Where next for the Leaving Cert?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“‘Teachers will predict the grades of their own students and there will be no Leaving Cert exam’ – if you’d suggested this at the start of 2020, teachers, unions, parents, students and the Department of Education would have assumed you were sleep-talking through a far-fetched Leaving Cert dream …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 23 June]

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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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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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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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Review supports need for continuous assessment in Leaving Cert, say principals

Posted in Teaching on July 31st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Secondary school principals say the findings of a review into the senior cycle support its calls for including continuous assessment as part of a reformed Leaving Cert. On Tuesday, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) published the findings of its interim review of the senior cycle, based on consultations with more than 2,500 students and hundreds of parents and teachers across 41 schools …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 30 July]

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Review shows students think Irish should become optional for Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on July 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Many students think Irish should become an optional subject for the Leaving Cert as a review of senior cycle education uncovers mixed views on keeping Gaeilge compulsory. Parents would also like to see students have the option to focus on five exam subjects instead of seven. Many students believe all subjects should be optional. The finding is included in a review of the existing senior cycle …” (more)

[Jess Casey, BreakingNews.ie, 29 July]

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‘Review junior cycle before Leaving Cert is changed’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A second-level teachers union leader said the junior cycle reforms must be properly evaluated before any changes are made to the Leaving Cert. Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Seamus Lahart said while a senior cycle review was under way there was no evidence of the positive and negative consequences of the radical overhaul of the Junior Cert …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 25 April]

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The Irish Times view on Leaving Cert reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The consultation with students and parents as part of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) review of the Leaving Cert, reveals a surprising ignorance on how the exam has been radically transformed, as revised curriculums across a wide range of subjects have been introduced …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 April]

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Oh, Good God Gary

Posted in Teaching on March 31st, 2019 by steve

IrelandThe Irish Times published an article in on Tuesday 26th March which gave space to Mary O’Rourke and Dr Gary Granville to present their view on whether history should be a compulsory subject. Dr Gary Granville is professor emeritus at the National College of Art and Design. He was formerly assistant chief executive in the NCCA …” (more)

[Peter Lydon, 31 March]

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No subject – including history – should be compulsory

Posted in Teaching on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I attended a showing of a new film Peterloo recently, followed by a discussion with the English director Mike Leigh. In the course of the discussion on this insightful rendition of a largely forgotten incident in British history, a contribution from the floor expressed concern about the perceived future status of history in Irish schools …” (more)

[Gary Granville, Irish Times, 20 December]

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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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