Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion with School Management Bodies

Mr. John Irwin:

In terms of some of the assessment, I would go back to the difference between summative assessment, which is the examination at the end, and formative assessment, which is ongoing. Formative assessment does not necessarily involve a grade or a mark. It is very often observational, where somebody has observed the work of the student, commented on it and has invited the feedback of the student on the work submitted. It is a feedback situation, where both parties, the teacher and the student, reflect on their learning. That is essential.

The Senator's point on homework is interesting. The concept of having no homework would be very popular among the student population. However, we must also realise that with the current system in particular, which is strongly content based, doing a review of what has happened during the course of a class later in the evening helps to ensure that a student takes on board the content that was covered in the class. Homework does have a purpose and it is worthwhile as long as that is the case, rather than just given for the sake of giving it.


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