Education - Reports

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    Briefing document on early interventions and public childcare approaches
    (Children's Right Alliance, 2023-06) Cashman, Conor; Buckley, Margaret; Mulcahy, Gráinne
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    Numeracy Definition Report: A report on adult learners' understanding and conceptualisation of numeracy in Ireland
    (National Adult Literacy Agency, 2022-10) O'Meara, Niamh; Faulkner, Fiona; Prendergast, Mark; O'Sullivan, Kathy; Goos, Merrilyn; Government of Ireland; European Social Fund
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    Staying the course: Factors affecting the progression of Access Foundation students at Technological University Dublin
    (Technological University Dublin, 2022-05) Forster, Annette; Faulkner, Fiona; Prendergast, Mark; Dublin Institute of Technology
    This study examined the factors affecting the progression of Access Foundation students to undergraduate studies, as there is little research on the progression of such students in the empirical literature. Access education has been developed for marginalized students who are traditionally under-represented in higher education. A pragmatic, mixed-methods approach was used to determine the factors that affect the progression of Access Foundation students at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) over three academic years (2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected via a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data was analysed using a range of descriptive and inferential statistics. The grounded theory approach recommended by Strauss and Corbin (1990) was adopted for qualitative analysis. Findings revealed that demographic, psychosocial, environmental, institutional and educational factors play a role in students’ progression from Access education to undergraduate studies. Factors such as housemates, attendance and working during the Access programme were found to be predictors of Access student progression in a binary logistic regression. Additionally, progression rates were higher when there was a higher proportion of mature students in the Access programme. Quantitative and qualitative models of Access student progression were developed.
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    A profile of Irish second year post-primary students' knowledge of initial algebra
    (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, 2021-12) O'Brien, Aoife; Ní­ Ríordáin, Máire
    This research focuses on initial algebra as students transition from arithmetic to algebra, an area of mathematics education known for its difficulties (Demonty et al., 2018; Kieran, 2007). Algebra is identified by many as the language of mathematics and considered a prerequisite for further study in mathematics in many disciplines such as science, technology, and engineering (Gavin & Sheffield, 2015; Stacey & Chick, 2004). It has been argued that algebra is not only the gatekeeper for higher education but also for citizenship.Objectives of the Study: This report provides a profile of Irish second years students’ knowledge of initial algebra. Students need to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities across a wide range of content areas to ensure success with initial algebra. The prerequisite content areas include ratio and proportional reasoning, fractions, decimals, percentages, integers, exponents, order of operations and equality. The algebra content areas include variables, expressions, equations, functions, and patterns (Bush & Karp, 2013; Warren & Cooper, 2008).The central objective of the study was to develop a profile of Irish second year students’ knowledge of initial algebra and from this: 1. Identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in the pertinent content areas for initial algebra. 2. Identify prevalent errors and misconceptions that hinder students’ understanding and progression with initial algebra. 3. Provide the empirical evidence to help mathematics teachers effectively guide their instruction given the limited time available in the classroom. 4. Develop key recommendations to support mathematics teachers and researchers in the area of initial algebra. Evidence has emerged, through various government reports, research, and international testing, that students in Ireland, like their international counterparts, are experiencing difficulties with algebra (Chief Examiner, 2015a; Shiel & Kelleher, 2017). This study provides empirical evidence based on the assessment of over 500 second year post-primary students during the academic year 2016-2017, as part of a PhD study. This report provides a summary of the results from this assessment and identifies key content areas with which our students are struggling. This empirical evidence has heretofore been unavailable.
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    Time in Mathematics Education (TiME) - A national study analysing the Time Allocated to Mathematics at Second Level in Ireland: A research report.
    (EPI-STEM and STEM-ERC, 2017-10) O'Meara, Niamh; Prendergast, Mark; Irish Research Council; Trinity College Dublin