Monday 5 December 2016

All is not lost if you failed maths in the Leaving

Betty McLaughlin

Published 18/08/2016 | 02:30

The NPCpp’s Helpline was inundated with queries regarding maths failure and
how to deal with it. Photo: Getty Images
The NPCpp’s Helpline was inundated with queries regarding maths failure and how to deal with it. Photo: Getty Images

De réir an seanfhocal, Oileán na Naomh is na nOllamh - 'The Island of Saints and Scholars'. There has always and ever been a huge emphasis on academic achievement in Ireland. This old habit dies hard.

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The perception of the need to do well academically is embedded in our students' brains. It goes a long way towards understanding why so many students in the class of 2016 took a last-minute decision to drop a level in maths - from higher to ordinary or ordinary to foundation level. Students are constantly and mistakenly perceiving their self-worth in terms of their academic performance, success or failure.

As educators, we are failing our young people in allowing them to perceive the Leaving Cert results as a public unveiling of their personal worth. Then we ask why do they fear exam failure and underperform.

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