Thursday 27 July 2017

Marriage and cheese on menu in home economics

Loreto on the Green students Rachel Murphy, left, from Ashbourne, and Eleanor Coleman, from Rathgar. Picture: Collins
Loreto on the Green students Rachel Murphy, left, from Ashbourne, and Eleanor Coleman, from Rathgar. Picture: Collins

That the very topical issue of housing appeared on the Leaving Certificate higher level home economics paper was not a surprise, according to teacher Margaret Kinsella.

"A lot of teachers were expecting this question this year," said Ms Kinsella, a subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland.

Ms Kinsella, who teaches at St Raphaela's Secondary School, Kilmacud, Dublin, described the short questions as "very doable".

But she thought the section 1 question on carbohydrates would have thrown some candidates as carbohydrates, in a different form, also came up last year.

Ms Kinsella described question 2, which was devoted to cheese and artisan producers, as "lovely".

Question 3 was on sensory analysis, which she felt would not have presented any problems.

However, teacher Sandra Cleary, of the Institute of Education, said some students may have been caught out because, while a very small part of the course, a whole question was devoted to it.

While housing may have been expected, both teachers were surprised with a question on marriage, because it came up two years ago. "That would have thrown students," said Ms Kinsella.

The three electives covered social housing provision, textiles and fashion, and unemployment and work.

In the social studies elective, on unemployment and employment, Ms Kinsella said candidates would have had to spend a lot of time on the table. A table had not appeared since 2012.

Ms Cleary said reliance on textbooks would not have helped in relation to the electives on social housing and unemployment/work and said students would need to be very tuned to current affairs and recent commentary on these issues.

Her overall view of the paper was that while questions were clear and straight-forward, it was not predictable.

Ms Kinsella said the ordinary level paper was "very approachable".

Irish Independent

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