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Building teacher knowledge for quality mathematics education in Ireland


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Countries Where The Impact Occurred

Australia Ireland


Researchers Involved:

Prof. Merrilyn Goos

PhD

View Researchers Profile


Summary of the Impact:

Improving mathematics proficiency among Irish school children has long been a topic of national debate. The research team at EPI*STEM, the national centre for STEM Education based at the University of Limerick (UL), play a key role in highlighting the subject’s challenges and providing solutions.  EPI*STEM’s research uncovered a fundamental barrier to mathematical attainment. Their 2009 study (1)  reported that almost half (48%) of those teaching mathematics at post-primary level were not adequately qualified to do so: in other words, they were teaching out-of-field (OOF). These results led to EPI*STEM launching a dedicated upskilling programme, the Professional Diploma in Mathematics Teaching (PDMT), in 2012. The programme is government funded, recognised by the Teaching Council, and delivered through a national network of 14 teacher education partners. To date, 1100 teachers have graduated the programme. Through their focus on STEM research and education, EPI*STEM have: impacted mathematical proficiency among post-primary students; addressed the imbalance in the numbers and age-profile of qualified mathematics teachers within the education system; and contributed to improving the knowledge, confidence, and classroom practice of mathematics teachers throughout Ireland. A 2018 study by EPI*STEM (2) found the rate of OOF teaching has since reduced to 25%.  

EPI*STEM’s research uncovered a fundamental barrier to mathematical attainment.

 

Sustainable Development Goals

  • 04 Quality Education
  • 08 Decent work and economic growth

References to the research

Out-of-Field Mathematics Teachers`Beliefs and Practices: An Examination of Change and Tensions Using Zone Theory.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-019-09964-5

Authors: Lane, C., & Ní Ríordáin, M.


Teacher learning and continuous professional development.

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3366-8_11

Authors: Faulkner, F., Kenny, J., Campbell, C., & Crisan, C.


Out-of-field teaching in post-primary mathematics education: An analysis of the Irish context.

https://epistem.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Outof-field-teaching-in-post-primaryMaths-Education.pdf

Authors: Ní Ríordáin, M., & Hannigan, A.


Who teaches mathematics at second level in Ireland?

https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2011.569117

Authors: Ní Ríordain, M., & Hannigan, A.


Teacher professional competence: What can be learned about the knowledge and practices needed for teaching?

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3366-8_5

Authors: Ní Ríordáin, M., Paolucci, C. & Lyons, T.


An examination of the professional development needs of out-of-field mathematics teachers.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.02.001

Authors: Ní Ríordáin, M., Paolucci, C., & O’Dwyer, L.


Teaching out-of-field internationally.

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3366-8_3

Authors: Price, A., Vale, C., Porsch, R., Esti, R., Faulkner, F., Ní Ríordáin, M., Crisan, C., & Luft, J.


Out-of-field teaching in post-primary mathematics education in Ireland: Analysis of the Irish context before and after implementation of the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching.

Authors: Ní Ríordáin, M., Faulkner, F., & Goos, M.


Impact of a national professional development program on the beliefs and practices of outof-field teachers of mathematics.

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED604293.pdf

Authors: Goos, M., Ní Ríordáin, M., Lane, C., & Faulkner, F.


Designing effective professional learning programs for out-of-field mathematics teachers.

Authors: Goos, M., & O’Donoghue, J.


Designing a blended learning program for “out-of-field” mathematics teacher professional development.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-020-01136-y

Authors: Goos, M., O’Donoghue, J., Ní Ríordáin, M., Faulkner, F., Hall, T., & O’Meara, N.