ASTI declares no confidence in Junior Cycle research project
At its meeting last week, the ASTI Standing Committee reviewed a range of correspondence between the ASTI and relevant parties over several months in which the ASTI expressed its disquiet about a perceived conflict of interest concerning the independence of the Junior Cycle National Project: Exploring the implementation and impact of the Junior Cycle Framework in post-primary schools, commissioned by the NCCA and being conducted under the auspices of the University of Limerick.
The ASTI’s concerns centre on the role of the one of the research team member’s previous co-option by the NCCA as one of its two representatives on a Junior Cycle Subject Development Group. The ASTI holds this individual in the highest regard. His integrity and professionalism are unquestionable. Ordinarily he would be an ideal person to conduct the research in question. However, the ASTI perceives a conflict of interest arising from his prior role.
The research group member was involved in drafting a Junior Cycle subject specification and, as such, played an important role in the design of a significant component of the Junior Cycle Framework. In the ASTI’s view, circumstances exist where it could be perceived that there is a conflict of interest arising from him assisting University of Limerick with its independent research on behalf of the NCCA.
The ASTI wishes to ensure that the University of Limerick study will be recognised as an entirely independent undertaking, without any perception of conflict of interest.
Accordingly, a motion of no confidence in the research project was adopted.
The ASTI will be advising its members not to co-operate with the project any further.
ASTI members must have absolute trust and confidence in all aspects of research that impinges on the work they do and particularly research that seeks to convey the views of teachers to the NCCA.