A SURVEY OF READING COMPREHENSION IN DUBLIN CITY SCHOOLS
In 1964 the Teachers Study Group carried out a survey of reading attainment in Dublin city schools. The findings of the study provided a base line for reading comprehension level against which the results of subsequent surveys at five yearly intervals might be compared. The present study, conducted in 1969, sought to establish what changes had occurred in the average level of attainment in English comprehension of eleven year olds in Dublin between 1964 and 1969. Pupils (N = 1 405) in a representative sample of Dublin city schools took the NFER NS6 Reading Attainment Test. No significant difference between the 1964 and 1969 samples was recorded.
NEWMAN’S RETREAT FROM A LIBERAL EDUCATION
Daniel G Mulcahy
According to Newmans theory of a liberal education theoretical knowledge and mental discipline are acquisitions to be highly valued for the breadth of vision and sharpness of intellect they impart to those who possess them. Despite the high regard in which this theory is held, it is the argument of this paper that the claims made by Newman on its behalf are highly inconsistent with philosophical positions taken by him in some of his non educational writings, a point altogether overlooked in the literature. This the author attempts to demonstrate by reference to Newman’s distinction between notional apprehension and real apprehension, and by examining its implications for the theory of a liberal education.
INTELLIGENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT IN A DISADVANTAGED POPULATION. A CROSS-LAGGED PANEL ANALYSIS
Thomas K ellaghan
A test of intelligence (Stanford Binet) and a test of achievement (Preschool Inventory) were administered to children attending a preschool in a disadvantaged area when they were three years old and again when they were five (N 59). Cross-lagged panel correlations between test performances were positive and substantial but did not differ significantly from each other. The findings do not provide evidence of a preponderance in causality one way or the other in the relationship between intelligence and achievement.
THE PERCEPTUAL PRESS OF CLASSROOM CONSTRAINTS
R L Scanlon
Knowledge of teacher pupil behaviour is considerably enhanced by an understanding of how teachers form impressions of their pupils. The classroom as a place where interpersonal perception occurs is examined and the teacher’s interaction goals identified. The kinds of pupil information instrumentally relevant to the achievement of these goals are suggested and questions of category width, level of abstraction and association of such attributes are then considered. Finally, some factors likely to cause significant perceptual differences between teachers are outlined.
AN ANALYTIC COMPARISON OF LISTENING IN TWO LANGUAGES
Judith A Schwartz, Joel Singer and John Macnamara
The skills of bilinguals in listening to speech were analysed with a view to revealing difficulties related to listening to a language which has not been fully mastered. Only materials which were known to all subjects who participated were employed. The main conclusions are (a) that the meaning of words was determined more slowly in the weaker language, (b) that syntax was interpreted more slowly in the weaker language, (c) that subjects were more inclined to fall behind in interpreting speech in the weaker language.
A FACTORIAL STUDY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PRESCHOOL DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN
Thomas Kellaghan and Betty Jane Greaney
For a sample of three year old pre school children twenty four measures were obtained in the following areas cognitive development, pre school achievement, visual perceptual development, auditory perceptual development language personality and home environment. An iterative principal factor analysis followed by a varimax orthogonal rotation yielded seven factors three cognitive, three personality and one home background. These factors accounted for 57 per cent of the total variance of the variables. One cognitive factor (general ability or intelligence) accounted for nearly one third of the common variance and about one fifth of the total variance of the variables.
A STRATEGY FOR CURRICULUM REFORM
G L Carter , Jr
A strategy for the development of curriculum change in a Faculty of Agriculture is outlined. The strategy followed that proposed by Tyler. It involved virtually all teaching members of the faculty who through study, symposia and task forces examined objectives to be pursued, learning experiences to be provided, the organization of those experiences and the evaluation of the curriculum. Difficulties encountered in the approach are discussed.
A COMPARISON OF SECONDARY SCHOOL ENTRANTS, VOCATIONAL SCHOOL ENTRANTS AND TERMINAL LEAVERS
Measures of personal characteristics home background educational history and of type of primary school attended were obtained for a representative sample of 500 eleven year old children attending primary school in Ireland. When the destination of all pupils was known—i.e. after they had transferred to a secondary (including comprehensive) school to a vocational school or had finally terminated their education at the primary level—a discriminant function analysis was carried out to identify the most important predictors of post primary school destination. Two sets of variables were identified which discriminated between the three groups. The major contributors to the first and most important set were socio economic status, school attendance record, type of primary school attended verbal reasoning ability and sex. Personality characteristics were important factors in the second set of variables.
PUPIL ACHIEVEMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND PRIMARY SCHOOLS TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF FINDINGS AND ISSUES
John A Wilson
Evidence available over a period of twenty five years on the comparative ability and attainment of pupils in Northern Ireland schools is reviewed. A persistent finding was that of a high arithmetic—low English disparity peculiar to Noithern Ireland pupils. Two main reasons were advanced in explanation of this phenomenon poor home background and an undue emphasis on practice in the mechanics of English at the expense of comprehension. These reasons are examined in the light of contemporary and more recent evidence.
THE GOALS AND ROLES OF CURRICULUM EVALUATION IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
George F Madaus
Evaluation in religious education, while having a single goal of answering questions of worth or value, can play many roles. It can help establish goals and order priorities, clarify objectives, test new materials and test the effectiveness of the finished product. Within each of these roles it can perform additional subroles. Before evaluation can play any of these roles what is needed is a recognition by Church leaders of the need for a new grand design in Christian education, one that is cognizant of the religious education needs of all the faithful, that sets a challenge, that forces a commitment and that results in programme development modelled after the highly successful secular curriculum projects of the past decade.