Project Maths failing to add up for teachers
Engineers Ireland calls for industry involvement to boost results
TechLife | 08 Aug 2012 :
Over half of maths teachers are still sceptical about the ability of revisions to the maths curriculum to deliver better results at second level, according to a new survey from Engineers Ireland. Conducted on a sample a survey of 253 teachers, 57% of respondents said they didn't believe the Project Maths initiative would prove successful.
Project Maths was introduced nationally in September 2010 and involves changes to what students learn in mathematics, how they learn it and how they will be assessed. Changes to the Leaving and Junior Cert papers came in this year.
The survey, carried out on members of the Irish Maths Teachers Association (IMTA), found that 84% of teachers thought maths education should be given greater priority in the curriculum, 75% said there should be more focus on maths at Junior cycle, and 77% believed students would benefit if teaching was combined with industrial visits to view real-world applications.
John Power, director general of Engineers Ireland, said: "The fact that so many maths teachers feel Project Maths, at least on its own, may not improve student achievement in the subject is something that needs to be addressed. It is incumbent on industry to support the work of maths teachers as much as possible to bolster the effectiveness of the Project Maths rollout. We must do everything we can to help more students engage with higher level maths so we can produce the engineers and business leaders of tomorrow."
Chairperson of IMTA Dominic Guinan said: "I feel that the 43% of teachers who believe that Project Maths will improve maths achievement is encouraging. This is the first year of the full implementing of the initiative and to have reached a 43% approval so soon, when it will take seven to 10 years, at least, for the Project Maths course to bed in, gives me great hope for its success."