Whereas a normal Secondary School student will have 7 maths classes per week, one per day, I was taking 11-12 maths classes per week.

I came into school during October midterm, Easter and Christmas breaks for maths tutorial days. Despite all these extra classes, we did not manage to complete the whole course. This was in no way the teachers fault, as she explained everything very clearly, we just found some parts of the course extremely challenging. We also found the course too long.

There were only 8 of us in the whole year taking Higher Level maths.

The workload that you are required to do to keep up in Higher Level maths is enormous. It is really like taking 2 extra subjects.

I know I won’t be awarded extra points, but I really think it should be brought in. The amount of extra work students put in the even pass in this subject is deserving of some sort of reward.

The CAO system anyway is useless.

The examination system is a test of how well a student can learn off pages of information and regurgitate it in an exam.

I loved maths as it was the only subject I felt moderately challenged in.

People can always catch up later on, but better mathematical education at primary and second level should be a priority, and also “catch up” courses similar to Open Universities MU120 and MST121 courses that are more or less identical in content to the leaving cert.

]]>In UL bonus points are given for Honours Maths and as a result entrance points to the Physiotherapy Degree are significantly higher than other colleges. Healthcare professions does not require honours maths and such a system would unfairly disadvantage those students, would be perfectly capabale of doing well in these courses and having successful careers in healthcare. I would hate to see people being precluded from these professions that are a much a vocation as a job, purely on the basis that they are not good enough to take on Honours Maths.

I for one, would not have got into my course, and would not be a radiographer now, had bonus points been available in UCD at the time of my application.

I see no reason to penalise a student for not being academically capable without reevaluting the reasons as to why so few take honours maths and looking at the curriculum itself.

]]>I choose to devote my efforts to other subjects and do the pass maths course – a course which I got quickly bored with. I did get the points I desired but still regret not em brassing the challenge of the honours course.

I think there needs to be some sort of incentive structure to do honours maths – is bonus points the answer? Maybe, or are we just trying to hide the underlying problem – the points race?

]]>This would give students that extra time to keep up to speed. How about at school holidays, run a one day mathematics class, again to review covered material only. Lots of students would like to take higher level mathematics, but dont get enough 1 on 1 time.

We have lots of university graduates who have done higher level mathematics currently not working and collecting the dole. Why not incentives these unemployed people to teach or tutor these classes? This would benefit the students and the tutors and the state.

On a broader scale (and slightly outside the scope of this discussion); I can’t understand why the govt is giving money to unemployed people for nothing? There is so much work that could be done for the poor, elderly, disabled, disadvantaged. Why not mobilize everyone into giving even 10 hours a week to a local volunteer organization? I personally know lots of young people who are sitting around all week playing video games living with their parents. Surely there is something productive they could be doing in exchange for the dole? My idea, give full amount of the dole to people who volunteer for 10 hours a week, 50% of amount for people who would rather not. Obviously allowances for single mothers with children etc would have to be added etc….Only 10 hours, you still have plenty of time to look for work etc…..

]]>A more convincing argument, to my mind, is that ability at mathematics is a better signal of underlying ability than ability at home economics (say). So our system is “meritocratic” in the sense that places are rationed and points are the currency by which places are rationed. I think there is evidence that LC maths scores are better predictors of how students do in university than other subjects & I don’t just mean at technical subject. A colleague of mine investigated this many years ago and found that students’ grades in English (at university) was more closely related to their maths grade than their English grade (at LC). I think a similar study was done by someone in UCC. Maybe this is because maths reflects a general problem solving ability and is less amenable to simply memorizing.

Strategies to get better maths teachers, as suggested above, are probably worth investigating. I’m guessing that teachers unions would be apoplectic at the notion though.

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