Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Madness in the CAO System

When academics look at the CAO numbers at the end of August they are inevitably delighted when the points increase for their own particular course. Why? Because they know from experience that a CAO points score is a relatively good … Continue reading

Posted in education, Leaving Cert, Third Level | 3 Comments

The Teaching Assistant (TA) Concept

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now … Continue reading

Posted in education, structured PhD, teaching assistants | 1 Comment

Teaching the Scientific Method

I was going to write about Teaching Assistants this time but I’ve postponed that for next week. In the meantime, this article in Scientific American about parents’ reluctance to expose their children to injections of any kind, vitamin K in … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century, education, Research | 7 Comments

The Second-to-Third Level Transition

This is the text (more or less) of a letter I lashed off the the Irish Times last week. Not surprisingly given its length, it didn’t get published but why waste it? The recent ESRI report highlighting the difficulties that … Continue reading

Posted in education, Leaving Cert, Research, structured PhD | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Leaving Cert and the 21st Century

The Leaving Cert and the 21st Century Motor cars, aeroplanes, space travel, antibiotics, anti-virals, DNA technology, MRI scanners, TVs, Relativity, GPS systems, telephones, mobile phones, stem cells, Quantum Mechanics, organ transplants, IVF, lasers, digital computers, nanotechnology, chemotherapy, brain surgery, Fermat’s … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century, education, Leaving Cert, Third Level | 4 Comments

Obsessing about lectures

One of the recurring themes in the many recent contributions from those giving their tuppence worth on the ‘woes’ of education is the idea that the traditional lecture is obsolete. Whether it is or not is debatable: I happen to … Continue reading

Posted in education | 2 Comments

Doing a Man City on Irish Science?

There is no doubt that the standing of Irish science and engineering has improved enormously in recent years. The international subject rankings prove this unequivocally. The reason for the improvement is simple: funding. Good science needs money and lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Research | 1 Comment