Senior cycle needs to move into 21st century, says Minister

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“There is a pressing need to bring the Leaving Certificate and senior cycle ‘forward into the 21st century’, Minister for Education Norma Foley has said. Speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), she said the Leaving Cert has come to dominate the entire senior-cycle experience …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 April]

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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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Students call for overhaul of Leaving Cert programme

Posted in Teaching on November 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A consultation process on senior cycle education has found a strong appetite for change among students, parents and teachers who contributed, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 7 November]

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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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‘Reform Leaving Cert to bring it into 21st century’ – Ibec says radical overhaul of senior cycle needed to prepare students better for future world of work

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert must be made more relevant for the 21st century, according to employers. As up to 59,000 students from the class of 2019 received their results, the employers’ group Ibec said reform of senior cycle and careers guidance was necessary to better prepare students for the future world of work …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly and Evie Kearney, Independent, 14 August]

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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,, 29 July]

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CAO points race is distorting the true meaning of education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“With this year’s State examinations almost upon us, and a review of the senior cycle underway, it is perhaps timely to consider how that review should proceed. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) represents second level teachers as well as teachers in further and adult education and third level lecturers …” (more)

[Seamus Lahart, Irish Times, 3 June]

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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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Is the Leaving Cert fit for purpose?

Posted in Teaching on December 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I came across a tweet yesterday in which an Irish academic based in England suggested that the Leaving Cert was ‘not fit for purpose’. That raises the question as to what the purpose of the Leaving actually is. In the past, a good Leaving Cert meant you could go to college or go straight to the workplace (in the banks, for example), or become a trainee in any number of professions …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 19 December]

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Mixed views among teachers on changes to assessment methods for Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on December 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Teachers have very mixed views on how badly-needed changes to assessment methods for Leaving Certificate should be introduced, early consultations have found. The issue could prove a stumbling block as efforts to remove problematic aspects of the two-year senior cycle progress, following major industrial unrest among teachers around new assessment methods for junior cycle …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 17 December]

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Junior Cert reform must not drain resources from senior cycle

Posted in Teaching on October 14th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“All education partners agree that change to the Junior Cert is necessary. It is not currently fit-for-purpose. The Junior Cert, like the Leaving, is all about exams: exams that put an overly strenuous burden on the shoulders of our 15 year olds …” (more)

[Clive Byrne, Independent, 14 October]

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The ‘Reforming Learning: Driving Success’ Conference, 5th December 2014

Posted in Teaching on November 2nd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Are we preparing our young people to meet their own needs, the needs of our society, the demands of the workplace, the changing nation? Friday, December 5th, 2014, 9am-4pm, The Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, National University of Ireland, Galway. In the current context of rapid social, economic and cultural changes these questions are timely as they are important …” (more)

[NUI Galway, 2 November]

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