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Get rid of Project Maths and Bring Back the old System

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  • 02-12-2017 9:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭


    Wanted to get the opinion's of teachers on this. Basically sometimes I stay in school at lunch to talk to my maths/physics teacher as we get on well, one day when I went into his room and he was doing Matrices and Vectors problems on the board for his own enjoyment, and I just had to ask him why we don't do that in maths anymore as I found them really interesting and the fact that it was just pure mathematics not stupid questions like flipping coins and stuff like that. He gave me his old textbook to do a few problems at home on, and I have to say, coming from someone who genuinely loves maths, I found the old course to not only be more satisfying but actually a better option for us because it would prepare those of us who want to study along the line of mathematics, physics and engineering a lot better. In 6th year at the moment, currently on probability and stats (don't mind stats but probability is just so boring), the parts of mathematics I like and genuinely get enjoyment out of doing is geometry, trigonometry, algebra, calculus and all the so called 'hard parts' of the L.C. maths course. Even when you look at the standard of mathematics in English schools, they seem to get a better preparation for college/uni than we do.

    I know I've waffled on a bit here, but just really want to get the opinions of the teachers on this.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭RealJohn


    As a maths teacher, I agree 100%. There are many flaws with ‘project maths’ but chief among them in my opinion is that it’s aimed at the lowest achieving students at the expense of those who might actually go on to study maths at university. Too much reading (which doesn’t help the low/middle achievers anyway), too much in terms of ‘real world’ problems, not enough mathematics.

    When was the last time a history teacher was asked “Why do I have to do this? I’ll never use it in real life.”? It seems like the maths course was changed with a view to giving an easy answer to that question rather than with a view to improving the students’ ability at maths. You don’t build a ‘knowledge economy’ by dumbing down the maths course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,754 ✭✭✭amacca


    The new science course is just as bad imo.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭judeboy101


    Math is dumbing down, but it will getting us higher on timms and pisa, and sure isn't that all that matters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭Liberal_irony


    The majority of the the Junior cycle courses seem to be in the same vein. Catering to the lowest common denominator at the expense of challenging those at the top


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,191 ✭✭✭✭Nekarsulm


    A rant about the "dumbing down" of maths :D

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=55s&v=hBfDoHOikVU


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,107 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    He's right of course, but teachers predicted this for years and nobody listened. Now we will be blamed for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 212 ✭✭Shaungoater


    To be fair, with the old course you Learned off methods with no understanding of the topics. At least now it has changed. Still too much on the course to teach it properly, but the new junior cycle should see to that for junior cert at least


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭r93kaey5p2izun


    To be fair, with the old course you Learned off methods with no understanding of the topics. At least now it has changed. Still too much on the course to teach it properly, but the new junior cycle should see to that for junior cert at least

    In what way do you think the new Junior Cycle will address the issue of the course being too overloaded to teach it properly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 212 ✭✭Shaungoater


    In what way do you think the new Junior Cycle will address the issue of the course being too overloaded to teach it properly?

    Well have you read the spec for it? It's more condensed, there is a lot of links in the unifying strand and assessment will also change of course to allow for different methodologies


  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭Celtron


    To be fair, with the old course you Learned off methods with no understanding of the topics. At least now it has changed. Still too much on the course to teach it properly, but the new junior cycle should see to that for junior cert at least

    In my opinion the teachers are there to guide you as well as they can, and if the student still doesn't understand the topic then its up to them to learn it, no excuses these days with the amount of resources available especially online for mathematics, and anyways I thought it should go without saying that if you don't understand a subject then you should not be in higher level. Now I know why they changed the system but in my opinion they should get rid of the extra points for it and bring in the old system or a king of Further/Advanced Mathematics for us students who genuinely love it and want to study it in college and give the extra points to that subject or just get rid of the extra points. There is a lot of people in my maths class who are clueless at maths but are staying for the extra points which they end up getting due to the marking system, but I can say with 100% certainty that a lot of them should fail the old mathematics system.

    Sorry that I've gone on a bit of a rant but I'm just so passionate about maths and despise people getting credit for doing higher level maths when they rarely get a full question right, makes me sick


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭r93kaey5p2izun


    Well have you read the spec for it? It's more condensed, there is a lot of links in the unifying strand and assessment will also change of course to allow for different methodologies

    Yes I have. I see nothing shortened or condensed and I think the addition of CBAs, the Assessment Task and trying to get FL students through OL will make things even worse than they are now. Even the survey on the draft spec stated no content was dropped and asked for any suggestions on content that teachers felt could be removed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,632 ✭✭✭SligoBrewer


    Celtron wrote: »
    Sorry that I've gone on a bit of a rant but I'm just so passionate about maths and despise people getting credit for doing higher level maths when they rarely get a full question right, makes me sick

    They probably are trying their best. Leave it out tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭RealJohn


    To be fair, with the old course you Learned off methods with no understanding of the topics. At least now it has changed.
    In my experience, there are a lot of students who won’t understand it anyway, whether they’re taught what it means or not. In those cases, it’s absolutely better that they learn it by rote and know it than that they’re taught to understand it and end up with neither the ability to understand it nor to do it without understanding. If they know how to do it, they might, eventually, understand how it works. It’s only better to emphasise understanding if they’re actually going to understand it.

