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Leading industry experts discuss improving EU teaching standards at Dublin conference

20.03.2013, 15:00 GMT

Conference on 'Better Assessment and Evaluation to Improve Teaching and Learning' explored how assessment and evaluation can best support the acquisition of key competences and improved learning for students with contributions from key Irish institutions, the European Commission and the OECD.

The two day conference in Dublin Castle saw delegates engage in workshops to consider the implications for policy and educational practice of recent research conducted by both the European Commission and the OECD, and the experience of countries that have successfully combined assessment and evaluation systems to promote better teaching and improved learning.

Participants included education policy makers, personnel from government departments and local authorities, personnel involved in evaluation and assessment, including inspectorates of education, research and evaluation institutes, school leaders and teacher educators.

Opening the conference, Secretary General of the Irish Department of Education and Skills Seán Ó Foghlú said: 

"The action and development plan devised in 2000 under the guise of the Lisbon Agenda recognised the important contribution that education makes to the life chances of learners and to the development of a dynamic knowledge-based economy. It also highlighted the importance of focusing on the quality of the learning experiences that are provided to our children and young people. Indeed, education is critically important for all countries as we endeavour to respond to the social, economic and technological realities facing us in Europe."

Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciarán Cannon TD, addressing delegates at the closing session, said:

"You and your peers have already, before you came to this conference, identified the key competences that need to be developed in our children and young people to enable them to develop these skills. However, the challenge of this conference was to discuss the issue of how to evaluate and assess these key competences. Such evaluation and assessment has to move beyond testing knowledge to evaluating and assessing how these key competences are embedded in our young people."

"As our Chief Inspector's paper  has shown, this OECD report [OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes] has the potential to provide an interesting challenge to all of our school systems as we examine how best to frame our own evaluation and assessment arrangements. We look forward to the published report in April 2013 which will provide further advice to OECD countries on how evaluation and assessment arrangements in schools can best be implemented to improve the efficacy and quality of our school systems."

Conference Resources


Opening Address -  Seán Ó Foghlú (Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills)

Closing Address  -  Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciarán Cannon TD


Presentations (19-20 March)

Day 1

#1  The Assessment of Key Competences in Schools -  Tapio Saavala 

#2  The Assessment of Key Competences: Implications for Practice -  Paul Black

#3  The Assessment of Key Competences: A Response- Eugene Wall

#4  School Evaluation to Support the Acquisition of Key Competences - Graham Donaldson


Day 2

#5  OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes-  Paulo Santiago

#6  Evaluation and Assessment Framework: A Country Response - Harold Hislop

#7  Feedback from Workshop Discussions - P Mac Fhlannchadha

#8  Rapporteur's Report - John Coolahan

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picture of Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications,

Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications, (Education)




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