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Thread: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

  1. #1
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    Default Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Without consultation with teachers, the Government is to abolish the Junior Certificate exam and to make radical changes to the curriculum.

    http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Eve...R12-10-04.html

    It has also announced big changes in the Leaving Certificate curriculum, starting with English in 2014

    University entrance requirements are also to change, with less weight put on Leaving Certificate results. These changes, for better or worse, will have a big effect on young people, and on the economy and society generally.

    Any views on the changes, for better or worse ?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/educa...cert-1.1523506

    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/...-26889191.html
    Last edited by C. Flower; 28-10-2013 at 05:48 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    In my opinion what is happening is a general "dumbing down" of undergraduate degrees which will necessitate a postgrad if you want the top jobs - which are very expensive. This is a money spinner, which will result in only those prepared to take on crippling debt (in addition to that which they racked up doing their "general" undergrad), or have rich parents, receiving a "proper" third level education.

    From the Indo article:

    Students would begin studying subjects with names like general science, general arts, general engineering or general technology.



    While there would be fewer subject choices for school leavers, there would be many more places available on each course.



    Broadening the entry point in this way means a wider range of students would be able to take on a subject initially. They would not need to hit such high points targets at Leaving Cert to get in.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Without consultation with teachers, the Government is to abolish the Junior Certificate exam and to make radical changes to the curriculum.

    http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Eve...R12-10-04.html
    In the article you cited, Ruairí Quinn is quoted as saying, “I have listened to teachers and principals who have asked for the new junior cycle to be fully resourced." So, there must have been some consultation which is good for relations between management and employees but not necessarily good for Education.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    It has also announced big changes in the Leaving Certificate curriculum, starting with English in 2014.
    I wonder what the changes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    University entrance requirements are also to change, with less weight put on Leaving Certificate results.
    There is no justification for believing that a school leaving examination should be used to prevent perfectly capable students from studying what they wish at university. Rationing university places in certain third level courses to secondary school swats is a national disgrace.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    These changes, for better or worse, will have a big effect on young people, and on the economy and society generally.
    If the changes permit students to study what they want to, then that will be welcome and should be a benefit to them and our society although the economy will need more radical philosophical, political, and collaborative partnerships between Education and Industry in the broad sense.



    "http://www.irishtimes.com/news/educa...cert-1.1523506"
    Sally Maguire, ASTI president, does not trust Irish teachers to evaluate their students. Enough said.

    "http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/...-26889191.html[/QUOTE]"
    The whole points system is disgraceful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    In my opinion what is happening is a general "dumbing down" of undergraduate degrees which will necessitate a postgrad if you want the top jobs - which are very expensive. This is a money spinner, which will result in only those prepared to take on crippling debt (in addition to that which they racked up doing their "general" undergrad), or have rich parents, receiving a "proper" third level education.
    Students who need remedial or prerequisite courses can be offered them by colleges if necessary.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    In the article you cited, Ruairí Quinn is quoted as saying, “I have listened to teachers and principals who have asked for the new junior cycle to be fully resourced." So, there must have been some consultation which is good for relations between management and employees but not necessarily good for Education.
    There has been zero consultation with teachers - a handful of reps from the teachers unions have sat on committees who have been going through the motions but Quinn had already made his decisions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    I wonder what the changes are.
    CF is wrong - there are no changes planned for LC English - the new JC English syllabus is due to be introduced in Sept 2014.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    There is no justification for believing that a school leaving examination should be used to prevent perfectly capable students from studying what they wish at university. Rationing university places in certain third level courses to secondary school swats is a national disgrace.
    This move is actually to be welcomed. Thousands of students quit third level each year because they end up doing a course because they got the points rather than because they were actually interested in doing the course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    If the changes permit students to study what they want to, then that will be welcome and should be a benefit to them and our society although the economy will need more radical philosophical, political, and collaborative partnerships between Education and Industry in the broad sense.
    The purpose of the JC changes are to facilitate the privatisation of aspects of the education system - namely facilitating private companies coming into schools to present the 'short courses' (particularly in the initial stages in relation to computer programming and Chinese - one of the dafter ideas in Quinn's proposals). The other changes are designed to cut the cost of correcting the exam papers - nothing more and nothing less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    "http://www.irishtimes.com/news/educa...cert-1.1523506"
    Sally Maguire, ASTI president, does not trust Irish teachers to evaluate their students. Enough said.
    That is your interpretation - the reality is that teachers will be put under enormous pressure from school management to ensure the 'right' results and from parents who want little Johnny or Maggie to get better grades. Many parents who have an inflated opinion of the ability of their child already engage in finger pointing at teachers and this will be significantly ramped up under the new changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    "http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/...-26889191.html"
    The whole points system is disgraceful.
    Yes it is - but the key to developing education is significantly increased investment - not massive cuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Students who need remedial or prerequisite courses can be offered them by colleges if necessary.
    I will hold my breath

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Red Giant View Post
    There has been zero consultation with teachers - a handful of reps from the teachers unions have sat on committees who have been going through the motions but Quinn had already made his decisions.



    CF is wrong - there are no changes planned for LC English - the new JC English syllabus is due to be introduced in Sept 2014.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Quinn of course has had long standing interests in private education-related ventures.