    As for the extra points, the fatal mistake they made was awarding the extra points for a D. If the point was to keep stronger students doing higher level maths, they should only award the extra points for those who achieve ‘honours’, ie. a C or better (or what, a H5 or higher now?).
    If you only pass, no extra points for you. In my school, we’ve had a few students who’d have done fine in ordinary level maths but end up failing higher level because they convince themselves that they can scrape a pass, hunting the extra points. All we can do is recommend that they do ordinary level but if they and their parents insist, what can we do? The current system is letting those students down by dangling a carrot in front of them that’s just about low enough to attract them but not low enough that they can reach it.
    Someone who scrapes a pass has no business getting the extra points anyway in my opinion but when did the powers that be ever do anything logical?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭evolving_doors


    RealJohn wrote: »
    In my experience, there are a lot of students who won’t understand it anyway, whether they’re taught what it means or not. In those cases, it’s absolutely better that they learn it by rote and know it than that they’re taught to understand it and end up with neither the ability to understand it nor to do it without understanding. If they know how to do it, they might, eventually, understand how it works. It’s only better to emphasise understanding if they’re actually going to understand it.

    As for the extra points, the fatal mistake they made was awarding the extra points for a D. If the point was to keep stronger students doing higher level maths, they should only award the extra points for those who achieve ‘honours’, ie. a C or better (or what, a H5 or higher now?).
    If you only pass, no extra points for you. In my school, we’ve had a few students who’d have done fine in ordinary level maths but end up failing higher level because they convince themselves that they can scrape a pass, hunting the extra points. All we can do is recommend that they do ordinary level but if they and their parents insist, what can we do? The current system is letting those students down by dangling a carrot in front of them that’s just about low enough to attract them but not low enough that they can reach it.
    Someone who scrapes a pass has no business getting the extra points anyway in my opinion but when did the powers that be ever do anything logical?

    The initial kerfuffle prior to Project maths was the 'low' % of those taking Higher level (think it was about 17%) and consequently the % failing ordinary... So as you can see it's not necessarily about understanding etc, more-so: upping the numbers into honours = success .It also serves to reduce the ordinary level classes.
    Hence why I think the bonus extends to such a low achievement in honours.

    Out of interest, has anyone on here had any maths inspections?
    If so, did the inspector query the numbers getting A's in Ordinary level and suggest that they should have been in the honours classes?

    I think the predictability had to change. Maybe not as much as it did though.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭judeboy101


    RealJohn wrote: »
    In my experience, there are a lot of students who won’t understand it anyway, whether they’re taught what it means or not. In those cases, it’s absolutely better that they learn it by rote and know it than that they’re taught to understand it and end up with neither the ability to understand it nor to do it without understanding. If they know how to do it, they might, eventually, understand how it works. It’s only better to emphasise understanding if they’re actually going to understand it.

    As for the extra points, the fatal mistake they made was awarding the extra points for a D. If the point was to keep stronger students doing higher level maths, they should only award the extra points for those who achieve ‘honours’, ie. a C or better (or what, a H5 or higher now?).
    If you only pass, no extra points for you. In my school, we’ve had a few students who’d have done fine in ordinary level maths but end up failing higher level because they convince themselves that they can scrape a pass, hunting the extra points. All we can do is recommend that they do ordinary level but if they and their parents insist, what can we do? The current system is letting those students down by dangling a carrot in front of them that’s just about low enough to attract them but not low enough that they can reach it.
    Someone who scrapes a pass has no business getting the extra points anyway in my opinion but when did the powers that be ever do anything logical?

    The initial kerfuffle prior to Project maths was the 'low' % of those taking Higher level (think it was about 17%) and consequently the % failing ordinary... So as you can see it's not necessarily about understanding etc, more-so: upping the numbers into honours = success .It also serves to reduce the ordinary level classes.
    Hence why I think the bonus extends to such a low achievement in honours.

    Out of interest, has anyone on here had any maths inspections?
    If so, did the inspector query the numbers getting A's in Ordinary level and suggest that they should have been in the honours classes?

    I think the predictability had to change. Maybe not as much as it did though.

    We were verbally told by a well known MATHS inspector to allow students to do hons even if they would fail.


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