Purpose of new junior cycle assessment ‘largely unclear’

Posted in Teaching on August 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An extra layer of assessment for junior cycle students, introduced purely to win the backing of teacher union leaders for controversial exam reforms, is causing difficulties. Both teachers and students are questioning what is known as the Assessment Task, and believe its purpose is ‘unclear’ …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 August]

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Leaving Cert review to focus on easing ‘points race’ pressure

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

Ireland“A major review of the Leaving Cert which gets under way on Tuesday is to examine ways of easing the ‘points race’ and better preparing students for alternatives to university such as apprenticeships. Ireland currently has the highest proportion of school-leavers in the EU who progress to third level. By contrast, far fewer students here follow more vocational routes …” (more)

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

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End of the line for the Leaving Cert?

Posted in Teaching on February 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Is the Leaving Cert fit for purpose for the 21st century? It’s a question being regularly asked against the backdrop of a world where the skills required for workplace are changing fast. The must-have career attributes to future-proof today’s school-leavers, according to the World Economic Forum, include creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 20 February]

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Reformed college entry system ‘must be monitored’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Parents will be watching the rollout of a reformed college entry system very closely to ensure the desired effects of easing the long-running points race are achieved, education leaders have been told …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 4 September]

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UCD only college to significantly cut course options

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 10th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Latest figures on CAO entry-level courses show the slow pace of change, but should not come as a shock. A similar comparison a year ago by the Irish Examiner, which counted only courses open for applications from Leaving Certificate students, showed that the numbers rose …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 10 March]

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Leaving Cert students avoid ‘hard’ questions

Posted in Teaching on February 14th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Students sitting the Leaving Certificate ‘honours’ economics exam are able to avoid answering more challenging questions because of the way the paper is structured …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 February]

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Computer science in schools

Posted in Teaching on January 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to your recent article ‘Ireland needs to switch on or be left behind in computer science’ (January 20th), Ireland had a Leaving Certificate computer studies course. I operated it from 1982 for over 20 years …” (more)

[Eamonn McQuade, Irish Times, 23 January]

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Computer science and Leaving Cert

Posted in Governance and administration on January 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The review of the Leaving Cert applied maths course (‘Plan for Leaving Cert computer science module “tokenistic”‘, January 8th) is welcome indeed, as the current content is too narrowly focused on mathematical physics (beautiful as that subject is) …” (more)

[Lennon Ó Naraigh, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Plan for Leaving Cert computer science module ‘tokenistic’

Posted in Teaching on January 8th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Plans to include computer science in a new applied maths syllabus have been criticised as ‘tokenistic’ and retrograde by maths teachers. The proposal to teach 45 hours of computer programming as part of the Leaving Cert Applied Maths course is contained in a review of that subject following the controversial roll-out of Project Maths …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 8 January]

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O’Sullivan signals philosophy to be taught in schools

Posted in Teaching on December 30th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Philosophy is set to become a subject on the school curriculum for the first time under a plan formulated by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan to extend reform of the junior cycle …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 December]

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Science teachers told to ignore consultation on Junior Cycle course

Posted in Teaching on October 3rd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“A science course to be taught under the new Junior Cycle programme has been put out for consultation but teachers are being ordered by their unions not to take part. The surprise directive comes just days after the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 3 October]

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ASTI and junior cycle

Posted in Teaching on September 19th, 2014 by steve

“A chara, – Joe Humphreys in his ‘Cog Notes’ column (September 16th) is very wide of the mark when he describes the position of ASTI and TUI on the Framework for Junior Cycle document as a ‘rejectionist stance’ …” (more)

[Philip Irwin, Irish Times, 19 September]

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Girls still do far better than boys in Junior Cert

Posted in Life on September 12th, 2014 by steve

“The Junior Certificate class of 2014 have shown, once again, how girls do better in exams. Female candidates in this year’s Junior Cert have outperformed the boys in almost all subjects, at all levels …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 September]

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Transition Year: Not such a doss year after all

Posted in Teaching on May 27th, 2014 by steve

“Transition Year has survived criticism and cuts, but can it survive the new Junior Cert? Students have their say …” (more)

[Louise Holden, Irish Times, 27 May]

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Minister’s autocratic approach endangering effective Junior Cert reform , says Fianna Fáil

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 24th, 2014 by steve

“Fianna Fáil last night claimed Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn’s continued refusal to listen to the concerns of teachers and many parents about the Junior Cert reform process is endangering its effective implementation …” (more)

[Irish Times, 23 April]

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Leaving Cert grades face radical change under plan

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 21st, 2014 by steve

“Leaving Certificate students are facing a new grading system for exams aimed at reducing the culture of ‘teaching to the test’ and rote learning in secondary schools. An expert steering group on reforming the ‘transition’ between second and third levels has called for an end to the 14-band grading system …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 21 April]

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Changes to Leaving Cert to be delayed

Posted in Teaching on April 21st, 2014 by steve

“Major changes to how Leaving Certificate exams are graded, and cuts to numbers of courses offered by colleges from what was available in 2011, will not take effect for another two to three years — at least a year later than first planned …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 April]

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No major concerns over predictability of exams

Posted in Teaching on April 21st, 2014 by steve

“The final area of reform promised by Ruairi Quinn was around predictability in Leaving Certificate exams which — along with narrow grade bands mostly separated by just 5% — it had been suggested promotes rote learning and ‘teaching to the test’ in schools instead of focusing on the curriculum …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 April]

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Quinn to propose Leaving Cert with new system of grading

Posted in Teaching on April 17th, 2014 by steve

“A new system of Leaving Certificate grades — each 10% apart — is the most likely to be formally proposed to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn soon as part of a plan to ease pressures on students chasing points for college …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 17 April]

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New Leaving Cert science courses may not ‘set the bar high enough’, report warns

Posted in Teaching on April 14th, 2014 by steve

“A planned new syllabus for Leaving Cert science subjects is in danger of creating lower standards by focusing on ‘learning outcomes’ rather than traditional building blocks of knowledge, a leading researcher has warned. Prof Áine Hyland, emeritus professor of education at University College Cork, has criticised the planned reforms …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 14 April]

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