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Written Answers - School Curriculum

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 186.  Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  his plans to review the way in which mathematics is taught at second level; if he is satisfied that the qualifications of all maths teachers are sufficient to meet the county’s needs as a centre for the knowledge economy; his plans to undertake any review of the project maths approach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6790/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The results of a survey of mathematics teaching undertaken by the Teaching Council shows that 66.4% of maths teachers are fully qualified to do so, 31.1% have undergone some studies in maths and only 2.5% of teachers teaching maths have no third level qualification/studies in maths. Tenders have been published for the development of a post graduate course to enable teachers of Mathematics who may not have a qualification in the subject to upskill to the recognised levels. The Teaching Council has also published a consultation document setting out proposed revised degree entry requirements for post-primary post graduate initial teacher education programmes relating to the teaching of 35 curricular subjects, including Mathematics.

Project Maths began in all second level schools in September 2010, building on the experiences of 24 Project Schools which started the programme in 2008. This is being supported by a national programme of professional development for teachers which began in 2009, and will continue to at least 2013. A Project Maths Implementation Support Group, as an industry/education partnership, reported in 2010 on how stakeholders from business, second level and higher education can work together to achieve the objectives of Project Maths. The recommendations of this report are being progressed.

Research has also been commissioned on the impact of Project Maths on student’s attitudes and attainment. In the meantime, the results of the examinations in the 24 Project Maths [404]schools have been published in the Leaving Certificate in 2010 and 2011, and the Junior Certificate in 2011. These show an improvement in the proportions scoring Grade ABC, and fewer students scoring at Grade EFNG.

My Department has produced The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-2020, “Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life” which is designed to promote a significant improvement in mathematical skills across primary and second level schools. The Strategy sets out a range of integrated actions in regard to helping parents to support their children’s learning, professional development of teachers, expansion of the duration of initial teacher education, and improving school leadership, assessment and school management and review.

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