Written answers

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Department of Education and Science

Educational Projects

12:00 pm

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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Question 58: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the position regarding the project maths programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44126/09]

Photo of Batt O'KeeffeBatt O'Keeffe (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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The Project Maths initiative is designed to encourage better understanding of Maths, to reinforce the practical relevance of maths to everyday life, and to ensure better continuity between primary and second level, and junior and senior cycle. It is being led by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, working in collaboration with my Department and the State Examinations Commission. The initiative started in 2008 and is being piloted in 24 schools. The curriculum changes will be phased in over three years and mainstreaming will begin in 2010/11 in all schools, prefaced by a national programme of professional development for teachers which began in October and which will continue to at least 2013.

Students in the 24 schools involved in the initial implementation from September 2008 are experiencing mathematics in a new way. Teachers are being provided with classroom materials to enable them to adopt the new approaches and will be supported professionally in embracing change. These materials and supports will include lesson plans, with teacher guides and student worksheets, online exemplars and a range of assessment materials.

Project Maths is being supported by intensive investment in professional development for teachers. A Maths Support Team has been appointed and some €3m has been provided for the programme in 2009 alone. Investment in professional development for teachers will continue in a rolling programme of reform.

Project Maths is being implemented on a phased basis covering the following five strands of mathematics:- Phase 1 Strand 1 statistics and probability; Strand 2 geometry and trigonometry Phase 2 Strand 3 number; Strand 4 algebra Phase 3 functions

Phase 3 will have begun in all schools in 2012, and will be fully implemented in all class groups by 2015.

The NCCA website www.ncca.ie. sets out the draft syllabus for Strands 1 to 4 at junior and senior cycle, a draft common Mathematics course for the first year in junior cycle, and a Geometry course. The website www.ProjectMaths.ie sets out additional supports in the form of teaching and learning plans, a forum for teachers, and additional resources. These resources will expand over time.


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