Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools?

Posted in Teaching on March 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Are secondary schools preparing students for life? Or are they just preparing them for the Leaving Cert points race and ignoring the kind of skills they will really need? With a review of the Leaving Cert curriculum under way, it’s a question that comes up again and again …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 19 March]

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School subjects strongly influence whether girls study Stem at college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fewer girls than boys are choosing to study Stem subjects in college due to the choices they make at Leaving Cert level, new research has shown. The Understanding Gender Differences in STEM study, published by the UCD centre for economic research, reveals that the subjects female students choose to study during the Leaving Cert cycle strongly influence whether or not they will go on to study courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) at third level …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 18 March]

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Students’ on Leaving Cert reform: ‘We’re being pushed to breaking point’

Posted in Teaching on March 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The pressure of the Leaving Cert is causing stress, burnout and mental health problems among students, according to an official review of senior cycle education in secondary schools. With the assistance of the Irish Secondary Students’ Union, we asked pupils to share their views on what they want to change about the senior cycle system …” (more)

[Irish Times, 13 March]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome earlier date for Round One CAO offers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD have today (15 February, 2019) welcomed confirmation that Round One offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) will be issued this year on the earlier date of Thursday, 15 August 2019 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 15 February]

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Leaving Cert students set to receive college offers four days earlier than normal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Leaving Cert students will have to wait just 48 hours after they get their exam results to find out if they have a college place. Up until now, thousands of students have faced the agony of a five-day wait after their results to see if they secured a CAO offer …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 February]

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The Leaving Cert, signalling and third level non-completion rates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The fact that completion rates in university and IoT courses are closely correlated with CAO points has been known for some time. However, the fact that this is still newsworthy is interesting and probably has to do with the prevailing narrative, a narrative in which the Leaving Cert is deemed to be unfit for purpose and inadequate as a preparation for the rigours of 21st century higher education …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 14 February]

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Four in Every Five Irish Students Complete their Degree

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Major Study of Higher Education Completion Rates Finds that Leaving Certificate Performance is Strongest Predictor of Completion. The Higher Education Authority today published a study on the rates of completion of 34,059 students who entered Irish Universities, Institutes and Colleges full time at undergraduate level in the 2007/8 academic year …” (more, download)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 14 February]

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Some third-level computing courses have 80% drop-out rate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A majority of students are dropping out of third-level computing and engineering courses with low CAO entry points, official figures show. These high non-completion rates are a source of ‘huge concern’ to education authorities, according to a major new study. The findings are contained in a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which has tracked a cohort of more than 34,000 students who started third-level courses in 2007/08 over a 10-year period …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 February]

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Leaving Cert grades linked to finishing college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students with higher Leaving grades and CAO points are significantly more likely to complete higher education than those with lower grades, according to a new report from the Higher Education Authority. The study, which tracked 34,059 full-time undergraduate students who entered Irish universities, institutes of technology and colleges in 2007 across ten years, found that the lowest completion rates were in computing courses, where 45% of students dropped out …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Examiner, 14 February]

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Tech courses are toughest to finish in college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Technology and computing courses are proving to be the hardest to complete in college, a major new study has found. The report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) also found that females had significantly higher completion of third-level courses than males. And first year is key – with almost two thirds of those who don’t graduate dropping out at that stage …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 February]

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Leaving Cert exam marking will move online this summer

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“State exam chiefs are planning to introduce online marking for Leaving Cert subjects this year, in a bid to make the process more accurate and faster. The move to switch from traditional paper-based marking is being accelerated in the wake of the successful High Court action last year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 4 February]

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NUI to maintain requirement for mandatory Irish

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The National University of Ireland – which includes UCD, UCC and NUI Galway – is to maintain its requirement that students applying to its colleges must have a pass in Leaving Cert Irish. The NUI’s long-standing policies on Irish have been under review in light of the growing diversity of students progressing to higher education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 1 February]

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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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Rise in Leaving Cert numbers set to drive up CAO applications

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A rise in Leaving Cert student numbers this year could drive up points for college entry on popular courses. It will be some months before the final candidate figures are available, but it is understood an increase of 3%, or slightly more, is on the cards. It is the first significant increase in Leaving Cert exam candidates in many years and expected to translate into more CAO applications …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 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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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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