Science teachers reject revised Leaving Cert syllabi

Monday 14 April 2014 11.38
A review found the changes were not in line with best practice internationally
A review found the changes were not in line with best practice internationally

Science teachers have rejected the subject's proposed new Leaving Certificate syllabi, saying they may lead to a drop in standards.

The move follows the publication of a report, commissioned by the Irish Science Teachers' Association, which found the new syllabi could leave Ireland out of step with international good practice when it comes to the teaching of science.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment recently submitted proposed new Leaving Cert science courses to the Department of Education for approval.

But a report by UCC Emeritus Professor of Education Áine Hyland, commissioned by the ISTA, has detailed issues with the planned changes.

It found the proposals are out of step with international best practice in syllabus design and that further detail is needed on the depth of treatment of subjects and examination requirements.

The ISTA says it welcomes modernisation of the syllabi.

However, it says it appears from the report that the international benchmarking exercise carried out by the NCCA was flawed, and has called for a complete overhaul of the plans.

In response the NCCA says its practice is to wait for approval before beginning work on support materials, and that it expects science teachers will contribute to that process.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said it will consider the report.