Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 12 June, 2001

Written Answers. - Schools Curriculum Profiles.

77. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Education and Science his response to the Irish National Teachers Organisation's objections to curriculum profiles; and the plans he has to take action on this matter. [17129/01]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): While I have not received any formal objections from the Irish National Teachers Organisation about the use of curriculum profiles, I am aware of concerns among some Irish National Teachers Organisation members regarding the use of the Drumcondra English profiles in schools. Concerns have been expressed, for example, that the individual profile cards are too detailed; that their use would be too time-consuming; that teachers will spend too much time testing rather than teaching; and that the validity of the indicator sets is questionable.

My officials are involved in discussions with the Irish National Teachers Organisation on this matter and I understand that the Irish National Teachers Organisation is not opposed to curriculum profiles per se. It fully appreciates that the use of the Drumcondra English profiles, which were supplied to all schools by my Department, is not mandatory and that teachers and schools are free to use them to the extent that they find them of benefit.

[1192] As I am anxious to facilitate the use of the curriculum profiles, I have asked my officials to make contact with the Educational Research Centre, Drumcondra, and the Irish National Teachers Organisation with the purpose of establishing a representative committee to oversee a project that could address the concerns of teachers regarding the use of the Drumcondra English profiles. This project would involve testing the use of the profiles in a small sample of schools and making recommendations as to how they might be improved if difficulties are experienced in their use.

Officials of my Department will also discuss issues relating to assessment, including the use of profiles, with representatives of the NCCA next week.