Maths, rules and creativity

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I’m a chemical engineer. I’m ok at maths – competent but not a natural like this guy with whom I went to secondary school. Nevertheless, I have written a book on mathematical modelling. The book is not all that advanced – it mainly contains calculus and ordinary differential equations – but I’m kind of proud of it …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 21 September]

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Higher-level maths students performing well despite doubling in exam numbers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students are performing remarkably well in higher level maths despite a doubling in the proportion of students taking on the more challenging exam in recent years, according to a new study …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 August]

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Bruton plays down high failure rate in ordinary level maths

Posted in Teaching on August 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said officials will examine whether there are ‘lessons to be learned’ from the volume of students who failed ordinary level maths in this year’s Leaving Cert exam. However, he played down concerns over the issue and said the proportion of failures at ordinary level was linked to greater numbers taking on the higher level paper …” (more)

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

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More than 3,700 Leaving Cert pupils fail maths exam

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More than 3,700 students have failed their Leaving Cert maths papers, effectively locking them out of many third-level courses which require a pass as a basic entry requirement. The bulk of those who failed to secure a pass grade sat the ordinary-level paper where the failure rate was just under 10% …” (more)

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

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Increase in students opting for higher level papers

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The results of the 2018 Leaving Cert indicate an increase in the number and percentage of students opting for higher level papers. This trend is driven in part by the movement downwards from 40% to 30% of what constitutes a failure in the eyes of third-level colleges, and many students have responded to this change by opting to study higher level subjects …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Trees, Graphs and the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on December 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I’m starting to get the hang of some of the differences between things here in Ireland and the United Kingdom, both domestically and in the world of work. One of the most important points of variation that concerns academic life is the school system students go through before going to University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 15 December]

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Project Maths fails to lift Irish teenagers’ performance in subject

Posted in Teaching on November 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Irish teenagers’ performance in maths saw no significant change between 2012 and 2015, a report evaluating the impact of Project Maths says. It states Project Maths has had ‘a small positive impact’ on student performance as measured by international studies but that there are ‘clear challenges’ in teaching, learning and assessment …” (more)

[Sarah Burns, Irish Times, 14 November]

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A review of Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler: Part I

Posted in Teaching on November 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“At the second attempt I returned to Jo Boaler’s book Mathematical Mindsets. I really wanted to get an insight into what she is proposing because I have no doubt that the curriculum designers are planning to incorporate Boaler’s ideas into what will be Ireland’s revised primary school curriculum …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 7 November]

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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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Do students have any feel for maths?

Posted in Teaching on September 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many times in my lectures I derive an equation and I ask my students how they would linearise the equation in such a way as to inform their data analysis …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 25 September]

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Anger as maths ‘anomaly’ means some pupils fail to make CAO grade

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Aspiring primary teachers with high points will be angry over how the new grading system affects their eligibility for entry to their dream courses. An anomaly in the maths requirement for entry to their chosen profession could dash the hopes of Leaving Cert candidates who have achieved at the highest level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 August]

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Call for review of Leaving Cert maths bonus over third-level fears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“There are concerns over the basic skills of Leaving Cert maths students who are passing the higher-level paper but struggling to cope at third level, according to a university president …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 August]

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Project maths: Do the reforms add up for students?

Posted in Teaching on June 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Five years ago, Project Maths was rolled out to secondary schools around the country. Around the same time, students were offered the incentive of 25 bonus CAO points if they sat the higher-level paper. Thousands responded to the incentive; this year, a record 36% of Leaving Cert candidates took the more challenging paper, up from 20% in 2011 …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 12 June]

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Students not ready for maths at third level

Posted in Teaching on June 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A review of the controversial Project Maths curriculum is to examine how it affects student performance on third-level courses with a high maths content. There is already some evidence to suggest the revised curriculum has seen students less prepared than previously for the maths elements of college studies in science and technology …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 June]

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More compulsory math lessons do not encourage women to pursue STEM careers

Posted in Teaching on March 28th, 2017 by steve

“The demand for employees in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math) is particularly high, as corporations compete to attract skilled professionals in the international market. What is known as ‘curriculum intensification’ is often used around the world to attract more university entrants – and particularly more women – to these subjects; that is to say, students have on average more mandatory math courses at a higher level …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 28 March]

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Bonus points lure one-third of pupils to higher maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About one in three Leaving Cert students has applied to sit higher-level maths this year, many lured by the prospect of earning 25 CAO bonus points. Interest among sixth years in the ‘honours’ paper is similar to what it was at the same stage in 2016 and 2015, suggesting that uptake is stabilising …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 March]

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Project Maths: Or is it just Maths?

Posted in Teaching on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It doesn’t take long for the new and the strange to become the norm. Once the phrase ‘Project Maths’ was so controversial it spawned many newspaper articles and media discussions, with strong views being expressed both in favour and against the new maths syllabuses and exams …” (more)

[Aidan Roantree, Irish Times, 17 March]

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Progressive teaching of maths: the cause of all our troubles?

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Whenever I chat to colleagues from physics or maths we tend to end up sharing our experiences and frustrations about teaching quantitative subjects to college students. Everyone, in all third level institutions, is exasperated …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 7 February]

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Can’t spell or do basic maths? Blame predictive text and calculators

Posted in Teaching on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Science is very good at spinning off new technologies that make life easier and make us more efficient. However, such technologies often have unforeseen negative consequences. Two such examples are electronic calculators and predictive text …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 2 February]

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Gender gap emerges in maths and science in Irish secondary schools

Posted in Teaching on December 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The gender gap is widening when it comes to science and maths in secondary schools, with boys performing significantly better than girls in the subjects …” (more)

[Joyce Fegan, Irish Examiner, 7 December]

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