Pupils give maths teachers low marks [independent.ie]
By John Walshe Education Editor
Wednesday May 06 2009
MATHS and science teachers are not "passionate" enough about their subjects, according to secondary school students.
As a result, pupils are less inspired and more likely to lose interest, which may have a negative impact on their performance in the subjects.
By contrast, teachers of English and other subjects got top marks from students who took part in a research study undertaken by Ipsos MORI.
"Many English teachers were considered to have a passionate interest in the literature and material they were teaching, which is likely to inspire their students," it said.
The study found that maths was seen as a "staid" subject with a curriculum that had remained static for a long time.
However, English was based on a changing curriculum with different novels and plays taught to students each year, meaning that teachers can approach the subject with a fresh attitude each year.
There may be a need to review the way maths is taught in school with possible re-training of teachers, it says.
The views of students emerged in research carried out for Discover Science and Engineering and the Higher Education Authority. Full details are carried in a special supplement in today's Irish Independent.
The study suggests that too many students limit their options by dropping science subjects for the Leaving and switching from higher to ordinary level maths.
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- John Walshe Education Editor