boys in Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Female Junior Certificate students outperformed their male counterparts with a higher proportion of boys struggling in the vast majority of ordinary and higher-level exams, a breakdown of 2016 results shows.While there is officially no ‘failing grade’, a greater percentage of boys received either E, F or NG marks in most subjects …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 16 September]

Tags: ,

ASTI teachers defy own ban on assessing their students

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Junior Cert results issued this morning indicate that a significant number of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) are defying a prohibition by their union on engaging in assessing their own students in oral Irish …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 14 September]

Tags: , ,

Time spent on maths at schools varies by more than 100 hours

Posted in Teaching on September 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Some second-level school children are getting more than 100 extra hours of maths tuition than others, a new study reveals. The amount of time teenage students spend in maths classes varies hugely depending on the school they attend and the class they are in …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 September]

Tags: , ,

The great education debate is coming to Ireland – I hope

Posted in Teaching on September 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“There is a strong tendency among bona-fide academic educationalists and their more dodgy fellow-travelers who seem to be taking over the internet, to de-emphasise the need for students to acquire knowledge …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 11 September]

Tags: ,

Education experts highlight urgent need to reform ‘outdated’ Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Teachers should be given a central role in the assessment of their students as part of a reformed Junior and Leaving Cert, according to leading international experts. A forum on education to be held at Maynooth University today will hear that empowering teachers in this way could shift the culture of assessment towards a model that promotes skills which are highly sought-after …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 June]

Tags: ,

New online marking scheme to be trialled for exams

Posted in Teaching on June 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new online marking system is being trialled in the State exams this year. Instead of papers being marked in the traditional way, students’ scripts will be scanned and converted to digital images that examiners will access on their home computers …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 June]

Tags: , ,

Junior cycle exams and pass rates

Posted in Teaching on February 19th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I am disheartened at the news that students in the new junior cycle programme can pass by scoring as little as 20% in their written examinations …” (more)

[Jordan Markey, Irish Times, 19 February]


Reforms to see students who get 20% in Junior Cert exams pass

Posted in Teaching on February 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students who sit the new junior cycle programme from next year will be able to pass their final written exams by scoring as little as 20%. The changes form part of major reforms aimed at placing less emphasis on rote-learning and written exams and more on modern approaches to assessment and learning …” (more)

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


Government plans to increase age of school-leavers to prevent students dropping out after Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Government plans to increase the legal school- leaver’s age to stop students dropping out of education after the Junior Certificate. Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has also promised to look at the provision of guidance counsellors which have been cut in many schools due to government cutbacks, leaving many students without access to such services in schools …” (more)

[Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner, 28 January]

Tags: , , ,