24 Statements of Knowing

Without wishing to go all E.D. Hirsch, here’s my first attempt at presenting an adjunct/alternative to the Junior Cycle’s skills-heavy, knowledge-light 24 Statements of Learning. Some of this might be more appropriate for Leaving Cert but the point is that to be a fully ‘engaged citizen’ (as they say), you really ought to know some stuff.

The student should:

  1. Be numerate, i.e., be able to carry out arithmetical operations employing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; be able to work with fractions and percentages; be able to work in scientific notation; be able to use a calculator and spreadsheet software as appropriate.
  2. Understand how to present and interpret data that is presented in graphical form
  3. Know the basic rules of algebra and understand the meaning of ‘x’ as representing an unknown quantity
  4. Understand the basic ideas of Euclidean geometry and trigonometry
  5. Appreciate mathematics for its role in world culture as well as it’s applied role in science and business
  6. Know the basic atomic and molecular structure of matter
  7. Understand how the planet Earth is located within the universe and be aware of the main features and magnitude of that universe
  8. Be aware of the basic laws of nature including Conservation of Energy, Newton’s Laws, Gravity, Evolution by Natural Selection (and maybe even Quantum Theory!)
  9. Know about nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and the equivalence of matter and energy
  10. Have a basic knowledge of the geography of the world, including a knowledge of climate in various regions of the world
  11. Have knowledge of the workings of the human body including what a gene is.
  12. Understand how lifestyle affects the workings of the human body
  13. Have knowledge of the various forms of microscopic life including bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa and viruses and an appreciation of the role that these organisms play in disease
  14. Have an understanding of the diversity of life on Earth and the impact that man has on that life
  15. Understand the basic tenets of the scientific method
  16. Have a rudimentary knowledge of the major religions of the world and the role of religion and philosophy in world cultures
  17. Have a basic knowledge of world history especially 20th century history
  18. Have read, in whole or in part, some of the great works of literature, including novels, plays and poetry
  19. Understand how the Irish political system works
  20. Have a good knowledge of Irish history especially recent history in Northern Ireland
  21. Have some knowledge of the various political and governmental systems used throughout the world, including democracies, dictatorships (religious and otherwise) and totalitarian regimes of all kinds
  22. Have a good knowledge of English grammar and be able to write meaningful and grammatically correct sentences
  23. Be capable of having a simple conversation in a foreign language
  24. Know about some of the great artists, musicians and composers of history

About Greg Foley

A lecturer in Biotechnology in Dublin City University for more than 25 years. Trained as a Chemical Engineer in UCD (BE and PhD) and Cornell (MS). Does research on analysis and design of membrane filtration systems.
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2 Responses to 24 Statements of Knowing

  1. Pingback: Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » 24 Statements of Knowing

  2. Pingback: How should we teach science at secondary school? | educationandstuff

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