This morning I did an interview with LMFM on the latest press release concerning our findings on the links between Depression in students facing the Mocks and how this effects gifted students in particular. How should we change the Mock exam structure to combat these difficulties that are being created for students nationwide?
3 Year Irish Education Study Identifies Links Between Gifted Teenage Schoolchildren Battling Depression & The Mocks
(Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland, Monday January 23rd 2012).
The results of a 3 year Study by Irish Educationalist, Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly, reveal a number of links between the rate of depression & gifted teenagers whose talents may or may not have already been spotted in schools around the Country.
Dr. O’Reilly, Founder of The Homework Club, confirms that teenagers are falling through the cracks in the education system as their talents aren’t recognised & this makes them prone to depression. In her experience, certain teenagers, depending on their personality types, can also fare worse.
On The Mocks front, she states, by 2nd year in school it’s already been decided whether students are good or bad at Maths for Life. ‘What are schools setting people up for?’ The Irish Mocks exam structure requires major & urgent reform as the current model is destroying young lives. Afterall, you can do nothing in life with foundation maths.
There are also disgraceful situations where gifted teenagers who slip up on small stuff in class are branded as ‘slow’ by teachers.
At the end of the first term at The Homework Club (our development centre) we work though an evaluation process with the students to wrap up the term's achievements. This has two main functions, firstly to get the students thinking about their own progress over the term, where they have reached and where they would still like to improve in each topic. This gives them control over their own learning objectives and helps them map out a plan for the new year.
It also allows us to reflect on the students and their personalities. We do this by using the attached questionnaire below. When I first started this study of the students, I saw a trend very quickly that the disorganised, unstructured and unfocused students didn't fit neatly into one category of learnign style. They ticked one box in each section with no clear direction of thought. Many of these students simply didn't know where their strengths lie or how they learn best. This allowed us as a team to focus on key skills we felt that needed to be improved or to help the students develop more structure in certain areas and so on throughout the second term in preparation for the exams at the end of term three.
This is now our 3rd year of this study and I now see an even bigger significance than I did initially. As the student intact has expanded in the ages (from 5 to 20+) and learning difficulties of the students of this period, I now see a new more important trend.