Worlds apart : an analysis of issues associated with mathematics education in Ireland and the United States : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)

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Kennedy, Matthew D.
Bremigan, Elizabeth G.
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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While a strong history and working relationship has developed between Ireland and the United States, there are still many differences which shape the lifestyle of citizens within each respective country, especially with respect to education. Historical aspects, views toward religion, and long-standing relationships with nearby countries shape the overall education of Ireland and the United States in different ways. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment issues are all shaped by a variety of factors individual to each country, and are therefore surprisingly dissimilar in nature. Mathematics education is also affected within each individual country. Aspects related to technology, content learned by students, teaching methods, and assessment strategies are specifically tailored to meet the goals of each respective society. In particular, the effect of technology has dramatically differentiated the mathematics curriculum and content received by students in Ireland and the United States. The introduction of content standards has dramatically shaped what curriculum is received by students in the classroom and how teachers prepare the lessons they teach. The process of gaining an education as a mathematics teacher is influenced by the size of each country, the responsibilities placed upon teachers by each society, and the general interests of the students in their respective classrooms. Certification procedures are controlled by specific government regulations and the institutions which prepare future teachers for their roles in the classroom. The professional role of the teacher in each country has been dramatically shaped by the societies in which they live and work. Collaboration, views toward professional development, and other issues play a major role within the professional lives of teachers.