Life Learning

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Exam process designed for a different era, says professor

Katherine Donnelly

Published 28/05/2014 | 02:30

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Damian Murchan

ANOTHER leading educationalist has come out in support of teachers assessing their own Junior Cycle students.

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Dr Damien Murchan, of Trinity College Dublin, said while the issue was fraught with difficulties, he did not think they were insurmountable.

Dr Murchan, director of teaching learning in TCD's School of Education, said measures could be introduced to allay fears being expressed by teachers, who have warned that it will damage their relationships with pupils and lead to inconsistent results across schools.

Dr Murchan said one way to ensure standards were being maintained would be for the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to cross-check a sample of results from different schools

Another would be for teachers in one school to grade the papers of students in another school.

Dr Murchan said he was not commenting on the industrial relations issue that had emerged over the change, but supported the educational intent behind it.

He believed that fundamental questions had to be asked about whether students needed to go through the formal exam process, designed in a different era for different purposes.

"The stakes attached to it are lower than previously, because 90pc of students are going on to the Leaving Certificate," he added.

Irish Independent

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