Junior cycle reform needs consensus

Posted in Teaching on October 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Colm O’Connor in his article ‘History “special status” forces big reversal of Junior Cycle reform’ (Education Analysis, October 15th) finishes with the following astute observation: ‘Deep reforms require a compass bearing, and for this, it seems clear that a national consensus must first be achieved …'” (more)

[Sean Keaveny, Irish Times, 18 October]


Is the lecture dead?

Posted in Teaching on October 16th, 2019 by steve

“Once ubiquitous, the lecture-based model of disseminating information and instruction is evolving rapidly. But we may still be too early in these evolutions and the research projects into their outcomes, to fully write off the lecture, although many – including vice chancellors – are already advocating this …” (more)

[Duncan Peberdy, Wonkhe, 15 October]


ASTI warns against senior cycle reform until Junior Cycle changes are evaluated

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2019 by steve

“Major curriculum change at senior cycle level should not take place until there is a comprehensive review of the impact of Junior Cycle changes, a teachers’ union has warned. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is consulting with parents, students and teachers as part of an ongoing review of the senior cycle …” (more)

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

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NUI Galway refuses to come on air over ‘obscene’ play

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The play ‘The Kinds Of Sex You Might Have At College’ targets 1st Year students. NUI Galway has organised a play that is touring universities and colleges in Ireland, with a view to developing it for second-level students and younger age groups in the future …” (more)

[Burke Broadcast, 14 October]

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History ‘special status’ forces big reversal of Junior Cycle reform

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The decision to grant the subject of history a special status in the Junior Cycle has been met with relief in many quarters. As a former history teacher, I understand this sentiment; it speaks well of our civil society, and no doubt, of the values which influenced the Minister’s decision …” (more)

[Colm O’Connor, Irish Times, 15 October]

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‘Peer learning in international higher education: the experience of international students in an Irish university’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life, Teaching on October 12th, 2019 by steve

IrelandAbstract: Some of the main concerns in international higher education are the feeling of isolation among international students and their inability to adapt to the host environment, which may result in sub-optimal academic performance. Theoretically, peer learning can be an effective method to reduce these problems since it has the capacity to address isolation and adaptability issues among international students in a way that improves their learning experience and outcomes. Given the above, our study was designed to investigate this topic, focusing on the experience of international students. In this exploratory case study of a leading Irish university, we adopted a survey method via questionnaire to quantify and compare the experiences of a sample of international students at the said university. Five aspects of peer learning were explored, namely usage rate, current practices, outcomes, challenges, and coping strategies. We also included an open-ended section in the survey instrument for respondents to offer qualitative suggestions to the host institution. Through methodological triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative data, we discovered diverse practices, challenges, and outcomes of peer learning across different groups of international students in this university. The paper concludes with a discussion of research implications and suggestions for future studies.

Idris, A, Ion, G, Seery A Peer learning in international higher education: the experience of international students in an Irish university, Irish Educational Studies, 2018, 38, 1, 1-24.

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Rise in honours Maths uptake to attain CAO bonus points ‘has not improved standards’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Bonus points in Leaving Cert higher-level Maths have not necessarily improved standards in the subject. Student uptake of the ‘honours’ paper has doubled since the bonus of 25 CAO points for a minimum 40% mark was introduced, but it has not been matched by a corresponding improvement in students’ ability in maths …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 October]

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San Oideachas, Ní Féidir Luach a Bhunú ar Deiseanna Fostaíochta

Posted in Life, Teaching on October 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Agus mé níos mó ná leathbhealach tríd mo chúrsa fochéime, éiríonn an cheist faoin bplean atá agam i ndiaidh an choláiste níos práinní gach lá. Táim cráite ag na comhráite a bhíonn agam faoin todhchaí atá romham ar bhonn rialta. Comhráite ainniseacha atá iontu – pléitear intéirneachtaí, taithí oibre, cúrsaí iarchéime agus an saol oibre go minic …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 4 October]

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Can the Lecture Be Saved?

