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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Leaving Cert deemed by just 4% of pupils as fair test of knowledge

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Just one in 25 Leaving Cert students believe the exam is a fair and accurate assessment of their knowledge and skills, according to a new survey. The study also found a vast majority of students (76%) support a move towards continuous assessment to help ease the pressure and stress linked to summer exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 January]

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Survey: Majority agree on need for Leaving Cert change

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students, parents, and teachers are in agreement on the need to radically reform the Leaving Certificate but quite divided on the ways of doing it, new research suggests. In surveys conducted for the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), all three groups agreed with the need for change …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 7 January]

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Time for Project Maths experiment to end

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Over the past five years fewer than 50% students have attained H3 (and equivalent) or above in Higher Level LC Maths. Assuming this is not due to poor teaching, I believe it is now time to end the Project Maths experiment …” (more)

[Adrian Grenham, Irish Times, 27 December]

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Is the Leaving Cert fit for purpose?

Posted in Teaching on December 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I came across a tweet yesterday in which an Irish academic based in England suggested that the Leaving Cert was ‘not fit for purpose’. That raises the question as to what the purpose of the Leaving actually is. In the past, a good Leaving Cert meant you could go to college or go straight to the workplace (in the banks, for example), or become a trainee in any number of professions …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 19 December]

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Leaving Cert stress and strains

Posted in Teaching on December 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Your front page headline ‘Leaving Cert causes stress and burnout in students’ (December 17th), while partly true, is likely to add to the stress of those students who are working away preparing for their exams with support from their parents and teachers …” (more)

[Breda Lynch, Irish Times, 18 December]

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Revised timeline for college offers still not approved by CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges have not yet agreed a shortened timeline for offering places to Leaving Certificate students, seven weeks after it was hastily announced by two Government ministers. Education Minister Joe McHugh and Higher Education Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor said on November 1 that the State Examinations Commission (SEC) would get exam results out a day earlier than usual next August …” (more)

[Niall Murray, BreakingNews.ie, 18 December]

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Stressed by the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on December 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As the mother of three teenage boys I concur with the findings of the ESRI’s report on the Leaving Cert (Carl O’Brien, Front page, December 17th). Students, parents and teachers are under huge pressure in the senior cycle. Schools and teachers do an exemplary job but the system pushes them to ‘teach to the test’ …” (more)

[Gillian Buckley, Irish Times, 18 December]

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Mixed views among teachers on changes to assessment methods for Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on December 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Teachers have very mixed views on how badly-needed changes to assessment methods for Leaving Certificate should be introduced, early consultations have found. The issue could prove a stumbling block as efforts to remove problematic aspects of the two-year senior cycle progress, following major industrial unrest among teachers around new assessment methods for junior cycle …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 17 December]

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Leaving Cert pressure causing stress and ‘burnout’ among pupils

Posted in Teaching on December 17th, 2018 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. The findings are contained in an Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) report …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 December]

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Dramatic fall in number of students entering third-level to study computing

Posted in Governance and administration on December 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There has been dramatic 8% fall in the number of students entering third-level to study computing courses. Employment prospects are good with 81% of recent Irish tech graduates now walking straight into a job, overwhelmingly in Ireland. But despite a high demand for these graduates, and some of the best starting salaries in the economy, interest in a career in this field has dropped significantly over the past five years …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 December]

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Reviewing the Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Plans are under way to revise the Leaving Cert. There’s no harm in that – it does need to be looked at. Reform and renewal is good in many walks of life. But the LC needs to be looked at in the context of the fact it is, and is likely to remain, the de facto entrance exam for college …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 8 November]

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Leaving Cert bonus points proposed in sweeping reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sweeping changes to the Leaving Cert, including bonus points for more subjects and a system of continuous assessment of students, are proposed in a report from the Oireachtas Education Committee. The all-party committee says students who do more than one foreign language should get extra points, and there should also be a points reward for taking certain subjects at higher level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 November]

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