Teachers present project on student literacy

Alannah McElligott and Sarah Hartnett

THREE teachers from Mounthawk made a big impression last Saturday when they were invited to show their recent research project on student literacy at Féilte, a major national conference for teachers at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.

Concerned about the increased amount of verbal and written content in the new Project Maths curriculum, teachers Denise Buckley, Lyndsey Moriarty and Amanda Brosnan decided to investigate how students with literacy problems are coping with the new course.

The teachers worked under the direction of The Learning School Project, based in Tralee Education Centre, which encourages teachers to take part in research projects to examine areas of school life and education that may be posing problems.

The three Tralee teachers conducted tests in first, second and third year, and discovered that the numerical tests scored higher than the more verbal tests. This demonstrated that students are under-achieving when it comes to verbal questioning.

It also revealed that while more than a quarter of first year students described Maths as their favourite subject, this dropped significantly by the time they reached third year.

The team then organised a pilot programme involving ten teachers who brought in a range of literacy strategies to the Maths curriculum to help students better understand the questions posed in Project Maths.

Deputy Principal, Pat Fleming believes the project will have great benefits for the school into the future.

"This team have done amazing work and the level of interest in their presentation on Saturday in Dublin is a testament to their hard work and dedication. All of our students will benefit for years to come from the new methodologies they have brought to the teaching of Maths in our school," he said.

The full project can be viewed on the Learning Schools Project webpage or on the school website mercymounthawk.ie


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