I have just received an email from Yvonne Higgins, Chairperson of the Irish Science Teachers Association, indicating that the new syllabi in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are being sent out to teachers for consultation. The email reads:
"At the NCCA Board of Studies meeting on 16 February it was agreed that the draft syllabi for all three subjects should be sent out for consultation. I have been in touch with the NCCA and have been informed that these syllabi will be available in April. The ISTA will be organising branch meeting to discuss the syllabi. Comments will have to be returned to the NCCA by October 2011 and the ISTA will be making formal responses to each syllabus by this time."
The consultation process will provide teachers with the opportunity to comment on the content of the new syllabi while I also hope that we will be given the chance to comment on the assessment procedures. As mentioned in my recent post on More Stress Less Success I made the point that our current syllabi are far too descriptive and lack wonder, while the assessment procedures promote regurgitation and not thinking. The consultation process will end on October and the syllabus will likely to be introduced for September 2012 or 2013. I still feel that the process is too slow and I hope the new syllabi account for the every changing nature of science and include some "non examined" material. Time will tell but at least the process has began. Well done to all teachers involved in the process in the creation of these syllabi and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your hard work. For more information on the work of the Irish Science Teachers' Association or to find out about membership click here.