Maths teaching methods need to change, engineers warn

9 Apr 2010

Despite the potential re-introduction of bonus points for maths much more has to be done to improve take-up and results in this area John Power, director general of Engineers Ireland has warned.

Speaking as the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills Mary Coughlan TD gave her backing to the re-introduction of bonus points in Leaving Certificate maths, Power said the problems around maths were complex and also required fundamental changes to curriculum and teaching methodologies.

“We welcome her announcement and will ask to meet her to urge her to go further

“There is growing recognition that the ongoing problems across maths and the sciences in our education system are undermining Ireland. The possible re-introduction of bonus points for maths is to be welcomed but his is not enough in isolation.

“Engineers Ireland has undertaken a thorough review of the current framework in this area and key actions now necessary include greater resourcing of the Project Maths initiative, the requirement for teachers to have specific education qualifications in maths and the sciences to teach these subjects, as well as tax breaks for teacher retraining.

“Engineers Ireland is currently working with the Department to convert these actions into real change and ensure more engineers are graduating to meet the needs of the Smart Economy,” Power added.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years