Investigation of the impact of the Irish Physical Science Curricula on Student learning and achievement

Dates Active: 2016 - 2020
Project Members:

Damienne Letmon, Eilish McLoughlin

The introduction of ‘free education’ for all in 1966 brought an increase in the student population with a corresponding widening of abilities ranges. With this as the backdrop and focussing on the curriculum as a triptych – content, pedagogical delivery and final assessment (in form of Leaving Certificate examination ) how did each of the three physical sciences – Physics, Chemistry and combination Physics-Chemistry respond to the changing nature of education in Ireland. What informed the content viz. the aims and objectives, actual topic areas of each subject – the students’ needs or economic demands?

How did practitioners respond to the changing nature of student cohort during the 50 years? What determined the pedagogy to adopt – the content demand or the final assessment? As the final assessment was in form of written examination in Leaving Certificate how were the aims and objectives evaluated i.e. did the Leaving Certificate examination reflect the content?