    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Quinn of course has had long standing interests in private education-related ventures.
    You better believe it - two years before the last election I predicted that Quinn would be Minister for Education. There had to be some payback for his US education privatisation lobby group.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Internal correction happens in further education, with external evaluation. It has not dumbed down standards or led to undue influence on tutors.
    I have no idea if teachers were consulted, but I know that students were.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Perhaps Ruairi Quinn feels it might be best if the Labour Party isn't remembered


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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedTrousers View Post
    Internal correction happens in further education, with external evaluation. It has not dumbed down standards or led to undue influence on tutors.
    Different situation - those participating in PLC courses are adults - teachers do not have to talk to little Johnny or little Mary's parents - they are able to directly communicate with the students to address any issues. Furthermore - if the verification (both internal and external) used in PLC courses was implemented for the JC it would cost a lot more than the current JC exmaination. As a result you know this will not happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedTrousers View Post
    I have no idea if teachers were consulted, but I know that students were.
    Evidence - because I am not aware of any consultation with students.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Red Giant View Post
    Different situation - those participating in PLC courses are adults - teachers do not have to talk to little Johnny or little Mary's parents - they are able to directly communicate with the students to address any issues. Furthermore - if the verification (both internal and external) used in PLC courses was implemented for the JC it would cost a lot more than the current JC exmaination. As a result you know this will not happen.


    Evidence - because I am not aware of any consultation with students.
    I'm not sure whether it would cost more, I'm not convinced.

    Link to consultation with young people
    http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and...3g_report_.pdf

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA is the advisory body on matters such as the Junior cycle. The announcement seems to me to be largely in line with its strategic plan 2012-2015. They propose, the Minister disposes. They have eight Boards, including the one on Junior Cycle. The teacher unions are heavily represented as is the DES and there are co-opted members on each board. I am not sure what their wider consultation procedures were.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedTrousers View Post
    I'm not sure whether it would cost more, I'm not convinced.
    Excluding externals the payment for correcting the PLC work of students is more than double what is paid for correcting the JC papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedTrousers View Post
    Link to consultation with young people
    http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and...3g_report_.pdf
    So the NCCA commissioned a private study involving 88 JC students (out of over 200,000) from a very small number of select students who participate in Comhairlaí na nÓg through the county enterprise boards. The NCCA did not go into schools and talk to students or teachers - in fact they ignored the students and the teachers (including ingoring what these 88 Comhairlaí na nÓg members proposed when it didn't fit in with Quinn's strategy) because Quinn has an agenda - an agenda for privatisation - and he is only interested in what backs up his plans.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectabilis View Post
    The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA is the advisory body on matters such as the Junior cycle. The announcement seems to me to be largely in line with its strategic plan 2012-2015. They propose, the Minister disposes. They have eight Boards, including the one on Junior Cycle. The teacher unions are heavily represented as is the DES and there are co-opted members on each board. I am not sure what their wider consultation procedures were.
    No - the NCCA adopts what is needed to implement Quinn's agenda. The establishment have been pushing for the Irish education system to go down the route implemented by Thatcher's Tories in Britain just as Cameron's Tories are coming to the realisation that it has not worked. The teacher's unions are represented on the NCCA but they are largely ignored when they don't back Quinn's agenda. This whole porcess is driven by the neo-liberals who are casting an envious eye over the potential profit in Irish education (in the same way that they are pushing for UHI in the Irish health system and privatisation of water supplies). Nothing that is happening is happening because it will be of benefit to Irish students (any benefits will be purely coincidental) and everything is happening because the wealthy elites are trying to squeeze as much money out of working class people as they can.

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Red Giant View Post
    No - the NCCA adopts what is needed to implement Quinn's agenda. The establishment have been pushing for the Irish education system to go down the route implemented by Thatcher's Tories in Britain just as Cameron's Tories are coming to the realisation that it has not worked. The teacher's unions are represented on the NCCA but they are largely ignored when they don't back Quinn's agenda. This whole porcess is driven by the neo-liberals who are casting an envious eye over the potential profit in Irish education (in the same way that they are pushing for UHI in the Irish health system and privatisation of water supplies). Nothing that is happening is happening because it will be of benefit to Irish students (any benefits will be purely coincidental) and everything is happening because the wealthy elites are trying to squeeze as much money out of working class people as they can.
    The education process serves an economic and social purpose: globalisation reduces the need for a skilled workforce in the west. Apprenticeships were devalued a generation ago. There has since been a generation of extraction of money from students and families to get them the magic degree, that will no longer necessarily get them any kind of a job. But the money and the illusion are running out. Deskilling and dumbing down in the west comes out of these specific historic circumstances.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Second Level Education Changes in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    ... Apprenticeships were devalued a generation ago.
    What country are you referring to? Were there that many apprenticeships in Ireland in the 1980s?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    There has since been a generation of extraction of money from students and families to get them the magic degree, that will no longer necessarily get them any kind of a job.
    Degrees are not required to have a trade but to enter a profession and, in Ireland, third level education is rationed which specifically limits admissions to the professions.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Deskilling and dumbing down in the west comes out of these specific historic circumstances.
    The youth in Germany are not being dumbed-down but get good training while still at secondary school and walk into well-paying jobs. The Germans do it right.

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