The Leaving Certificate programme is failing to adequately prepare students for university studies, according to new research published today by the Institute of Education at Dublin City University.
In a survey of over 300 first-year DCU students across a wide range of courses:
- Less than a quarter (24%) of respondents felt that the Leaving Cert programme prepared them well to use technology to improve their learning;
- Only a quarter (25%) felt the Leaving Certificate prepared them well to interrogate and critically evaluate information or ideas;
- Only 27% felt the Leaving Certificate prepared them well to compare information from different sources;
- Only 28% felt the Leaving Certificate prepared them well to identify sources of information;
- Only 30% felt the Leaving Certificate prepared them well to explore ideas from a number of different perspectives.
Independent thinking, open-mindedness and confidence in reaching decisions were among the many other areas where respondents overwhelmingly felt that the Leaving Certificate did not sufficiently prepare them for their college work.
On a positive note, the survey found that the majority of respondents believed that the Leaving Cert programme had prepared them well to persist when learning was difficult (83% agreed), be well organised (83% agreed), be self-disciplined (75% agreed), manage their time (72% agreed) and cope with the pressure of heavy workload requirements (75% agreed).