So what’s been keeping the
NCCA busy in post-primary
education?
Presentation to SDPI: 24/08/05
Dr. Sarah FitzPatrick
NCCA
About the NCCA
 NCCA (1987)
 Statutory body (2001)
 Representative structure (25 members)
– representing teachers, school
managers, parents, employers and
trade unions
 Enabling Structures of Council
1
NCCA Structures
NCCA Council
Overarching committees
Steering committees
Subject/area committees
NCCA Executive
2
NCCA and ADDIE…
Analyse
Design
Develop
Implement
Evaluate/Review
3
NCCA
Curriculum development/review
 Subject review
– Mathematics
 Curriculum review
– Primary Curriculum Review: Phase 1
 Programme review
– Senior Cycle Review
4
What is the NCCA’s Junior Cycle
Review all about?
Junior Cycle:
Issues
 Extensive consultations on the
development of Junior Cycle identified 4
issues:
– Curriculum overload and overlap
– Curriculum planning
– Assessment for Learning (AFL)
– Students’ experiences in Junior Cycle
6
Junior Cycle:
Cycle Review
Junior
Issues
7
Junior Cycle:
Curriculum overload/overlap
Issue: Repetition of topics across
subjects
 Analysis of syllabus documents
 Model template for all
 Phase 1: Business studies, English,
history, home economics, music.
 Phase 2: Art, craft and design,
Environmental and social studies,
Gaeilge, geography, mathematics
8
Junior Cycle:
Curriculum planning
Issue: Planning JC curriculum in schools
 Tools to assist schools in reviewing and
planning for the curriculum
 School Development Planning:
Curriculum review at Junior Cycle
(2002)
9
Junior Cycle:
Assessment for Learninng
Issue: Assessment neglected in
professional and in-career development
of teachers
 AFL initiative based on 3 principles
– Sharing learning intention
– Sharing success criteria
– Providing focused feedback
10
Junior Cycle:
Assessment for Learning
Phase 1 – 20 teachers, (2003/2004)
 Effectiveness of AFL in classrooms in Cork
and Sligo (English and Geography)
Phase 2 – 108 teachers (2004/2006)
 Effectiveness of AFL in reporting to
students and parents
 Development of web-based support for
initiative.
11
Junior Cycle:
Students’ experiences
Issue: Absence of information concerning
students’ experiences of JC
 Phase 1: ESRI research (2002/2003)
Moving Up: Experiences of first year
students in post-primary education
(2004)
 Phase 2: ESRI research (2003/2004)
Experiences of second year students
12
Junior Cycle:
Students’ experiences
Findings – phase 1
 Curriculum discontinuity
 School culture and integration
 Taster subjects in first year
 Practical subjects
 Lower ability students
 Mixed ability groups versus streaming
13
What is the NCCA’s review of
Senior Cycle all about?
Senior Cycle:
Background
 Developing Senior Cycle education:
Consultative paper on issues and options
(2002)
 Developing Senior Cycle education:
Directions for development (2003)
 Proposals for the future of Senior Cycle in
Ireland: Overview advice (2004)
 Proposals for the future development of
Senior Cycle Education in Ireland (2005)
15
SC: Programme of Study
 is a combination of transition units, short
courses and subjects taken by a SC
student
 subscribes to general aims SC education
 characterised by choice and flexibility
 can be a 2-year or 3-year programme
 should meet interests, needs, aptitudes of
individual student
16
SC: Programme of Study
2-year programme of study: requirements
 study of Irish language
 inclusion of 1 transition units
 meeting matriculation requirements
 generation of points score
 completion of 1 transition unit as part of
matriculation requirement
17
SC: Programme of Study
3-year programme of study: requirements
 study of Irish language
 inclusion of 11 transition units, 2 short
courses
 meeting matriculation requirements
 generation of points score
 completion of 1 transition unit as part of
matriculation requirement
18
SC: Curriculum Components
Subjects
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Review subject list
Agree syllabus template
Examine structure of syllabus
Develop assessment options
Explore potential for unitisation
Explicate key skills
Illustrate differentiation
19
SC: Curriculum Components
Short Courses
 Course descriptions
 Assessment and certification
Transition Units
 Teaching and learning
 Development of transition units
 Assessment and certification
20
SC: Curriculum Components
What’s new: Summary
 For students
– More flexible, better assessed and certificated
– Improved learning experiences/environment
 For schools
– clear direction and realistic milestones
– co-ordinated and well-resourced approach to
change
– Rethinking professional development and
educational change
21
SC: Next steps
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Structures to review subjects
School-based development of transition unit
Ongoing review of subjects
Subjects awaiting implementation:
– Art
– Technology subjects
– Economics
22
Review Mathematics Education:
Background
 Primary School Curriculum
– Mathematics Curriculum (1999)
 Junior Cycle
– Higher (A), Ordinary (B), Foundation (C), (1987)
– Revised syllabus at all 3 levels (2000)
 Senior Cycle
– Higher, Ordinary (1992)
– Foundation (Ordinary alternative) (1990)
23
Review Mathematics Education
Issues
 Low levels of mathematics skills
 Uptake and participation
 Methodologies
– Problem solving, modelling, investigating…
 Syllabus style
 Examinations
 Difficulty of questions
24
Mathematics: Next steps
 Initiate consultation activities for root-andbranch review of mathematics education
based on issues identified in discussion
paper
25
Review of Languages:
Background
 Languages in the Post-Primary Curriculum:
Discussion paper (2003)
 Survey on Languages in the Post-Primary
Curriculum (2004)
26
Review of Languages:
Issues
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need for a language policy
an integrated language curriculum
Gaeilge: T1 and T2
greater diversity in the languages curriculum
practices in language teaching and learning
assessment
engagement with the Common European
Framework for Languages and the European
Languages Portfolio
27
Languages: Next steps
Initiate second phase of review to address:
 assessment of language syllabuses
 syllabus for native (T1) speakers of Irish
 pilot studies on integration, language
awareness and language proficiency
 ICT in teaching and learning of languages
 developments at European level
28
A quick update on the NCCA’s…
Interculturalism Guidelines
ICT Framework
Special Educational Needs
Framework
Go raibh maith agaibh!
www.ncca.ie
Junior Cycle
[email protected]
Senior Cycle
[email protected]
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