The NCCA's draft science syllabuses feature a number of welcome developments:
Emphasis on enquiry based teaching and learning
Structured inquiry is a useful way of teaching the basics of investigating as well as techniques of using various equipment and procedures.. Learners are provided with a practical problem to investigate as well as the procedures and materials necessary to complete the investigation. They discover relationships between variables or make deductions from data collected.
Second mode of assessment
The NCCA worked with a network of schools during the school year 2009/2010 to show what practical assessment might look like in action and to produce examples of types of practical assessments, including questions, tasks, and video footage. The examples of science assessment that were generated by the network are on the NCCA's website.The videos show learners carrying out examples of practical assessments, there is commentary from the teachers and learners about the tasks, and about practical assessment more generally.
Ireland's continuing success in repositiong industry towards knowledge intensive high-technology sectors will depend crucially on the supply of people with mathematics, science, engineering and technology (STEM) skills. Ireland has 19 maths, science and computing graduates per 1,000 of population aged 20-29 which compares very favourably with the euro area-15 average. However, our strength on this indicator has weakened since 2005. The problem of low attractiveness of STEM subjects must be addressed at early levels. International research has shown that individual experiences with science in school at young ages play a vital role in future career choices. The more a child is exposed to, and involved in, a relevant and stimulating science curriculum and the more positive reinforcement he or she receives from teachers, the stronger the motivation for choosing a STEM subject later.
Ibec has made a submission to the NCCA on the new science syllabuses.
- Senior cycle science_IBEC.pdf - 328 Kbytes
Tuesday, 1 November 2011