Posted in Teaching on October 4th, 2019 by steve

“Do you feel guilty when you lecture? Perhaps you’re afraid that you’re shortchanging students. That, instead, you should be flipping your classroom and getting ‘active’ through group exercises. But really, aren’t there times when you just want to tell your students what they need to know? Fear no more …” (more)

[Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 October]


History and the curriculum

Posted in Teaching on October 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – By giving history ‘special core status’, Minister for Education Joe McHugh has essentially made the Framework for Junior Cycle document null and void as it has removed a key principle that it stands on choice and flexibility for schools and students …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 3 October]

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Maoiniú do Chursaí Gaeilge de Luach €1.63 Milliún Fógartha ag Sean Kyne

Posted in Teaching on October 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“D’fhógair an tAire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht, agus do na hOileáin, Sean Kyne, go gcuirfear maoiniú €1.63 milliún ar fáil do chursaí tríú-leibhéil Gaeilge ar an Luan. Thuairiscigh Tuairisc.ie go dtabharfar tacaíocht do 12 chúrsa Gaeilge i gcoláistí timpeall na tíre …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 2 October]

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The Irish Times view on history in schools: good call – with caveats

Posted in Teaching on October 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“On one hand, the debate over the place of history on the school curriculum has been an invigorating, encouraging experience. A discussion that has drawn in everyone from the President to school-children, has been a reminder of the importance society attaches to understanding its past. On the other hand, that debate has been beset by confusion …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 October]

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McHugh rules out giving special status to other Junior Cycle subjects

Posted in Teaching on October 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education Joe McHugh has ruled out making subjects such as geography or science mandatory after moving to make the study of history compulsory for Junior Cycle students. Mr McHugh announced on Tuesday that he will give history ‘special core status’ in the Junior Cycle following a review on whether the subject should remain optional or not …” (more)

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

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Trinity can’t claim it is LGBT+ inclusive until curriculums change

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The announcement of a new inclusive housing programme, dubbed ‘Rainbow Housing’ by its initiators at the University of Limerick, seems to signify a watershed moment for those studying in Ireland who identify as LGBT+. Other colleges have yet to follow suit …” (more)

[Ursula Dale, Trinity News, 26 September]


Education publisher Pearson says US students going digital faster than expected

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2019 by steve

“Education publisher Pearson has warned students are turning to online and digital resources faster than bosses expected – hitting its balance sheet. Profits are now expected to be at the bottom end of expectations between £590 million and £640 million, with the news sending shares plunging 17%, down 148p to 712.8p …” (more)

[Simon Neville, Independent, 26 September]

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UCC to launch programme to support students through challenges of higher education

Posted in Teaching on September 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The first programme of its kind in Ireland to help students choose the right degree and get through the challenges of higher education is to be launched today. The Graduate Attributes Programme at University College Cork (UCC) is aiming to support students through their life cycle of study at university while also developing their skills …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 24 September]

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Time for change in assessing Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The inequalities in our educational outcomes are stark. A soon-to-be released report from the Higher Education Authority indicates the strong connection between the more affluent members of our society and high results in the Leaving Cert and access to third level, particularly the future high-income courses such as medicine, business, and finance …” (more)

[Denise Burns and others, Irish Times, 19 September]

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UCD students won’t be penalised over missing classes to attend protests

Posted in Teaching on September 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The country’s largest university has announced a deal for students who miss classes to attend today’s climate strikes. In the deal stuck between authorities at University College Dublin and the Students Union, students will not be penalised for skipping classes where marks are normally awarded for attendance …” (more)

[Caroline O’Doherty, Independent, 20 September]

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Not having a second language hurts job opportunities, experts warn

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Concerns are being raised that job-hunters don’t have a second language. Jobs.ie says it is proving a challenge for recruiters and it is warning of a potential skill shortage. It says companies are looking for workers who speak German, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 16 September]

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What should universities do about organised cheating?

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2019 by steve

International“Every so often the world of higher education is swept by a big panic about systemic and widespread cheating. The latest instance is concern about contract cheating or essay mills that provide bespoke essays or papers for students …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 16 September]

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