Irish Journal of Education, Vol. 23, 1989

BEGINNING TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

JHC Vonk

The process of becoming a teacher is considered to be a part of teachers professional development. The first section of the article describes the general nature of this development which is used as the framework for a longitudinal study on beginning teachers professional development. The second section reports on the outcomes of this study which focussed on the development of teachers during their first four years of service. Based on the outcomes of the study an experimental inservice programme for beginning teachers was developed which is described in the last section of the paper.
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THE SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST AS A PREDICTOR OF THIRD-LEVEL ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Bernard O’Rourke and Michael O Martin

The need that has arisen over the last 20 years to select candidates for places in Irish third level institutions has generated interest in how selection is carried out and whether or not it might be improved. During this period the Leaving Certificate Examination (LCE) has been used as the sole or dominant instrument in selection for third level. With the LCE s role in third level selection coming increasingly under scrutiny interest has developed in examining the potential role in selection of a test of scholastic aptitude. In this study the usefulness of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the Leaving Certificate Examination to predict the first year examination performance of 458 students in an Irish third level institution is examined. The LCE was found to be a more powerful predictor. The SAl could also be an effective predictor but only if the effects of selection were controlled. When the SAT and LCE are combined the SAT contributes negligibly to improving the level of prediction obtained using only the LCE.
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RELATIVE BIAS IN TEACHER JUDGMENTS AND STANDARDIZED TESTS IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF LITERACY PROBLEMS

Thomas Kellaghan and Patricia Fontes

Sixth grade teachers in Insh schools were asked to identify pupils in their classes that they perceived as having literacy problems. 11% of pupils were nominated. Pupils performance on a standardized test of reading was also assessed and the lowest scoring 11% of pupils were identified. One third of pupils were identified by both teacher and test (n 108) one third by the teacher only (n 102) and one third by the test only (n 107). Pupils in the three groups were compared in terms of age gender social class classroom behaviour and social behaviour. In a MANOVA and canonical discriminant function analysis the main differences were found between the group of pupils identified by both test and teacher and the groups identified only by the test or only by the teacher, pupils in the groups identified by both teacher and test were found to have relatively low achievement oriented behaviour. Pupils identified only by the test tended to score relatively low in sociability. Pupils identified only by teachers showed the least relative bias on the characteristics that were assessed.
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MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT IN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Vincent Greaney and John Close

Studies of levels and correlates of mathematics achievement in Irish primary schools are reviewed in general students scored well in computation but poorly in geometry and problem solving. In one of the surveys an international study of achievement in mathematics confined to content areas common to 12 participating countries or provinces Irish 13 year olds scored at about the mean. Significant correlates of mathematics achievement include verbal ability achievement in Irish and English reading, home background factors and gender.
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PERFORMANCE IN SECOND-LEVEL EDUCATION IN IRELAND

Thomas Kellaghan

Research on second level education in Ireland in terms of intents provision and achievement is examined for five areas of performance general cognitive development non cognitive development vocational preparation allocation and custodialism. Lack of specification of intents was found for all areas. The main emphasis in provision in schools seems to be in the area of general cognitive development. Recently provision for vocational education has expanded. Using performance on public examinations as a criterion of achievement in the cognitive area, the performance of the system cannot be regarded as satisfactory. Evidence relating to achievement in other areas is scant except as far as the allocation of educational benefits is concerned. There is evidence of bias in achievement (as well as in provision) -which is related to students gender and socioeconomic background.
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