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News ›› October 2010

A significant day for post-primary teachers of mathematics

Today, October 5th 2009, sees the commencement of the national programme of professional development being provided as part of Project Maths.

More than 5,000 teachers will each be invited to 10 seminars over the 4 year period of the programme.

The programme, which is funded by the Department of Education and Science and administered by Drumcondra Education Centre, is being delivered by the Project Maths Development Team across the national network of Education Centres.

Round 1 will involve the provision of over 260 seminars. Teachers working in Gaeltacht or Irish language medium schools have been invited to a seminar in Irish.

Seminar 1 will introduce the Project Maths initiative, deal with learning and teaching in Strand 1 (Statistics and Probability) of the syllabus and present some of the suite of resources available to students and teachers.

Other elements of the planned programme of professional development include the provision of an online course and local workshops. The Project Maths Development Team will be seeking a number of Local Facilitators whom they will train to assist in the provision of this comprehensive programme of support. Watch this site for further information and for your opportunity to be ‘not just a number’ and to become involved in this exciting programme!

Welcome to Project Maths, a key curriculum and assessment initiative in post-primary mathematics education in Ireland

This website is designed to support the student and teacher of post-primary mathematics. On the site you will find information about Project Maths, the syllabus, the Project Maths Development Team and the programme of teacher professional development. The site also allows you to access a suite of resources which will support the learning and teaching of each strand of the syllabus. In addition you will find a series of key links. Project Maths is designed to teach Mathematics in a way which promotes real understanding, where students can appreciate the relevance of what they are learning and its application to everyday life, and how mathematics can be used to solve problems. The initiative has been strongly welcomed by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and by industry interests. Improving competences in Mathematics and encouraging more students to study the subject at higher level is an important part of the strategy to promote Irelands Smart Economy, and to create an ecosystem which promotes innovation, science and technology and supports competitiveness and growth.

Minister O’Keeffe

Filte romhat chuig an Tionscadal Mata, tionscaint rthbhachtach churaclaim agus mheasnaithe san oideachas matamaiticiil iarbhunoideachais in irinn

Dearadh an suomh idirln chun tac leis an scolire agus an minteoir Matamaitice iarbhunoideachais. Ar an suomh, gheobhaidh t eolas faoin Tionscadal Mata, an siollabas, Foireann Forbartha an Tionscadal Mata agus an clr forbartha gairmila doid. Cuireann an suomh ar do chumas freisin teacht ar fhoireann acmhainn a thacidh le foghlaim agus teagasc gach snithe den siollabas. De bhreis ar seo, gheobhaidh t sraith de nasca rthbhachtacha. T an Tionscadal Mata deartha ar mhodh a chothaonn forthuiscint, trna mbeidh lirthuiscint ag na scolir do bharthacht a bhfuil fhoghlaim acu agus d chur i bhfeidhm sa ghnthshaol laethil, agus do conas is fidir Matamaitic a sid chun fadhbanna a riteach. Cuireadh filte chroil roimh an tionscaint ag an nGrpa Saineolaithe ar Riachtanais Scileanna sa Todhcha agus ag an earnil thionsclaíoch. Cumais mhatamaiticiúla a fheabhsú agus tuilleadh scoláirí a spreagadh chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar an ábhar ag an ardleibhéal, is codanna tábhachtacha iad seo den straitéis chun Eacnamaíocht Chliste na hÉireann a chur chun cinn agus chun eiceachóras a chruthú a chothaíonn nuálaíocht, eolaíocht agus teicneolaíocht, agus a thacaíonn le hiomaíochas agus le fás.

An tAire Parthalán Ó Caoimh

Project Maths ‘breaks new ground’ in approach to curricular reform – Minister O’Keeffe

Minister launches pilot project designed to make maths ‘relevant to everyday life’

The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD, has said Project Maths – a pilot project designed to teach maths in a way that promotes better understanding of mathematical concepts and the everyday relevance of the subject – breaks new ground in our approach to curricular reform.

Speaking at the launch of Project Maths in Scoil Mhuire Post-Primary School, Kanturk, Co Cork, today, Minister O’Keeffe said: ‘Scoil Mhuire is one of 24 pilot schools that will be at cutting edge of maths reform in the years ahead.

‘This model of curriculum reform has never been used before.

‘It will allow us to trial the changes and, at the same time, develop lesson plans and exemplars for teachers.

‘It will enable us to ensure that the optimum level of resources are available before Project Maths is mainstreamed in September 2010.

‘The new model will allow the student experience – central to effective learning – to feed into the final syllabus development so that we can ensure relevance and quality in the new reforms,’ said Minister O’Keeffe.

He pointed out that Project Maths is designed to provide a bridging framework from the revised primary curriculum into second level.

‘It will promote greater maths literacy across the school population, bringing changed emphasis in the maths learned and, in particular, a strong focus on context, application and problem-solving in a general move towards a strengthened emphasis on real-life maths education.

‘Project Maths is designed to encourage greater take-up at higher level and provide a solid foundation for careers in science, technology, engineering, business and the humanities as we seek to build the knowledge economy and society.

‘It is intended that change in the different strands of maths will be implemented on a phased basis in a rolling programme of reform.

‘Teachers and students included in the initial implementation phases will experience maths in a new way.

‘Teachers will get classroom materials to enable them to adopt the new approach and they 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.

‘I congratulate all the partners involved in this exciting project and I thank the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment for their innovative approach to curriculum reform and professional development,’ said Minister O’Keeffe.

Background Note:
There are to be three phases of implementation: Statistics and Probability and Geometry and Trigonometry in Year 1; Number and Algebra in Year Two; and Functions in Year Three. The project schools that started the cycle in September 2008 will complete the final phase in 2010/11.

The mainstream phasing will begin in September 2010, prefaced by a programme of professional training for teachers starting the previous year. The changes in each individual strand of maths will take place simultaneously at Junior and Leaving Certificate.

It is envisaged that, at Junior Cycle, a syllabus will be offered at two levels – Ordinary and Higher levels. However, an examination will be available at three levels – Ordinary, Higher and Foundation levels and, following a review of trends, a decision will be made about whether it is feasible to phase out the Foundation level.

In the Leaving Certificate, a syllabus will continue to be offered at Ordinary, Foundation and Higher levels. A Mathematics Curriculum Support Team has been recruited to provide support for the 24 project schools and to prepare for implementation of a national programme of in-service training for teachers in 2009. The project is being lead by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

The changes under Project Maths have been widely welcomed in the business sector and by bodies such as Forfás, the National Competitiveness Council and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

While particular emphasis is placed on the development and use of information processing, logical thinking and problem-solving skills, the new approach will also stress the importance of students developing their skills in communicating and working with others. These are important core skills which are transferable across the curriculum and contribute to effective lifelong learning.