Archive for maths

The innocent, unconscious bias that discourages girls from math and science

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 1 March 2011 by Steve

“Barack and Michelle Obama recently invited Amy Chyao, a 16-year-old high-school junior from Texas who is working on a new cancer treatment, and Mikayla Nelson, a high-school freshman from Montana who designed an innovative solar-powered car, to sit in the first lady’s box during the president’s State of the Union Address. It was a nice gesture, but the president didn’t tell the truth about the girls …” (more)

[Shankar Vedantam, Slate, 1 March]


Technology to blame as standards in basic skills fall

Posted in teaching with tags , on 28 February 2011 by Steve

“The increasing availability of technological aids in mobile phones and music players is having a detrimental effect on teenagers’ language and maths skills …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 28 February]

Rugby star O’Kelly talks about maths passion

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 17 February 2011 by Steve

“Ireland and Leinster rugby star Malcolm O’Kelly has been talking to school students about his passion for maths, and the importance of a solid grasp of maths in engineering careers. He visited schools as part of Engineers Week’s second national Volunteer Day …” (more)

[, 17 February]

Bad choices for mathematics?

Posted in teaching with tags on 14 February 2011 by Steve

“It is widely accepted that there is a crisis in Irish school-level maths, from early primary school up, including unqualified teachers, students leaving school innumerate, under-challenged students, low numbers taking Leaving Cert higher level maths, not to mention the low standard of maths among many of those students who actually do get an honour …” (more)

[Eugene Gath, University Blog, 14 February]

Higher maths proposal for teacher training courses

Posted in teaching with tags , on 20 January 2011 by Steve

“Higher Leaving Certificate maths results could be a prerequisite for embarking on teacher training courses, if proposals from the profession’s regulator body are adopted …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 20 January]

Frontline teachers must be supported if Ireland’s underperforming maths education is to improve

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 18 December 2010 by Steve

“Fine Gael Innovation Spokesperson Deirdre Clune TD has called on Education Minister Mary Coughlan TD to address Ireland’s underperforming standards in maths education …” (more)

[Deirdre Clune TD, 17 December]

Decline in maths and literacy

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 13 December 2010 by Steve

“Madam, – The latest OECD results will not be a surprise to people teaching maths to science and engineering students in colleges and universities here …” (more)

[Sara McMurry, Irish Times, 13 December]

Don’t blame immigrants for decline in education standards

Posted in teaching with tags , , , , on 13 December 2010 by Steve

“Irish society needs all the youthful intelligence and imagination it can get. So it is not surprising that new figures showing Ireland’s decline in international rankings from fifth to 17th in reading and from 16th to 26th in maths have raised serious concerns …” (more)

[Seán Ó Riain, Irish Times, 13 December]

Students’ ignorance of basic maths is sum of all our fears

Posted in teaching with tags , on 12 December 2010 by Steve

“Last week Ireland’s educational image took another battering in the Performance International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009, a three-yearly global league table from the OECD. Ireland’s scores in maths dipped since the last survey, from 16th to 25th among the 34 OECD countries …” (more)

[Andrew McKimm, Sunday Independent, 12 December]

PISA results highlight need for Project Maths

Posted in teaching with tags , on 10 December 2010 by Steve

“The latest report on Irish educational attainments by PISA (the OECD’s Programme for international Student Assessment), has highlighted the importance of adopting new approaches to maths and science teaching, according to Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) …” (more)

[, 9 December]

PISA: dangerously unbalanced education

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 9 December 2010 by Steve

“PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment), as some readers will know, is an assessment of 15-year old students carried out every three years by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 65 countries and regions …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 December]

Results black mark for our system, says Quinn

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 8 December 2010 by Steve

“The organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey results are a ‘shocking indication of how our education system fails to perform at the most basic levels’, Labour’s Ruairí Quinn said last night …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 8 December]

Shattering the myth of a world-class education system

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 8 December 2010 by Steve

“The latest OECD findings expose the Irish education system for what it is – a lot less successful than we like to tell ourselves. In the dark days – and there has been a good number of late – we could at least find comfort in the quality of our education system …” (more)

[Sean Flynn, Irish Times, 8 December]

Irish students drop in rankings for literacy and maths

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 8 December 2010 by Steve

“The ranking of Irish students in literacy and maths has fallen dramatically in the latest OECD survey. The results, described as ‘disappointing’’ by Minister for Education Mary Coughlan, contradict the common perception that Ireland enjoys a ‘world-class’ education system …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 8 December]

The news from PISA

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 8 December 2010 by Steve

“The latest results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) are out and Ireland does not do too well. Sean Flynn has a fairly trenchant take on it. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, he makes some good points …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 8 December]

Irish educational standards are falling rapidly

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 7 December 2010 by Steve

“Ireland’s performance in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey results show that our education system is failing from years of under investment. Ireland is now ranked outside the top ten developed countries in terms of reading, science and maths …” (more)

[Ruairi Quinn, Labour Party Blog, 7 December]

TUI reacts to OECD PISA findings

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 7 December 2010 by Steve

“TUI today described the continuing high performance of Irish students in science in the OECD’s latest PISA study as welcome news. The union also expressed its hope that Project Maths will boost performance in the subject in future years, while warning that it must be fully resourced …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 7 December]

Major improvement needed in maths performance

Posted in teaching with tags , on 7 December 2010 by Steve

“ICT Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the high-tech sector, has expressed serious concern at the very poor results in maths literacy levels highlighted by the latest OECD PISA figures released today …” (more)

[IBEC, 7 December]

Pilot bonus-points scheme for higher level maths

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 24 November 2010 by Steve

“The Council of Irish Universities Association announced last month that they will operate a pilot bonus-points scheme for higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate for a four-year trial period from 2012 …” (more)

[Independent, 24 November]

Brendan Walsh on Leaving Cert. Points and University Performance in Economics

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 20 November 2010 by Steve

“… This paper shows that there is a weak association between Leaving. Cert points-scores and university performance in Economics. The authors recommend that the optimal scoring scheme for entry to university Economics would give more weight to Mathematics …” (more)

[Martin Ryan, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 19 November]