Voices of Young People. Young Peoples Views on Reform of the Junior Cycle:
A consultation with young people on the reform of the Junior Cycle took place in November 2010. The consultation was organised by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Dáil na nÓg Council.
The consultation arose from one of the top two recommendations voted for by delegates at the 9th Dáil na nÓg in March 2010 and also the NCCA’s consultation process on the reform of the Junior Cycle.
Recorded on 21st of July 2016
Author: S. Roe
Publisher: Youth Studies Ireland
Geographic Coverage: Ireland
Type of Resource: Report
Vulnerable groups: Young People
Developed with children and young people? Yes
Type of participation: Practice (International, Regional and/or Domestic)
Availability: Open Access
Keywords: Junior Cycle, Reform, Young People, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
The majority of young people considered the Junior Cycle curriculum to be too exam-focused and the Junior Cert examination itself to be a negative form of assessment, which causes stress and is essentially ‘a memory test’. Suggestions for improvement included more assessment of practical aspects of subjects and the introduction of different types of assessment, such as participation in class and measuring progress and improvement. There were mixed views on continuous assessment. While many students favoured assessment through a number of smaller exams during the year or project-based work, some felt continuous exams might cause more stress all year round and diminish the importance of exams. Young people would like to receive more feedback in the form of constructive criticism from teachers because they felt it provides encouragement, measures progress and gives them motivation to improve. According to many young people, positive feedback encourages them to learn. Practical, enjoyable, interesting and opinion-based subjects and activities were deemed to be the easiest to learn.