Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Burns, D., O Hara, J. and McNamara,.G
Educational Studies Association of Ireland
An investigation of the intellectual skill in the final written assessment of 23 subjects in the Leaving Certificate 2005 - 2010
NUIG, Galway
Invited Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
The presentation focuses mainly on the methodology and findings of a study that investigated the belief that the Leaving Certificate is “all rote learning and memory recall.” The key research questions were: ● What intellectual skills and knowledge domains are assessed in the examination papers in the subjects included in the study? ● What intellectual skills should be developed by students of the Leaving Ce rtificate, based on the developmental capacities and challenges of students in the 16 – 19 age group? The study was exploratory based on the assumption that the reality studied, that is interpretation for intellectual skill, is socially constructed. The fi ndings of the study are proffered as interpreted, contextual knowledge with the subjective limitations that this implies. The presentation provides a brief summary of key points from the literature search. A brief rationale for document analysis and studen t interviews is presented. 228 command verbs were collected and a software programme used to locate instances of the verbs in the written examination papers for 23 subjects. The Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) taxonomy with six categories of intellectual ski ll and four knowledge domains was then used to assign values to 14,910 instances of the verbs. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences was then used to analyse the frequencies of intellectual skill and knowledge domains in the examination papers. Thirt y students who had just completed the Leaving Certificate were interviewed with a view to having them recall their thought processes while they were sitting the written examinations in ten subject areas. The findings of the document analyses and student in terviews were reviewed in light of the literature search. This review revealed concerns which culminated in several recommendations for curriculum design and assessment