THE MATHEMATICAL ATTAINMENTS OF POST-PRIMARY SCHOOL ENTRANTS
Thomas Kellaghan, George F. Madaus, Peter W Airasian and Patricia J. Fontes
A test based on the curriculum in mathematics for the end of the primary school was administered to 923 pupils in their first term in post-primary school. The test was designed to assess the pupils’ attainment of 55 objectives of the curriculum. The percentage of pupils attaining objectives ranged from a low of 16 to a high of 92. The highest percentages of pupil success were on objectives relating to operations with whole numbers and those relating to the interpretation of charts and graphs, the lowest were on objectives relating to the solution of arithmetical problems. In general, girls did less well than boys and pupils entering vocational schools less well than pupils entering secondary schools.
A SECOND REPLICATION OF A SURVEY OF READING COMPREHENSION IN DUBLIN CITY SCHOOLS
The survey reported here is the third in a series of surveys of the reading attainment of eleven-year old pupils in Dublin schools. The first survey was carried out in 1964 using the NS6 Reading Attainment Test. A replication carried out in 1969 revealed no significant change in standard over the five preceding years. In the present study, carried out in 1974, eleven-year old pupils (N 1,327) in a representative sample of Dublin city schools again took the same reading test. A significant difference in attainment between the 1969 and 1974 samples, in favour of the latter, was recorded.
SOME ISSUES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Vincent J Glennon
There are many issues in the mathematics education of children in the United States that are being discussed and researched. Of these, eight have been selected for discussion in this article formalism in contemporary programmes, individualized instruction, grouping for instruction, trends in achievement test scores, the back*to-the-basics trends, the Free School Movement, metrication, and the hand-held calculator.
SCHOOL AND CLASS DIFFERENCES IN PERFORMANCE ON THE LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
George F Madaus, Thomas Kellaghan and Ernest A Rakow
For a sample (N 32) of Irish boys’ post-pnmary schools, variations in students’ scores on four standardized measures and on 13 Leaving Certificate examinations were partitioned into between-school, between-class-within-school and within-class components* Significant proportions of between-school variance were associated with performance on four Leaving Certificate examinations. Significant proportions of between-class variance were associated with the four standardized measures and with all Leaving Certificate examinations. The findings are interpreted as providing strong prima facie evidence of the differential effectiveness of school factors, particularly ones associated with class units.
ROUSSEAU’S PHILOSOPHY (OR PHILOSOPHIES?) OF EDUCATION
Peter M Collins
The complexity of Jean Jacques Rousseau becomes evident in the severe contrast within his views upon education. One of the central issues raised in his educational theory is the relationship between education for individuality and education for citizenship. Part of the foundation of this question lies quite obviously in social and political philosophy, more specifically, in matters pertaining to man and the state. In this paper Rousseau’s theory of education is investigated with specific attention to his interest in forming the individual and the citizen. Some of the apparent contradictions are traced to their philosophical roots ( in Rousseau *s own writings). The attempt to answer the question of whether Rousseau is propounding two distinct philosophies of education, or whether he did reconcile them appears to clarify somewhat the thrust of his thought in these matters. It also provides a partial explanation for the tremendous influence he has exerted on the modern mind Rousseau addressed himself to a perennial philosophical- educational question. Even though he himself may not have provided a completely satisfactory response, his clarification of the difficulty, as well as his efforts to resolve it, apparently are still felt today.
PARENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS IN FRANCE: THEIR GROWTH AND CHARACTER UP TO 1968
This paper describes the development up to 1968 of the centralized parents’ associations which, after 1968, were formally involved in the management of schools in France. After a brief discussion of the associations’ differing attitudes to secularism, their evolution as pressure-groups is sketched in, and it is shown how by the late sixties they constituted an obvious tool which lay to the hand of the government after the 1968 upheaval. The attitudes of their mass membership lead the foreign observer to a certain scepticism about the continued centrality of secularism as an educational issue in France.
SCHOOL LANGUAGE LABORATORIES IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Rosalind M 0 Pritchard
A survey was carried out of all schools in Northern Ireland possessing language laboratories. Questionnaires were completed by heads of modern language departments, by a sample of assistant teachers and by a number of pupils. By this means, information was collected about the technical efficiency of the installations, the type of teaching material used in them, the organization of practice sessions and teacher training for laboratory work. Attitudes of teachers and pupils towards laboratory work were also surveyed and it was found that teachers rate the usefulness of the laboratory much more highly than do their pupils. It is suggested that current use of language laboratories in Northern Ireland may not conform to the best educational practice as indicated by research.