Ringing the changes: what's for discussion
THE sort of changes under discussion for the Junior Certificate include:
- Freedom for schools to devise some or all of their own courses, rather than sticking rigidly to the Department of Education curriculum.
- Broadening out the qualifications available to include more vocational-style training in modules such as computer skills.
- A range of taster subjects in first year, with a focus on fewer subjects in second and third years, or tasters in years one and two and a narrower focus in year three.
- A junior cycle of more than three years, starting in sixth class of primary schools or extending it into fourth year.
- Greater emphasis on co-operative learning and project work.
- Instead of single terminal exam, all evidence of learning, including tests, gathered in schools and reflected in a statement of achievement or form of portfolio that links into a qualification.