Category Archives: Leaving Cert

The fallacy of broad course choices at third level

A few years ago the then Minister, Ruari Quinn, got it into his head that there were too many programmes within the CAO system. The basic idea was that institutions were deliberately manipulating the supply-and-demand nature of the system to … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century, education, Leaving Cert | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The algebra crisis

Ploughing through exam scripts today, I am going through the usual mix of the excellent, the average and the truly awful. Here’s a question: How does somebody go through six years of secondary school and one year of college and still commit … Continue reading

Posted in education, Leaving Cert, quality | 5 Comments

The Pre-Exam Tutorial

I held a pre-exam tutorial for my second year class yesterday – at their request. So I arrive into class, the students get out their pens and paper and just sit there – waiting. Silence. “Ok”, I say, “What are … Continue reading

Posted in education, Leaving Cert, Third Level | 1 Comment

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 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