03 September, 2013 - Minister Cannon launches Irish pilot scheme for the JUMP Math numeracy programme

Irish pilot is a Change Nation project, sponsored by the Department, Science Foundation Ireland and Accenture

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The Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD, today launched the Irish pilot scheme for the JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies) Math numeracy programme. 

Initially developed in Canada by Dr John Mighton, JUMP Math is a new method of teaching maths to primary school children that aims to enhance their potential and encourage an understanding and enjoyment of the subject amongst both teachers and their pupils. It is based on a central belief that anyone can succeed at maths.

Students are expected to discover and understand mathematical concepts by answering questions and working through challenges on their own with the support and guidance of their teachers.

Some 24 Irish schools are participating in this programme, with 600 third-class pupils taking part. All of the schools will be following the national maths curriculum, with the JUMP Math programme used as an alternative teaching methodology in 12 pilot schools. A further 12 schools will act as a comparison group. They will be using another methodology, IMPACT (Interactive Methods and Practical Approaches to Communicating and Thinking) Maths, which has been developed by the Professional Development Service for Teachers.   

The experiences of the 24 schools will be evaluated by the Education Research Centre which is seeking to determine whether the methodologies raise the performance of these eight and nine year olds in standardised tests.

This pilot is being undertaken as part of Change Nation, an initiative of Ashoka Ireland, which is seeking to launch proven social innovations from around the world, and build a culture of change-making in Ireland.

Funding of some €100,000 is being provided by the Department of Education and Skills, Accenture and Science Foundation Ireland.

Launching the pilot, Minister Cannon said: “This Government has consistently shown its commitment to raising numeracy standards. It is crucial that this starts early in our schools. My Department is currently resourcing the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and today’s announcement builds on this. I am delighted that Ireland is involved in JUMP Math at this key stage, so that we can lead the way on a European level.

“I would like to thank Science Foundation Ireland and Accenture for working closely with the Department to support and fund the programme. And of course, I must thank the schools that have so enthusiastically embraced this new approach to teaching maths. I am confident that together we can achieve great results.

"I am pleased that this also affords an opportunity to be part of the further development of the PDST's IMPACT programme."

Mark Ryan, Country Managing Director, Accenture Ireland said “We are delighted to sponsor this highly innovative new approach to teaching maths and we hope it is a huge success for the pilot schools involved. Maths is fundamental to our business and we are constantly seeking to recruit talented young people with maths qualifications for roles in analytics and technology. However, Ireland faces a major skills shortage in STEM graduates (science, technology, engineering and maths) so finding ways to make maths more appealing and exciting to children as young as eight will ultimately benefit our future economy.”

ENDS

See http://jumpmath.org/cms/ for more information on JUMP Math

See www.changenation.org for more information on the Change Nation project