Study finds secondary school students prefer active learning

The majority of secondary school students say they prefer active learning rather than studying a book.

A new survey of more than 3,000 pupils has shed light on how young people feel they are taught in schools.

Many students feel teachers could teach Maths, Irish and English better.

The study was done by young people for young people and overwhelmingly showed that students feel they learn best through active learning and not from a book.

However, only a third of those questioned feel teachers actually make learning fun and interesting.

Maths is the subject where students feel teaching methods could be most improved on, followed by Irish and English.

Cork student, 17-year-old student Hugh Fitzgerald, says Irish can be taught in a very harsh way.

He said: "It would be taught in a lecture fashion, so that it would be taught as if speaking down to a person, as if to say 'you're not a proper Irish person unless you can speak Irish'.

"It is just overly dictatorial."

The study also shows girls tend to have a more negative experience than boys in schools.

Kate Ryan from Sligo says she can understand that.

She said: "I mean it depends, I think sometimes there can be a bit of stress when girls take things a bit more seriously, they can take the stress a bit more personally.

"As for my own experience, Leaving Cert was a stressful time."

The students who were surveyed also said they feel there is a lot of stereotyping still exists in our schools when it comes to subject choice.

Student Kate Lehane said: "There was only one boy to do home economics in my school, and I have 200 people in my year.

"There were only about five or six girls who did technology, it's very unbalanced."

The Education Minister Richard Bruton says the results of this survey will feed into ongoing research saying he has taken on board some of the points already.

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