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ERIC Number: EJ1126422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0332 3315
Review of the Leaving Certificate Biology Examination Papers (1999-2008) Using Bloom's Taxonomy--An Investigation of the Cognitive Demands of the Examination
Cullinane, Alison; Liston, Maeve
Irish Educational Studies, v35 n3 p249-267 2016
It is widely recognised that high-stakes assessment can significantly influence what is taught in the classroom. Many argue that high-stakes assessment results in a narrowed curriculum where students learn by rote rather than developing higher cognitive skills. This paper describes a study investigating the various cognitive objectives present from Bloom's Taxonomy Educational Objectives on the Leaving Certificate biology examination. The study analysed examination papers from the past and current biology syllabuses. Analysis was also carried out to determine the marks being awarded to the different cognitive objectives. The findings show that the examination predominately includes questions that do not promote higher levels of thinking. The majority of the marks on the paper were allocated to the lower objectives of the taxonomy, suggesting students can rely on rote learning to succeed when undertaking the biology examination. This study strongly highlights how high-stake examinations have a narrow scope in terms of student achievement and shows how current biology examination procedures promote low-level learning. This low level of thinking promotes rote learning and regurgitation of facts, requiring little to no understanding of the topics. To prepare students for the working world, there needs to be a shift from only terminal exams to a mixed approach.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A