Govt reveals new training programme for maths teachers

12 Sep 2011

The Irish Government has launched a new training programme for maths teachers in a move aimed at dealing with the high proportion of unqualified teachers teaching maths in Irish schools.

The new programme will provide unqualified maths teachers with the opportunity to upskill their knowledge of mathematics and study the strategies best suited to the new Project Maths syllabuses.

The department is developing a competitive process to select providers to deliver training in this area.

Tenders will be invited shortly for the programme, which will combine online learning with lectures provided on a regional basis.

A recent survey by the Teaching Council showed that out of a total of 2,045 teachers teaching maths in 258 schools, 1,400 teachers are fully qualified to do so, 596 teachers have undergone some studies in maths and 49 have no third-level qualifications/studies in maths.

“I want to get to a situation where all teachers of maths have a maths qualification and the training programme I am announcing today will help to achieve that,” the Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, TD, said.

“This survey is part of ongoing work by the Teaching Council, which was established on a statutory basis in March 2006 to promote the professional development of teachers and to regulate standards in the profession.

Need to equip teachers with right skills and knowledge

“The survey helps us to get a clearer picture of what is actually happening on the ground in these schools and the data allows us to plan to meet the training needs of teachers over the coming years,” said Sherlock.

“The rollout of Project Maths and having teachers with the right skills and knowledge will help us to achieve a real change in the way maths is taught in our schools,” he added.

Sherlock said implementation of the revised maths syllabuses, which began in all schools in September 2010, is supported by a major programme of investment in professional development for teachers, which includes a series of national workshops for all maths teachers, supplementary evening courses on content and ICT for maths, and a wide range of teaching and learning resources.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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