Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn: “For the first time we see the concerns around the high-stakes nature of the points system and the Leaving Certificate being addressed in a coherent way across both second and third level.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Leaving Certificate students are facing a new grading system for exams aimed at reducing the culture of “teaching to the test” and rote learnin(...)

A fruitful solo run

It was during the week of the annual teachers’ conferences, in 1974, that the notion of a transition year first emerged. The education m(...)

The Leaving Cert agricultural science course is to be updated, following complaints from teachers and the agri-food sec(...)

Who runs Ireland?

THE POLITICIANS ENDA KENNY Taoiseach Kenny holds the most powerful political position in the land. He is chief of the Cabinet, has the f(...)

Aodhan Ó Dea, from Conradh na Gaeilge, with Transition Year students at an Irish language workshop in Loreto Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke

In a chilly hall in Loreto Bray, Co Wicklow, a group of Transition Year students are arguing about whether learning Chinese would be a better option (...)

 Pens down: The new system will see an end to the summer exams at the end of third year. Photograph: Eric Luke

It’s official. The Junior Cert is soon to be no more, and the snazzy-sounding JCSA – for Junior Cycle Student Award – is poised to take its place if d(...)

Bench marks: Declan Cahalane at a science class with Marie-Therese Kilmartin, the principal of Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, Dublin. This school does not feature in Calhalane’s inspections, described below. Photograph: Alan Betson
An inspector calls

MONDAYTeachers can be apprehensive at the start of most inspections. It must feel strange to have someone in your classroom or to have to talk to a st(...)

Collectable philosophers: cards for the thinking classroom. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly/Irish Times Premedia

If philosophy had been on the curriculum 30 years ago, would we be in the same mess we’re in today? It’s a tantalising thought and the very sort of “w(...)

If I could change one thing in education, I would rub the genie lamp and wish that history could remain a core subject in our second-level schools. Th(...)

Performers re-enact the September 1913 DMP baton charge on O’Connell Street at the recent commemoration of the Lockout – remembering our history, but “compulsion and celebration make uneasy bedfellows.” PHOTOGRAPH: DARA MAC DÓNAILL
Compulsory history, an anathema

‘I would urge that the Irish school system of the future should give freedom – freedom to the individual school, freedom to the individual teacher, fr(...)

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