ERIC Number: EJ1175246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Time Allocated to Mathematics in Post-Primary Schools in Ireland: Are We in Double Trouble?
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v49 n4 p501-516 2018
Mathematics educators and legislators worldwide have begun placing a greater emphasis on teaching mathematics for understanding and through the use of real-life applications. Revised curricula have led to the time allocated to mathematics in effected countries being scrutinised. This has resulted in policy-makers and educationalists worldwide calling for the inclusion of double class periods on the mathematics timetable. Research from the United States suggests that the introduction of double or block periods allow for the objectives of revised curricula to be realized. The aim of this study, which is set in the school context, is first to ascertain if schools in Ireland are scheduling double periods for mathematics at both lower post-primary level (Junior Cycle) and upper post-primary level (Senior Cycle). It also seeks to determine if there is a link between teachers' levels of satisfaction with the time allocated to mathematics and the provision of double periods and to get insights from teachers in relation to their opinions on what can be achieved through the introduction of such classes. Questionnaires were sent to 400 post-primary schools (approximately 1600 teachers) which were selected using stratified sampling techniques. It was found that 8.7% of mathematics teachers reported the provision of double periods at Junior Cycle while 55% reported that double periods were included on their timetable at Senior Cycle. The study also identified a link between teachers' levels of satisfaction with the time allocated to mathematics and the provision of double periods. Finally, teachers felt that double periods allowed for new teaching methodologies, which were promoted by the revised curricula, to be implemented and teaching for understanding was also more feasible. In essence, it was found that double periods have an influence on the mathematical experience of post-primary students as well as the teaching approaches employed.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Time Management, Secondary School Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Block Scheduling, Secondary School Teachers, Mathematics Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Satisfaction, Mixed Methods Research, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A