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Canadian Maths books more suitable for Irish pupils

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 10/12/2014. Canadian Maths books more suitable for Irish pupilsTags: Teachers Parenting

A report done by the Educational Research Centre (ERC) in Dublin has found that maths text books brought in from Canda aligned more closely with the Irish Maths curriculum than the text books in use in the schools studied in Ireland.

A Canadian program called JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies ) was developed in 1998 for Canadian children struggling with mathematics. Key features of JUMP are that it is supposed to improve pupils’ mathematical achievement, promote positive attitudes to mathematics, and improve teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching.

The ERC study compared classes using a Canadian programme known as JUMP, with those participating in a programme called IMPACT.
IMPACT was developed in Ireland by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). The ERC piloted the JUMP program in schools in Athlone and Galway in 2013/2014 school year.

The ERC asked if JUMP was suitable in all Irish classrooms and their findings were surprising, according to their report:

"Overall, the content and pitch of JUMP materials was a good match for the Primary School Mathematics Curriculum (PSMC) content objectives applicable to Third class. JUMP pupil workbooks were compared with three Irish pupil textbooks, selected as they had previously been in use in the participating schools. JUMP aligned more closely with the strand emphases in the [primary school mathematics curriculum] than did any of the Irish materials. ......Of the three Irish textbooks examined, one was used far more widely than others in the participating schools. It was the least similar to the strand emphases in the curriculum."

The mathematical achievement of pupils was measured at the start and end of the year, using the Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test (DPMT). Baseline mean achievement scores in September 2013 were almost identical for JUMP and IMPACT groups. By the end of the school year, the scores of pupils in both groups improved: JUMP pupils by 7 points, and IMPACT pupils by 5 points Both increases are statistically significant, but not sufficiently different from one another to conclude that the mathematical achievement of JUMP pupils improved significantly more than that of IMPACT pupils.

One of the problems with the findings of the research as explained by the ERC was that the initial implementation in Irish schools during the research was delayed due to project funding issues and this could have some effect on the results. However, overall, the report found that there was an improvement with scores by students in the JUMP program higher than those in the IMPACT program but the gap was not significant.


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