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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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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Higher failure rate in Ordinary level Maths cause for concern

Posted in Governance and administration on August 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The long wait is over. Today, some 58,466 Leaving Cert students will find out how they have performed in a landmark exam which may well shape their future career …” (more)

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

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Project Maths

Posted in Teaching on January 20th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Project Maths is not the problem. The ‘dumbing down’ of maths was happening well before the launch of Project Maths. Questions were appearing on the Leaving Cert higher paper in 2008/2009 that would have appeared 15 years prior to it on the ordinary paper …” (more)

[Andrew Woods, Irish Times, 20 January]

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Project Maths – time for reform?

Posted in Teaching on January 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The matter of the ‘dumbing down’ of maths through the introduction of Project Maths is coming home to roost! The Government’s response to industry as a result of the reported weakness in maths ability among students has been a comedy of errors …” (more)

[Declan Young, Irish Times, 15 January]

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Mathematics and dropout rates

Posted in Teaching on January 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – It is clear from the dropout rates in higher education that competence in mathematics in Ireland has fallen (‘Concern over dropout rates in computer science courses’, January 11th). I can only suggest that concerned parents identify their friendly neighbourhood mathematician …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Raising maths and science standards

Posted in Teaching on September 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Peter Cheney assesses Ireland’s latest OECD rankings and how improvements can be achieved. One in seven Irish students fail to gain basic skills in maths and science, according to a new OECD report. However, the Project Maths initiative appears to be improving standards and helping to turn around Ireland’s performance …” (more)

[eolas Magazine, 4 September]

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Leaving Cert: higher maths paper 1 ‘easiest on record’

Posted in Teaching on June 11th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert maths paper 1 is over. The higher level paper is by far the easiest on record. Strip away the applications and what’s left is on a par with the ordinary level papers of old. Knowledge of actual maths at a high level has plummeted …” (more)

[Eugene Gath, Irish Times, 8 June]

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Project Maths linked to decline in third-level performance

Posted in Teaching on June 9th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Students entering third-level are at increased risk of failing courses with a maths module, according to a study that casts doubt on the merits of the new Leaving Cert maths syllabus. Researchers at University of Limerick found the mathematical ability of students entering higher education declined significantly in the period 2003-2013 …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 9 June]

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Science research funding

Posted in Research on April 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – We are very surprised at the criticism of recent Government decisions to divert a greater proportion of third-level research funding from pure science to applied science (ie, engineering) as in our view this change was long overdue …” (more)

[PJ Rudden, Irish Times, 15 April]

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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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Maths and Applied Maths in the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on December 17th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“I wrote this a few years ago. I’m not sure if I posted here before but it’s topical again, so here goes. Finally it is being recognised that we have two Leaving Cert Maths courses; Mathematics (Project Maths that is) and Applied Mathematics …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 17 December]

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Applied Maths proposal to add key areas of maths welcomed

Posted in Teaching on December 16th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Key areas of maths that have been dropped from the Leaving Certificate syllabus could become part of a revised applied maths course being developed. The proposal comes following strong criticisms about the removal of topics like matrices, vectors and calculus from the senior cycle syllabus in the Project Maths programme …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 16 December]

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Project Maths students record ‘small but positive’ improvement in skills

Posted in Teaching on November 11th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Students studying under the Project Maths curriculum have recorded a ‘small but positive’ improvement in their skills with the subject, a new study has shown. Its authors also suggest that these gains will advance further over time …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 11 November]

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Project Maths is causing more students to fail higher maths

Posted in Teaching on September 12th, 2014 by steve

“As the new school year begins, the annual drama caused by Project Maths is enacted in schools all over the country. The number of candidates failing higher maths increased from 420 in 2013 to 640 in 2014 …” (more)

[Brendan Guildea, Irish Examiner, 12 September]

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O’Sullivan rejects criticism of reforms

Posted in Teaching on September 11th, 2014 by steve

“Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan says she believes a compromise can be reached with teachers on the Junior Cycle reforms, but she rejected union claims that the plan is simply a money-saving exercise …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 11 September]

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Encouraging results from Junior Cert class of 2014

Posted in Teaching on September 11th, 2014 by steve

“One significant and recent change in secondary education is the greater emphasis on mathematics and science subjects, as more students take these courses, at Junior and Leaving Certificate level …” (more)

[Irish Times, 11 September]

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Uptake of higher level mathematics still rising

Posted in Teaching on September 10th, 2014 by steve

“Another rise in numbers taking higher level Junior Certificate maths has been welcomed, as just over 60,000 students await their results today. With the rollout of the Project Maths syllabus to every school almost complete, all except 23 schools (which piloted it ahead of the rest of the country) were examined on four of the five strands this year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 10 September]

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