The ASTI today (Saturday, October 15th) began a process of internal consultation with more than 18,000 members on the Minister for Education’s announcement in March this year regarding changes to Senior Cycle education.
A meeting of the ASTI Central Executive Council in Athlone today was addressed by Irish educationalist and Emeritus Professor of Education, University College Cork, Áine Hyland. This was followed by discussion on teachers’ aspirations for Senior Cycle education change.
ASTI President Miriam Duggan reiterated the ASTI’s policy that teachers do not assess their own students for the purpose of State certification.
“Schools must continuously adapt to a changing world. As noted by the OECD in 2020, Ireland’s education system is one of the high performing systems across OECD countries.
“In Ireland teaching is characterised by a strongly relational approach which focuses on teachers supporting each student throughout their second-level education journey. The Senior Cycle and Leaving Certificate enjoy significant trust and credibility, as was highlighted during the pandemic. These are the foundations of Ireland’s high quality education service and they must be protected.”
Members of the ASTI’s Central Executive Council acknowledged the Minister for Education’s intention to retain the existing broad range of subjects and welcomed the addition of two new subjects. Plans for the continuation and improvement of the successful Transition Year Programme were also welcomed. Central Executive Council members emphasised:
- the importance of ensuring that the voice of professional educators is listened to in terms of what works best in the Senior Cycle classroom;
- the need to ensure the revised curriculum for each Senior Cycle subject has a focus on content knowledge as well as skills and learning outcomes; and
- the need to ensure the resources and conditions necessary for successful development of the Senior Cycle curriculum are identified and realised in a timely manner.
Over the coming weeks, the ASTI will embark on a number of nationwide consultation activities with its members in order to develop teachers’ vision for Senior Cycle curriculum in Ireland.