Irish Journal of Education, Vol. 12, 1978

GROWTH IN MATHEMATICAL ATTAINMENTS OF PUPILS

John S. Close, Thomas Kellaghan, George F. Madaus and Peter W. Airasian

The performance of a sample of 1,167 sixth class and 640 first year post-primary pupils was assessed at the beginning and end of the school year using a test based on 55 objectives of the mathematics curriculum for fifth and sixth classes in primary school. Significant growth in the percentages of pupils mastering the objectives was achieved on 53 objectives during sixth class. During the first year of post-primary schooling, significant growth was achieved on 40 objectives.
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TRENDS IN ATTAINMENT IN IRISH FROM 1973 TO 1977

Vincent Greaney

Three separate measures of attainment in Irish reading, usage and spelling were obtained for pupils in national samples of primary and post primary schools over a three-and-one half year period. Third fourth and fifth standard primary school pupils who were tested at the end of the 1976-77 school year scored higher than pupils tested during the middle of the 1973-74 school year. Among sixth standard primary and first and second year post primary pupils, the 1976-77 end-of year scores in Irish reading and usage but not in spelling were lower than the corresponding 1973-74 mid-year scores.
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PROFESSIONAL AUTONOMY VERSUS EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS: THE EXAMPLE OF A SPLIT-SITE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL

K Shenton and W F Dennison

A clear advantage of case-studies is that they can highlight situations which other investigative techniques overlook. In this case the development of a comprehensive school on two sites shows the problems that arise when the experiences traditions and conventions of single site situations are transferred unchanged to a split-site reality. In particular when movement between sites is deliberately minimized, the independence of the individual teachers can adversely affect organizational effectiveness.
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INTEGRATING CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD AND THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION

R. L. Schnell

The present paper attempts to integrate evidence and theories from history of childhood and family life into the study of history of education by emphasizing theoretical coherence and the development of skills of historical analysis and synthesis. After explicating a constructionist theory of history which establishes interpretation as the central aim of historical inquiry, three models of childhood by deMause, Erikson, and Aries, are analyzed, compared, and used to interpret historical data. The development of the common school is then interpreted in terms of the  emergence of childhood as a social category and the changing nature of the family as an institution.
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THE DELPHI TECHNIQUE AND EDUCATIONAL PLANNING

Peter W. OBrien

The Delphi Technique, developed by Helmer and others at the RAND Corporation in the 1950s and 1960s, has been widely used by educational researchers and planners for making decisions about the future. This article examines research evidence relating to three aspects of the technique – use of anonymity of response to questionnaires, use of  ‘expert’ respondents and use of pooled nominal group judgments. It looks also at research evidence relating to two claims made for the Delphi Technique, namely that its use reduces or eliminates the effects of socio-psychological variables and that its use produces superior results. The article concludes that, despite its widespread use and 25-year history, the technique’s validity is still unestablished.
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THE ELIMINATION OF A CHILD’S DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR IN THE CLASSROOM BY CHANGING THE TEACHER’S RESPONSE

L J V Baker, S Moola and S Willoughby

Extensions of behaviour modification procedures to the classroom have shown the importance of the teachers reaction in maintaining aggressive and non-study behaviours. One eight year old boy chosen for his particularly disruptive classroom behaviour was the subject of this study together with his twenty year-old woman teacher. Preliminary monitoring of the pupil teacher interaction led to five problem behaviours being chosen out-of seat, off task non compliance shouting and aggression. A six-day multiple baseline suggested that the teacher’s attention to these behaviours was maintaining their unacceptably high rates. The teacher was then instructed in the systematic use of attention and praise as consequences for classroom behaviour. During the subsequent six-day intervention period the rate of the problem behaviours fell and desirable classroom behaviours (in seat on task, and compliance) increased. Three months later a four-day follow up showed that the improvement in the child s behaviour had been maintained.
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A SURVEY OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN IRISH POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Mike Sleap

A national survey of post-primary schools in Ireland was undertaken to determine the extent to which physical education has been incorporated into the post-primary curriculum. It was found that 56% of schools in the sample employed a qualified physical education teacher. Large variations were found between schools of different sizes and types. The two main reasons given for not employing a physical education teacher were that the school had a full quota of teachers and the school lacked suitable facilities. Time allocated to physical education was often found to be less than that recommended by the Department of Education and this was especially noticeable in school years 4 and 5. Facilities were scarce and this was underlined by the fact that less than half the schools owned a gymnasium while only just over half owned playing fields.
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