The return of history as a core subject?

Posted in Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The decision of the new Minister for Education Joe McHugh to review the decision to make history an optional subject at Junior Certificate is very welcome. History should be restored as a core curriculum subject without delay, as this academic discipline has essential values relevant to modern Ireland and to promoting an understanding of the importance of active citizenship, social inclusion and diversity in our society …” (more)

[Brian Murphy, Irish Times, 20 November]

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Decision to make history optional for the Junior Cert to be reviewed

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The decision to make history an optional subject at Junior Cert level is going to be reviewed, according to Education Minister Joe McHugh. Speaking at the party’s Ard Fheis this evening, the Donegal TD said …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 17 November]

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English grades are ‘back to normal’ in Junior Cert results

Posted in Teaching on September 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More than 62,000 Junior Cert students are celebrating their results today, although many middle-ground students will be disappointed there is no repeat of the bumper share-out of ‘honours’ grades that marked the introduction of the new-style English written exam last year. At English higher level, there was a slight increase in the proportion of candidates achieving a ‘distinction’ – the equivalent of a traditional A – while the number awarded a ‘higher merit’ (75-90%) is broadly similar to last year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 September]

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When you are obliged to challenge colleagues in public

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I wrote this letter to the Irish Times the other day. Despite the fact that the letter challenged, in public, the work of DCU colleagues, I felt I had to do it because I can see where the conversation is heading. People will use the fact that school-leavers lack some very easy-to-teach skills (like using scientific databases rather than Google, or referencing sources properly) to justify doing a Junior Cycle on the Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Greg Foley, An Irish Blog about Education, 10 August]

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Teachers want 30% pay rise for correcting State exams

Posted in Teaching on June 23rd, 2018 by steve

“Teachers’ unions have called for urgent talks with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to address a joint pay claim and avoid it having to hire individuals without teaching qualifications to correct State exam papers next year. The call for talks comes after it emerged that a shortage of available qualified teachers has forced to the SEC to recruit individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct some of this year’s Junior and Leaving Cert papers …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 22 June]

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People without teaching qualifications to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“The State Examinations Commission is hiring individuals without any teaching qualifications to correct students’ Junior and Leaving Cert papers due to a shortage of qualified staff. The development has sparked concerns over the standard of correcting and accusations that the integrity of the State exams is at risk …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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Higgins is right that history should be compulsory for Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2018 by steve

“After he became Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was quick to hire historian Patrick Geoghegan to assist him in his new role. In the Dáil in June last year, Varadkar said: ‘I have hired somebody who is a professor of history. I have a great interest in history which I believe is the study of the future because few things have not happened previously …'” (more)

[Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times, 5 May]

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Demand for 30% hike as exam pay is lower than minimum wage

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 6th, 2018 by steve

“Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to demand a 30% increase in the rates of pay for those marking and supervising the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams. Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) members voted to increase an enhanced pay request to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) from 20% to 30% …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 6 April]

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‘Impending catastrophe’ for Junior and Leaving Cert exams if rate of pay for State examiners not increased

Posted in Teaching on April 5th, 2018 by steve

“Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to demand a 30% increase in the rates of pay for those marking and supervising the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams. Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) members agreed to increase an enhanced pay request to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) from 20% to 30% …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 5 April]

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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, TheJournal.ie, 12 March]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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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‘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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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]

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