Thursday 14 December 2017

Sean Close: The way we teach primary school maths doesn't add up

Sean Close

SCHOOL mathematics has come increasingly under the microscope due to the demands of third-level programmes, of the workplace, and of life in an increasingly global and technological society. The test scores from the international PIRLS and TIMSS studies (released in December) showed that our fourth- class pupils are reasonably competent at maths, but remain well behind children in top-performing countries.

This follows successive cycles of the OECD PISA study, which found that our 15-year-olds were average, but are now average to below average at maths.

Yesterday's report – 'National Schools, International Contexts' by Eemer Eivers and Aidan Clerkin – goes beyond the test scores to examine what happens in our schools and to explain Irish pupils' performance.

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