Category Archives: Uncategorized

The data vacuum at the heart of education policy

The Minister now wants universities (including the soon-to-be technological universities) to focus on filling skills gaps in the economy. These gaps are said to be mainly in ‘STEM’. Naturally enough, IBEC is happy because they are always happy with policies … Continue reading

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Word and phrases I want to hear less in 2018

Engaged citizen Thrive in the 21st century Learner Adaptable learner Engagement Leverage Foster Authentic Innovation Critical thinkers Creativity STEAM Women in STEM Coding Computational thinking Relevant to their own lives Globally engaged The 4 Cs Fit for purpose 21st century … Continue reading

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Comments on the new STEM policy document of the DES

The STEM Policy Document produced by the Department of Education and Skills was recently launched. It follows on from the report produced by an advisory group chaired by DCU President, Brian McCraith. That report was generally sensible and made some … Continue reading

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Are engineers prone to terrorism?

In his most recent column Sean Moncrieff notes the curious fact that a high proportion of ISIS terrorists are from an engineering background. I’ve heard this argument before and the subtext is that engineers are unsophisticated nerds, with systemising mindsets, … Continue reading

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Learning Outcomes Part 2

Following on from yesterday’s post here are some additional thoughts that occurred to me overnight. I have often heard it said that arguing against learning outcomes is indefensible because to do so implies that you have some problem with academics … Continue reading

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Learning Outcomes – A confession

Over the last three years I have been responsible for guiding quite a few proposals for new academic programmes through the various validation and accreditation processes required in DCU. In all cases, I, along with my colleagues on faculty teaching … Continue reading

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Engineering in the Leaving Cert

About 6% of those studying Engineering for the Leaving Cert are female. Why is this? First, Engineering is probably not offered in many all-girl schools. Second, the Leaving Cert engineering syllabus is bloody awful. I’m an engineer and I find … Continue reading

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