Mathematics Curriculum in Ireland: The Influence of PISA on the Development of Project Maths


Liz KIRWAN


Abstract

This article interrogates the extent to which the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) through its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) influenced the development of Project Maths, a new second-level mathematics education policy in Ireland. It argues that the Irish government, in its revision of mathematics education policy, was strongly influenced by PISA and that concern with the country’s ‘average’ placement in the international assessment was instrumental in defining the direction of the revision. It traces the genetic imprint of PISA on the development of curriculum policy, the new mathematics syllabus, its content and assessment. It argues that Project Maths sets out to follow closely the PISA conceptual framework. However, the analysis finds that Project Maths is not a mini-PISA but that the programme is comprised of two distinct approaches, on the one hand retaining the abstract, symbolic mathematics of sections of the pre-existing curriculum, while on the other emphasizing a PISA-like approach to pedagogy and to real-life problem solving.


Keywords

Mathematics education, PISA, Project Maths, Policy development, Ireland

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Irish Education
Pages 317 - 332
Issue IEJEE, Volume 8, Issue 2, Special Issue: Contemporary Irish Education
Read (times) 935
Downloaded (times) 579

Author(s) Details

Liz KIRWAN

University College Cork, Ireland


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