Bridging the Primary to Secondary School Mathematics Divide: Teachers’ Perspectives

Mark Prendergast, Niamh O'Meara, Clare O'Hara, Lorraine Harbison, Ian Cantley

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The transition from primary to secondary school is regarded as one of the most difficult crossings in students’ educational careers. The move, which typically occurs between the ages of twelve and fourteen, can be particularly pronounced for mathematics. This article describes the results of a questionnaire distributed in the Republic of Ireland in which the views of primary and secondary teachers were ascertained with regard to the transition process. A total of 298 primary and 173 secondary teachers completed the questionnaire. Results showed that teachers at both levels identified similar issues such as a lack of continuity between curricula, a lack of knowledge of each other’s curriculum and a lack of communication between both levels. Many of the teachers’ suggestions on how the transition process could be improved centred on these issues, as well as highlighting a need to provide joint professional development opportunities for teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-260
Number of pages18
JournalIssues In Educational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2019


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