Saturday 19 January 2019

Teachers to oppose changes to exams

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Parents, students and universities have given broad support to a system of continuous assessment for the Leaving Cert - but teachers are opposed.

The views were aired at a meeting of the Oireachtas Education Committee to consider whether a change would reduce high levels of student stress blamed on the current exam model.

Assessment was at the heart of the row over the new Junior Cycle and will feature in the debate about Leaving Cert reforms. National Parents Council Post Primary president Geoffrey Browne said one-off exams did not "sufficiently assess a student's overall performance and learning".

Union of Students in Ireland vice president Oisín Hassan said it supported efforts to develop continuous assessment at third-level and was eager to see the efforts expand.

Irish Universities Association director of academic affairs Lewis Purser said international evidence showed that continuous assessment in State exams could benefit students and their learning, but there were risks that would have to be addressed if it was to become more common for the Leaving Cert.

Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland assistant general secretary Moira Leydon said continuous assessment was already used in State exams, with oral and aurals, projects and practicals. International research on education systems cautioned against assessment-heavy models, she said.

Teachers' Union of Ireland president Joanne Irwin said, in some cases, continuous assessment had simply led to students experiencing continuous stress.

Irish Independent

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